Cook Children's Opens New Sports Complex Keeps Young Athletes in the Game
The John and Tracy Sellers Sports Complex includes a 30-yard football field, a quarter-mile track, a pitching mound and an agility training area.
Story by Ashley Antle. Video by Tom Riehm.
Cook Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Walsh Ranch is expanding to include an outdoor sports complex designed to help young athletes train for peak performance. The John and Tracy Sellers Sports Complex is slated to open Oct. 12 and will include a 30-yard football field, a quarter-mile track, a pitching mound and an agility training area.
Funding for the expansion was generously provided by John and Tracy Sellers, the Walsh Foundation and the James and Dorothy Doss Foundation. The complex expands the offerings of Cook Children’s comprehensive orthopedic, rehabilitation and sports medicine facility in Walsh, which already includes a training gym where these specialties work side-by-side daily to rehab, train and care for the whole athlete.
“This sports complex will be an extension of that and give our athletes more options for training and recovery,” said Stefanie Perry-Charles, site administrator at Cook Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Walsh Ranch. “We want to be the one-stop-shop for them as they work to get back in the game, build their skills and improve their performance.”
To truly condition the body and test and develop athletic performance, experts say it is best to train in the same environment in which the athlete plays, from the type of field to common game-time temperatures. For example, running in a flat and air conditioned gym does not replicate the same force and stress to the ankles, feet, back or knees that a runner encounters on an outdoor track while wearing spikes.
The John and Tracy Sellers Sports Complex brings a next-level approach to training and recovery, where athletes can hone their skills on surfaces and in conditions similar to what they encounter in their sport.
“Our gym is beautiful and it's an ideal and safe place to initiate rehabilitation following an injury or surgery,” said Richard Ashlock, PT, DPT, SCS, sports clinical coordinator at Cook Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Walsh Ranch. “However, taking athletes outside where the temperature is different and we have a surface that's a little bit closer to what they're going to use gives them that extra real-life conditioning for peak performance and allows us to really test their readiness to return to a sport after injury.”
Programming and use of the facility will be open to all young athletes and sports teams throughout North Texas looking to level up their game, not just those recovering from an injury.
In addition to rehabilitation services, the John and Tracy Sellers Sports Complex will offer injury prevention programs, sport and position-specific training led by certified athletic trainers and adaptive training for differently-abled kids and teens. Teaching athletes the connection between nutrition, conditioning, preparation, form and recovery to prevent injuries will be a major focus of all programming.
“We want to prevent injuries before they happen,” said Carolyn Snow, MS, LAT, ATC, OTC, sports medicine coordinator at Cook Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. “The new programs will provide the athlete with the tools needed to safely return to sports after an injury. We want to give kids the tools that they need as young athletes to understand how to move their body correctly which includes teaching them the right exercises and stretches that will benefit them the most. We will also have the ability to help develop diet and nutrition plans. All of this together will help to develop them into the best athlete that they can be.”
It’s programming parents have asked for.
“We recognized the need for therapy services in this area, but we've also had parents asking about injury prevention, strength and conditioning and education programs in an effort to prevent injuries from happening,” said Carolyn Mullins, manager of rehabilitation services at Cook Children’s Orthopedics and Sport Medicine Walsh Ranch. “When parents see one child experience an injury and the rehabilitation that is necessary to return to their activities, they often ask what can be done to help prevent the same from happening to another child athlete.”
The complex will also offer sports camps during school breaks and homeschool physical education programs.
“The homeschool program will be beneficial for the students who need PE credit but may not be ready or have not had the opportunity to go into an organized sport,” said Sarah Connors, MHA, director of practice operations, Cook Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. “This will give the student the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of sports and activities. Hopefully, finding an activity or sport that interests them and they want to learn more about.”
About Cook Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Walsh Ranch
Cook Children's Orthopedics in Aledo is your trusted team for pediatric orthopedic care. Our specialized team of specialists is dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive treatments for injuries and conditions affecting children's bones. Our staff are experts on the pediatric skeleton, growth and bone development. Cook Children's Orthopedics provides comprehensive treatment for children and adolescents with sports injuries, traumatic injuries, congenital and developmental problems of the extremities and spine.