As an athletic trainer there are only so many games in a season, so when a team exceeds their expectations and goes deep into the playoffs, it is a great ride. As I have previously mentioned, the volleyball team has been playing well and had a Sweet-16 game last night. After 90 minutes of intense, nerve-racking rallies and points, we won the match and are advancing to the Elite 8 tomorrow.
It was not as easy as the first game led all to believe. The ladies pounded the other team in the opening game and the thoughts of cruising to a quick victory ran through everyone’s mind. That was until the other team took the momentum and won game two. Then in game three, they held a 20-14 lead when the grittiness of the ladies came through and went on a 11-3 run to close it out and give the high school their first Sectional Championship in 15 years.
In volleyball, the athletic trainer does not get a lot of action, which is nice as it allows you to be a fan, compared to football. Last night was the second time all year I had to go on the court for an injury. It was not a major one, a torn finger nail, but one that was quite interesting. As the player came off and we are getting her wrapped up, she informed me that her blood was on the court. By rule you have to get it cleaned up, and not by just wiping up the floor. You have to disinfect the blood then wipe it up, so it’s a process.
At the time we were losing in the 3rd game and the momentum was clearly not with us. I informed the official of the blood and the match was stopped to clean it up. As you can maybe imagine, the player was all over the court during the bloodletting. There were drips all over the court, the entire width and half the length. Apparently she was EXTREMELY active in the back row. What makes this interesting (well to me) is that the fans of the other team began to boo me and the host AT as we cleaned it up. Comments from the crowd included “they are slowing the game down on purpose,” to irate parents wanting us to lose a point for delaying the match. It was quite comical. After finding and taking care of all the blood, the officials thanked us and returned to action. The player had her nail covered and the blood never reappeared.
The point being that with the athletic trainer there, the coaches were allowed that “free” time to address the team, instead of worrying about getting the player taken care of and the court cleaned. The importance of an athletic trainer goes beyond just concussions and injuries. It is also piece of mind for the coaches and players.
I would also like to extend an invitation to all AT’s out there to send me your stories, as we will run them from time to time. With the concussion issue, it is a great time to promote the need and education of the athletic trainer, because one day we will have the concussion issue well in hand.