Tag Archives: How to promote the profession

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.

News – He is the injured athlete’s go to guy

28 Oct

Raleigh, NC – Burgetta Eplin Wheeler of th News Observer in North Carolina wrote an article about the work of Aaron Minger, AT at Boughton HS.  This isn’t a fluff piece of reporting touting the service Aaron provides to the athletes, this is an in depth article focusing primarily at the money he saves the parent’s of the school district.

Hours after the school day has ended, Aaron Minger, Broughton High’s athletic trainer, is idling in a golf cart in the middle of the football practice field, easily accessible to all 120 players. Not 60 seconds after mentioning he’s always on call for other sports, Minger picks up his ringing phone.

It’s the women’s tennis coach, and a player is down. 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 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

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

Why we still need to work to promote the profession

20 Jul

I recently read an article from ToledoBlade.com in Ohio about a local school district titled Mason schools won’t hire athletic trainers.  Board leaves door open to use private funds.”  This is what caught my eye:

School board members approved the idea of a trainer at practices and games to tape athletes’ joints and attend to their injuries, but they balked at the $9,950 annual cost. Continue reading

Emerging Settings – The expansion of AT services

22 Apr

Training and Conditioning magazine published a feature article on three ATs working in emerging settings.  I have also been doing some research this week into the high schools and athletic training coverage provided within my home state of PA.  My experiences with the research and the article has me thinking that athletic training can experience exponential growth if we continue to look for the need for our services.  The middle schools, youth sports leagues, military, action sports and industrial settings are all good areas for ATs to expand our services and provide our unique services to the public.

Middle Schools Continue reading

Athletic trainers crucial in helping injured athletes

4 Apr

Hattiesburg, MS – Here is one of the best news articles I have read in celebration of National Athletic Trainers Month.  What is especially outstanding about this piece is that it is written by a high school student.

No two people understand that importance more than Sean Copeland and his mother, Susan Copeland. Continue reading