The Connection Journey: The Difference Athletic Trainers Make

Part our program at Children’s,
with people like Dennis is to transition you
not just from PT but back to the field. And one of the great
things about being an athletic trainer is and that’s unique to
our position is we are typically there at the initial injury and
then all the way until that athlete is right back out on the
field playig again at 100 percent. So following a surgery,
it’s — there’s not a whole lot you can do with an athlete right
away. A lot of it is just making sure they’re feeling okay. There
are some minimal little exercises you can do with them,
but mainly you’re just checking up on them, making sure they’re
feeling okay and then also mentally, that they’re engaged
and you’re making sure that they see a big picture. This is going
to be a hard day for you today, but each day you’re going to get
better and you give them the big picture goals and get them
excited about the rehab to come. So the important part about our
athletic trainers at Children’s Hospital is that they not just
rehab you, but they have programs that aim to decrease
the risk that you’ll either tear the one that we’ve operated on,
or the one that we haven’t. Part of coming back all the way is
not just making sure that the knee you had surgery on is
functioning properly, but total body is functionally moving
properly and efficiently and the way it’s supposed to. And those
are the things that we check. Dennis–he’s our club athletic
trainer, and he’s at every single training, every single
game. There’s a huge psychological component to my
job. There’s people who will tell you that the athletic
trainer is the team pscyhologist, team relationship
expert, team everything because we’re the only ones who are just
around all the time. The effect that I can have just on one
person and their life, it may just be another ACL to me that
I’ve rehabbed, and been around for many, many times, but it
makes it really special when an athlete like Carolyn, you know,
you really connect with her and she really gets through the
rehab process and feels like you were a huge component of her
success in getting back on the field. It meant the world to me.
It made a big difference for me, actually, because I could come
to the field and you were always there, I could do my workouts or
whatever with you, and that helped a lot. And then you were
always there to give me good advice. And yeah, it was nice
just to have someone who knew what was going on and you could
talk to my doctor whenever I needed it. And I remember
whenever I would be sad or feel down about it, you were there to
pick me up and help me and always motivate me. I absolutely
love the personal relationships you get in athletic training. I
mean, I get to really build a bond with a lot of these
athletes that are life-long. I tell them when they all go on to
other things, I always tell my athletes that once I’m your
athletic trainer, I’m always your athletic trainer.

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