Archive | August, 2011

Why ATs Are Needed in High Schools

31 Aug

Nokesville, VA – The following story (linked below) maybe one of the saddest stories that I have read this year and it strengthens my resolve to be a better AT and hopefully prevent this from happening in my school.  As a parent of a daughter in high school, I can’t imagine the depth of pain these parents must feel in the seemingly preventable loss of their son.

Austin Trenum’s bed remains half-made, the way a typical teenager would leave it. On a shelf is his scarred black helmet, the one he was wearing when he tackled the quarterback near the sidelines during Brentsville High’s game against Handley some 11 months ago. Austin’s mouthpiece remains tucked neatly in the face mask, ready to be taken out for the next play.

For Austin, there was no next play. Continue reading

Athletic Trainers are “A Few Good Men”

29 Aug

A recent Facebook status update from a fellow Secondary School Athletic Trainer took aim at some frustration they had with dealing with coaches.  The status was inspired by the movie “A Few Good Men” and a classic rant by Jack Nicholson’s character Col. Jessup.  Here is the status:

I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep over wins and losses and you curse the ATC. Continue reading

Skill Set – Resiliency

26 Aug

The typical athletic trainer has a diverse skill set that they constantly develop.  This series of blog entries will seek to focus on the skill set that most athletic trainers possess in order to effectively do their job in the traditional setting.  Collectively, this skill set makes the AT a very valuable and unique resource to the athletes, coaches and administration that they serve.


Resiliency is a buzzword around our school district this year and a major theme for our teachers and administration during our In-Service seminars heading into the new year.  As I sat and listened to our administration speak on resiliency, it hit me that this is a prominent skill that ATs have had for years.  Athletic trainers are resilient. Continue reading

A Deeper Look into PSAD

23 Aug

I know you have heard of those living in Nordic Countries suffering from Seasonal Effective Disorder ( It is a real phenomena that has a negative impact on many lives in the Great White North.  The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.” The condition in the summer is often referred to as reverse seasonal affective disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety.

I believe that I have uncovered a new syndrome that I will call Pre-Season Effective Disorder (PSAD). This frightening disease effects only Certified Athletic trainers and only during the month of August.The disease is due to the lunacy that is 2-a-days, 3-a-days and, dare I say, 4-a-days.  It is associated with high frustration levels at the lack of physical preparation by high school athletes knowing they are about to participate in a high school sport and still lay around all summer.  The disorder is also associated with 70 hour work weeks without time to eat or even visit the bathroom.  Due to the lack of sleep, quality food and any semblance of order to a time schedule, the ATs will suffer from wild mood swings during the period known as Pre-season.

Symptoms of PSAD include dreaming about “going postal” on coaches and players, difficulty in getting to sleep and in waking up, tendency to oversleep and over eat when given the chance especially a craving for carbohydrates which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities. All of this leads to depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure.

The only known cure is to let PSAD run its course which normally takes 2 weeks.  During the normal course of the syndrome it is common for ATs to contemplate a different job including bagging groceries or managing a fast food restaurant.  But once the PSAD is over, these feelings usually subside and the AT once again enjoys the life of an AT.

I hope you had a fun pre-season this year!

News – Certified Athletic Trainers Key to Diagnosing and Treatment of Concussions

21 Aug

Idaho – For the past few years, there has been increasing awareness within the media of the problem of concussions in high school sports.  This awareness has raised the level of concern by parents, coaches and administrators, but the awareness hasn’t raised the collective knowledge level.  Proper recognition and treatment of concussions is still a problem.

Zach Kyle of the Idaho State Journal wrote an outstanding piece on the problem.  He writes:

Concussions always will be a reality in high school sports. Continue reading

Its About Relationships

3 Aug

For years, I have focused my continuing education in athletic training on hand’s on skills.  I went to a McKenzie course.  I have attended a lot of strength and conditioning courses and even become a USA Weightlifting coach.  I am well versed in nutrition and hydration strategies.  I stay up on concussion management, protocols and testing.  I have gone to several manual therapy lectures and Advance Tracks for PATS.  One thing that has been missing in all of this is that athletic training is about relationships! Continue reading