2011 NATM Tribute Videos

We would like to thank all that submitted letters on behalf of Athletic Trainers during the month of March.  And for those that read and found out more about the profession, thank you.  There is more than words out there…  Remember to thank your local Athletic Trainer for all that they do.

I think it is a good time for some video education via the NATSC Video Contest.  Some are serious in nature, but most are humorous; all the while educating the audience about Athletic Training.  Without further delay here are some of the best…

First a serious submission from Hope College;

Next a music video from Ohio University;

Up next is a video magazine submission from Boston University;

This one is from Franklin College, is that Ice Ice Baby?;

A very professionally done submission from Michigan University;

And finally my All-Time favorite “Smooth Professional” from James Madison from last year;

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2011 NATM Tribute Letter: Paul LaDuke Jr.

During the month of March we will continually highlight the work of an athletic trainer.  This series will incorporate open letters about the men and women of the profession from other professionals, the aim is to have at least one a week.  If there are others out there; parents, coaches, teachers, doctors, lawyers, athletes or anyone that would like to form a letter please do so and send it to theconcussionblog@comcast.net.

I have saved this letter for publishing toward the end of the month, because we should be thinking about what an athletic trainer does every month, and every day if you are lucky enough to have one around.  Paul LaDuke Jr. is a full-time athletic trainer for a public high school in Pennsylvania and has “uber” years devoted to athletic training.  Not only does he provide daily coverage, he has recently created a blog entitled “Promote The Profession” devoted to Athletic Training.  Paul has been a wonderful resource and “reality check” for me during my process.  It is an honor that he took time to write this letter;

What is it like to be an Athletic Trainer? Continue reading

2011 NATM Tribute Letter: Broken Brain

During the month of March we will continually highlight the work of an athletic trainer.  This series will incorporate open letters about the men and women of the profession from other professionals, the aim is to have at least one a week.  If there are others out there; parents, coaches, teachers, doctors, lawyers, athletes or anyone that would like to form a letter please do so and send it to theconcussionblog@comcast.net.

Granted our last letter was from an anonymous source and this one is as well, the anonymity is a bit less with our next letter.  This profound letter comes from a blogger (really a very good writer), his site is Broken Brain — Brilliant Mind; Using the infinite mind to overcome the limits of the brain…  Including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Survival Strategy and Tactics.  If you have taken the time to follow his stylings you will find out that this self-taught individual has the proper perspective on all things related to head injuries.  I appreciate his time in contributing to National Athletic Training Month with a kind letter;

National Athletic Training Month and Brain Injury Awareness Month – it seems like a perfect combination to me. In these times when concussion in sports is gaining a higher profile, and there is so much confusion about it (what exactly is it, and what exactly do you do about it?), Athletic Trainers’ time has come. Who else is this well-positioned to not only learn about the issues surrounding concussion, but also to actually put that knowledge into practice on a regular practical basis? I say this not only as someone who has lived more than 4 decades with the after-effects of multiple concussions/mild traumatic brain injuries (a number of them sports-related), but also as someone who was once seriously considering becoming a personal trainer, because the connection between brain and body is so obvious and important, and physical fitness has been shown to be a great way to both rehabilitate an injured brain as well as protect against future injuries.

I’ve since moved in a different direction, believing that I can probably do more good with awareness raising online, than in starting a new career from scratch. (It would probably also help if I didn’t have some serious TBI-related problems Continue reading

2011 NATM Tribute Letter: Anonmyous

During the month of March we will continually highlight the work of an athletic trainer.  This series will incorporate open letters about the men and women of the profession from other professionals, the aim is to have at least one a week.  If there are others out there; parents, coaches, teachers, doctors, lawyers, athletes or anyone that would like to form a letter please do so and send it to theconcussionblog@comcast.net.

The blog has provided me with the pleasure of communicating with some very ‘stout’ individuals in the concussion and head trauma research area.  Mainly the correspondence is one-way (me asking for time and questions) with the cordial “you are doing great work” and other insightful “things.”  For the protection of research and institutions a lot of the information is mainly off the record and I will never do anything to shatter the trust.  That is why I was honored and taken aback when I received this letter about athletic trainers and the field of concussions, he wants to remain anonymous and would like everyone to know that he is a “concussion researcher”.

I hope that athletic trainers are honored by this and the other readers take a second and really read his words, they mean A LOT.

March is National Athletic Trainers’ month.  This is a good time to thank those that make our participation in sports and athletics safe, or to take some time to learn a little about what these people do.  While Athletic Trainers are jokingly referred to as ‘water boys’ or ‘ankle tapers’ their job entails much much more.  It spans from conducting injury prevention protocols (think about training techniques to prevent ankle sprains), injury evaluation and immediate return to play decision making (think sideline concussion diagnosis), and injury rehabilitation (think about the 6 months of post-ACL rehabilitation that doesn’t stop after 8 visits when your insurance runs out).  Being on the front lines of injury evaluation, Athletic Trainers must be well versed in a number of athletic injuries and none is more important than concussions.

Athletic Trainers are the best in the world at concussion identification, Continue reading

Winter Wednesdays– In the Clinic

The football season is officially over, however that does not mean the concussion risk is gone.  Yes, it will be reduced slightly, but awareness is continued and the importance of an athletic trainer is underscored more.  During the winter months we will spend time blogging about the life of an athletic trainer, what I do, and what we can do for schools.

Dustin has written some about his “days in the life” and with National Athletic Training Month upon us, I thought I’d share what my current job is like as well. 

Like Dustin, I am an athletic trainer working in a physical therapy clinic and providing outreach services to local high schools.  I have worked a large amount of hours in the fitness centers, but I also spend a good amount of time working in the physical therapy area as well.  This is in addition to being at the high school one day week plus varsity games.  Now that spring season has begun (yesterday here in Illinois) things will begin to pick up; running between baseball, softball, girls’ soccer, and the occasional track practice.  But I have more recently added additional responsibilities in the physical therapy clinic.

As many surely know, athletic trainers are not “billable” providers in the physical therapy setting, but in our Continue reading

NATM 2011 Tribute Letter: Will Carroll

During the month of March we will continually highlight the work of an athletic trainer.  This series will incorporate open letters about the men and women of the profession from other professionals, the aim is to have at least one a week.  If there are others out there; parents, coaches, teachers, doctors, lawyers, athletes or anyone that would like to form a letter please do so and send it to theconcussionblog@comcast.net.

Will Carroll is a national sports writer, mainly focusing on fantasy sports and injuries.  I have had the luxury of bouncing ideas off of him during this process.  When I asked if he wanted to contribute to the blog for National Athletic Training Month he did not hesitate;

The greatest honor I’ve had over the ten years I’ve been covering sports injuries is being able to tell the story of Athletic Trainers. When you consider the work, the hours, the responsibility that teams are putting on the shoulders of these men (and women!) it’s amazing that they don’t get their own trading card. Sadly, most fans don’t even know the names, let alone the faces, but I know they can see their work out their on the field. When a player comes back from surgery, does he think of the hours of rehab that the medical staff put in on him? When a guy holds up a trophy and you see the scar on his elbow, does he think of the doctor? When the team holds up the championship, do we see the players that wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for the tape, the brace, the massage, the treatments, and the sweat of the Trainers? I’ve had the honor of telling that story and I’ll keep telling it as long as they let me.

Because it needs to be told.

Thank you Will for the kind words and I and we look forward to working with you in the future.

National Athletic Training Month

Welcome to National Athletic Training Month.  Each year during the month of March, our profession takes the time to reinforce our stance and spread the message to promote the athletic training profession.  Many of you here have probably heard of an athletic trainer, and hopefully you know what an athletic trainer can do.  For those who don’t know, hopefully you can learn something over the next month and recognize the importance of the athletic trainer to athletes and to active workers.  The Concussion Blog originated as an idea of Dustin Fink, an athletic trainer in Central Illinois.  The blog has spread to include a few more authors including myself, an athletic trainer in Southern Illinois.  Over the course of the next month, we intend to highlight athletic training in addition to continuing to educate on concussions.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association selects a theme each year.  For 2011, the theme of National Athletic Training Month is “Not All Athletes Wear Jerseys.”  The most common location that one will find an athletic trainer is working for a sports team whether at the high school, college, or professional level.  This is referred to as the “traditional” setting, but athletic trainers have gone on to thrive in other settings as well.  Athletic trainers have found success in the public safety sector and military setting as well as in other medical offices.  The education and training we receive has led to being able to branch out into these other fields.

Tune in throughout the month as we highlight the athletic training profession.

Every athlete deserves an athletic trainer.

Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is a very busy month in sports; NFL Labor issues, MLB Spring Training, NHL and NBA Playoff pushes, National Athletic Training Month, and Brain Injury Awareness Month.  It is important to use the 31 days in the month to explore and spend time on all of the above, as each one will impact ALMOST every single one of us reading this.

The focus of this post is the Brain Injury Awareness, this also includes concussions, which is encompassing of every walk of life.  The John C. Lincoln Health Network is sponsoring a “Social Media Contest” to promote the month.

Each day during the week of March 7, go to facebook.com/JCLHN, read the question of the day and post your answer on John C. Lincoln’s wall. The questions are themed around brain injury prevention and appeal to several audiences.

“We see too many brain injuries come through our trauma center that could have been prevented,” said Lori Moxon, RN, BSN, injury prevention outreach coordinator of Trauma Services. “Brain injuries can be easily prevented if we take simple precautions in our everyday lives. Things such as wearing a helmet on a motorcycle or a bicycle, keeping age appropriate children in car seats and staying off your cell phone while driving are just a few examples.”

Although this Health Network is focusing on the routine of bike riding and driving in a car the point is simple; Continue reading