Tag Archives: athletes need athletic trainer

A High School AT’s Lament

11 Oct

I love my job.  I really, really do.  I love working with high school athletes, they keep me young.  I love working with other professionals (teachers, coaches, physical therapists, MDs, DOs, DCs) who pour their lives into the lives of others.  I enjoy being a role model for student athletic trainers.  I enjoy being a CI for a local ATEP.  I like writing occasionally in this blog and giving back to the profession.  I enjoy the work I get to do for PATS and for the BOC.  But there are also things I don’t like about my job.  I don’t like the weird hours that took so much from my personal life.  I don’t like the mountains of paperwork that seem to grow through the years.  I don’t like the added stress of RTP decisions when Continue reading

The Athletic Trainer’s Role in Youth Sports

27 Mar

Wow, the month of February and March have been a flurry of activity for me.  I have been able to provide athletic training care to thousands of athletes at a youth soccer tournament, PIAA District Wrestling Championships, PIAA State Wrestling Championships, PA Junior Wrestling State Championships as well as my own athletes at my employer.  While providing these services to these groups, I was keenly aware of the amount of athletes who don’t get these services.

In an article on the Discovery Networks website, the author explores the possibility of “Smart Helmets” changing the future of youth sports.  The author quotes:

Identifying the injury is only the first step, the authors note. Smart helmets aren’t a diagnostic tool; rather, the technology could help make the connection between an athlete who may have an injury and a medical assessment. When a sensor is triggered, the athlete would need evaluation from a trained professional on-site or a referral for off-site medical evaluation.

This one paragraph clearly delineates our profession’s role in Youth Sports.  I am all for this smart technology that will clearly indicate when a possible concussive hit has been absorbed by an athlete of any age.  But a fancy LED display that indicates an excessive force is useless if their isn’t a medical professional there to clinically evaluate the athlete.  Youth football leagues need to provide athletic training services to these athletes.

Little Baseball is suffering a similar issue with pitch counts, curve ball debates and pitchers throwing with sore arms.  Pitch counts are a great tool, but they are limited in scope.  Many of the better players are playing on 2 or even 3 baseball teams at the same time.  Other youth baseball players are playing for 9 or 10 months of the year.  Research has shown that it isn’t the type of pitch that is thrown (i.e. curve ball), it is the volume of pitches that are thrown.  The volume of pitches thrown dramatically increase when you play for 2-3 teams a year.  Who is watching out for these young athletes?  Who can these young athletes approach to evaluate their arm pain without their parents making the first contact?

I firmly believe it is our profession of athletic training that can make a difference in these young athletes’ health and lives.  As my friend and colleague has in his email tagline “Every athlete deserves an athletic trainer.”  I wholeheartedly agree from ages 7 to 70 and up.  If you are involved in organized athletics, you not only deserve an athletic trainer; you need an athletic trainer.

Luxury or Necessity?

11 Jan

This morning, this article about a local to me high school caught my eye.  The title alone is thought provoking “Injury prompts Shanksville to reconsider athletic trainer.”  Somehow this school thought it prudent to cut $2,500 in spending and not provide basic athletic training services for the athletes of the school.  According to the PIAA, this school has an enrollment of 105 students in 9-12 grade and competes in 5 boys’ and 7 girls’ sports.  Basketball is the only contact sport listed, but in my experience baseball, softball, cross country, tennis and volleyball are all sports that keep the AT busy.

Today’s economy and lack of funding for public education has school districts, private schools and even public and private colleges and universities closely examining budgets.  The economic climate has administrations at every level attempting to answer the question “Is the provision of athletic training services a luxury that we provide our athletes or Continue reading

What is Our Focus?

15 Dec

Two recent articles have me thinking about what our role as Athletic Trainers is towards the athletes that we provide health care to.  In a New York Times article, a former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson calls out athletic trainers in the NFL.  He says:

This harsh reality is softened by human relationships. Football players spend every day with the members of their team’s medical staff. They learn to trust them. The athletic trainers nurse the players back to health when they are injured. Continue reading

New AT proves her worth very quickly

12 Oct

Joe Chandler of the Gazette Virginian highlights the work of athletic trainer Leslie Hodge at Halifax County HS.   He has some very good things to say of her work:

Some people consider an athletic trainer a luxury item when it comes to a high school sports program. However, when one considers the number of student-athletes that participate in sports, an athletic trainer is more of a necessity than a luxury. Continue reading

News – Athletic Trainers are a need and a neccesity

4 Oct

There is not much I need to add to this article out of Illinois.  Read it for yourself and enjoy!

Here are some notable quotes from the article though to think about:

  • “When you look at needs and wants, you have to look at athletic trainers in high school situations as a need and a necessity,” Sarver said. “There are items that you can cut back on, but you never want to put doubt in front of our student-athletes’ health and well-being.”
  • “They are a huge, huge asset to your programs and to the school,” said Tom McGunnigal, St. Bede’s athletic director and long-time girls basketball coach.
  • Athletic trainers are something that makes the lives of coaches and administrations that much easier.
  • With an athletic trainer at most every high school event, coaches no longer have to worry when a player goes down.
  • “Coaches don’t need to be diagnosing. They need to be coaching,” said Todd Hopkins, the Ottawa Marquette athletic director, as well as girls basketball and baseball coach. “(Our trainer) knows what to do. Especially with the new concussion rules, if someone gets dinged or something, she knows what she is doing.”
  • “In today’s society, it’s very important that schools have a trainer on-site,” said Ottawa athletic director and girls basketball coach Mike Cooper. “As many activities as we have here at Ottawa High School and the number of injuries that we have, the ability to handle those injuries in-house in a quick and timely fashion means that we can avoid a lot of potential problems down the road.”
  • “Kids can go see them first and then they can give a recommendation,” Cooper said. “If our trainers can deal with it right here at the school, they could save a lot of money (for families) than if you go straight to a doctor or to a specialist.”
  • “That’s the best of both worlds,” Sarver said. “We get them evaluated and treated as quickly as possible when they are on the field or on the court or on the diamond or on the mat, but then when they come back from that injury, our trainers are the ones helping them with the rehab. They bring our student-athletes back at a fast rate because they are working with them on a daily basis.”
Some great quotes there to prove your worth to the high school.

Follow Up – Why ATs are needed

20 Sep

On August 31, 2011, I wrote this blog entry highlighting an unfortunate situation in Nokesville, VA.  In the entry I wrote:

The sad realization is this, that if a experienced athletic trainer was managing this football player’s concussion I firmly believe this young man would be alive today.  If the parents were instructed about cocoon therapy properly, then this young man may be a freshman in college today.  But, only 42% of this countries high schools provide an AT for their athletes!  We need to change this or there will be more sad stories, more grieving parents, more schools who will lose a bright student and a vibrant member of their community.

My blog entry was missing some major information – there was an athletic trainer present at the game.  Several AT who know the inside story not revealed in the original article highlighted in my post, informed me of this important fact. Continue reading

News – Athletic Trainers Play Key Role in Friday Night Football

5 Sep

Alabama – Tom Smith, writer for the Times Daily, takes some time to highlight the unnoticed workhorses in thousands of high schools across the country – the athletic trainer.  The article takes the unique view point of several coaches who have gone without the services of an AT and now work for schools who provide the services of an athletic trainer.

Colbert Heights football coach Ivan Denton said he would hate to go back to the days when his coaching staff was responsible for the duties of an athletic trainer.

“I can remember what it was like before we had a trainer to do the taping and evaluating injuries,” Denton said. “Years ago I did it, and I could do it again. I just hope I don’t have to anymore.”
Continue reading

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

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

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