By: Christian Lynch
A crucial, and often misunderstood, component of Kingsway’s athletic program is the athletic training staff.
The job certainly is more than taping ankles and getting bags of ice. No, they are not physical education teachers. They definitely are not personal trainers!
Their overall purpose is to monitor the well-being of the student-athlete. An athletic trainer identifies, treats, and prevents musculoskeletal injuries (as opposed to a personal trainer who develops, monitors and changes an individual’s specific exercise program).
“Our purpose is to prevent, evaluate, and treat chronic and acute injuries and illnesses of students here at Kingsway,” said Rob Baerman, one of Kingsway’s athletic trainers.
Athletic trainers meet qualifications set by the Board of Certification, Inc. and adhere to the requirements of a state licensing board. They practice under the direction of a physician (in Kingsway’s case Dr. Robert Provencher).
It’s crucial to note that athletic trainers do not have it easy. They never know what injury will spring up next, or when they’ll occur. Some days are tougher than others.
“I think one of the toughest things for me is helping an athlete get through the initial disappointment of having a season ending or career ending injury,” said Chrissy Ludlam, the veteran of Kingsway’s athletic training team. “It’s never fun, but we can help motivate that person to get better for the next season or on to a different positive path. However, helping to return someone back to play after an injury, especially after a long period of down time, is very gratifing to me.”
“When there are multiple issues, you have to sort them out to what needs immediate care and what can wait a little while, all the while giving everyone the same care and treatment their injury needs,” said Baerman.
However, the trainers at Kingsway both love what they do.
“Rob and I work together well as a team, along with our school nurses (Rose Fredericks, Barbara Neal, and Caroll Craig) and our school physician,” said Ludlam. “Being surrounded with administrators and coaches that understand what we do is also very helpful. The best part overall, however, is being here to take care of our student-athletes.
Athletic Trainers do more than tape ankles. If anything, they are “the tape” that holds Kingsway’s storied athletic program intact.