Archive for October, 2012

Who are you gonna call - Athletic Trainers

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Happy Halloween! Enjoy the following song sung to the tune of Ghostbusters theme song by Ray Parker Jr. in honor of the holiday and of Athletic Trainers.

Who are you gonna call - Athletic Trainers

If there's somethin' strange inside your head
Who ya gonna call? Athletic Trainers
If your feeling pain and it doesn’t look good
Who ya gonna call? Athletic Trainers

I ain't afraid of prevention
I ain't afraid of emergencies
If you're seein' things runnin' thru your head
Who can you call? Athletic Trainers
A weak athlete fallin' on your court
Oh who ya gonna call? Athletic Trainers
I ain't afraid of treatment
I ain't afraid of rehab
Who ya gonna call? Athletic Trainers
If you're all alone, pick up the phone
And call - Athletic Trainers

I ain't afraid of prevention
I hear it is a healthcare profession
I ain't afraid of emergencies
Who you gonna call (Athletic Trainers)
Mm…if you've had a dose
Of an illness, athlete
You better call an Athletic Trainer
Wellness makes me feel good
I ain't afraid of no evaluation

Don't try to fix it alone oh no… Athletic Trainers
When they come through to help
Even if you think it’s minor
I think you better call an Athletic Trainer
Ooh... who you gonna call (Athletic Trainers)
Who you gonna call (Athletic Trainers)
Ah, I think you better call (Athletic Trainers)

I can't hear you… Athletic Trainers
Who you gonna call (Athletic Trainers)
Louder Athletic Trainers
Who you gonna call (Athletic Trainers)

Who can you call? Athletic Trainers …(till fade)

Written By: Brittney Ryba

Isn’t Prevention One of Our Domains?

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Football season is in full swing.  Fall is my favorite season, mostly because of the cooler temperatures and the ample amounts of college and pro football games to watch every weekend.  There is also nothing better than Friday night lights in a small town.  The place is electric, the whole town comes out for the game, and the kids play their hearts out every single down.

This is Nebraska’s first year of having LB260 in effect and also a football rule change that calls for a player to come off the field if their helmet comes off during play.  Because I cover small town football, I can tell you having a player come out for a series can really impact a game.  In an effort to take a proactive approach I discussed mouthpiece usage and helmets being aired up adequately with our coaches.   They were on board.

Keeping a focus on airing up helmets frequently and encouraging the use of good mouthpieces, or at least replacing any chewed and flat boil and bite style mouthpieces, was something I had implemented at the high school I was working at full-time before my current position1.  I’m not oblivious to the fact that there isn’t a lot of research to support mouthpiece use as a prevention tool for concussion.  But, I can tell you anecdotally it made a difference.  I can also tell you anecdotally that ten years ago, kids weren’t able to slide their helmets on and off so easily like they do now. 

At the same time another Athletic Trainer, who had started doing this a year prior to me and gave me the idea that it was working for her, was doing the same thing and getting the same results.

It floors me that we hear so much about concussion identification and management, but hear almost nothing about prevention.  Prevention is what a good majority of our job entails and one of our key domains of practice.  Keeping kids hydrated during hot practices, taping ankles to prevent injury and skin checks to prevent the spread of skin diseases.  Every time I see a kid with a boil and bite mouthpiece that is chewed down flat, I wonder why prevention isn’t just as much front and center for concussions.

I’m hopeful the researchers out there will pick up on this and start to look at prevention as a piece of the puzzle.  Maybe my mouthpiece theory has forty holes in it, but until then does it hurt a kid to have a decent mouthpiece and his helmet aired up once a week?  Absolutely not!

1 – I always recommended BrainPad mouthpieces which can be found at

Written By: Danielle Kleber, ATC

Young Professional Brief

Friday, October 26th, 2012

These question(s) identify and address the interests, needs and concerns of young athletic training professionals. Young professional Mike Hopper, ATC, has teamed up with the experience of Danielle Kleber, ATC, to highlight some of the issues young professionals find themselves dealing with early in their careers.

What advice do you have for that first-time professional to establish his/her position as an Athletic Trainer? It has been shared that individuals (especially females) struggle because they are mistaken for one of the students in a high school setting.

This may sound like too simple of an answer, but my best advice for someone to establish themselves as a professional, especially in a high school setting, is to simply not act like a student. 

If the way you present yourself is similar to how high school kids act, chances are older colleagues are going to be less likely to respect you and the professional knowledge you bring to the table. 

Frequently, I see new grads striving more to be friends with the student-athletes and less to be like their colleagues.  Student-athletes have plenty of friends, both in real life and virtually.  I promise they will be okay without one more on that list.  I also see new grads on their cell phones constantly.  My athletic director once mentioned he didn’t want to bother my assistant because she was always on her cell phone.  Use your cell phone in a productive and reasonable manner, but you do not have to be glued to it every second of the day.

Another pitfall I’ve seen is not keeping discussions in the athletic training room appropriate.  There is no need to allow kids to talk about drinking, sex, or other inappropriate topics.  And, you definitely should not be the person discussing what you did on Saturday night.

My final suggestion would be to consider calling those you work with by their first names because you are now a colleague with the teachers and administrators in your school.  It implies you are on the same level and not on the level of a student who is expected to address them formally as Mr. Smith or Mr. Johnson.  Believe me – this feels weird at first!

One last suggestion - don’t be the elusive “kid” that only hangs out in the athletic training room.  Meet your coaches and attend group functions so people can get to know you and interact with you as a co-worker.


Michael Hopper, ATC, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Management: Athletic Training Concentration from Southeast Missouri State University in 2010. He is a current graduate student through the University of South Florida working towards a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Athletic Training. Hopper has worked with athletes of all ages from youth sports all the way up to professional baseball and currently works for Monroe Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Waterloo, IL.





Danielle Kleber, ATC, attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Leisure Management with emphasis in Athletic Training and went on to complete her master’s coursework at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in Fitness and Wellness Promotion.  Her professional experience includes collegiate and high school experience and she has worked with athletes at all levels of competition. Currently she works at the Director of Operations at Athletes’ Training Center, a sports performance and physical therapy facility in Omaha, NE. 



Cramping in Cooler Weather?

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

We’ve had a consistently hot summer in Nebraska with temperatures well over 100 degrees on most days.  There was lots of talk about whether two-a-days was going to be safe.  According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) position statement on heat illness, “Exertional Heatstroke (EHS) is the leading cause of preventable death in high school athletics.”  My personal thoughts were that athletes were probably better acclimated than usual and it would be a non-issue as long as we stayed diligent.  For the most part, that rang true.  Even though heat illness received more attention than normal in the media, thankfully there were few issues in our state.

Yet, a few Fridays ago at the first cool, fall evening game I had more student-athletes cramp than usual.  What in the world!?

I think when temperatures cool down we tend to forget to continue encouraging student-athletes to stay hydrated.  Because the weather is not as hot, they naturally tend to be less thirsty.  School has started and most teenagers don’t plan ahead for fluids throughout the day.  Combine that with practices that have settled into routines and are a smidge less demanding and the result of the equation equals kids who are just not as focused on hydration as they are during the hot time of year.

Thankfully it’s now easier than ever to carry things in my kit that can aid in treating a cramped athlete.  The old days of having Gatorade powder all of over my kit from a film case that came open have been replaced by the single serve G2 packets and Clif Shot Bloks I keep instead, but continuing to encourage student athletes to stay focused on hydration seems to be a much better plan of attack!

Written By: Danielle Kleber, ATC

An In Depth Look with an Athletic Trainer with the Chicago Cubs

Friday, October 19th, 2012

An In Depth Look with… Chuck Baughman, MS, LAT, ATC

Describe your setting:
With the Chicago Cubs Organization, I design and implement rehabilitation programs for all players and staff who have suffered an injury that affects their on-field availability. I work out of the spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona and work 12 months out of the year.

How long have you worked in this setting?
I began the rehabilitation setting in the off-season of 2005.

Describe your typical day:
Depending on the time of year, I typically begin my day a couple of hours prior to the players arriving. The first part of my day is responding to e-mails and phone messages that I received from the following evening. I look over the rehab plans for the day and make any corrections that need to be made. Athletic training facility prep includes making ice towels (bags), rolling ace wraps and prepping the hot and cold whirlpools for use. After the athletic training facility is prepped, I meet with the Strength and Conditioning Coach to go over the day’s schedule and any other changes that were made to a rehab plan.

Once the players arrive for treatment, all hands are on deck. Players will begin with some type of active warm-up prior to treatments. If players are completing a throwing program that day, I observe or participate in the program as needed. I work alongside a pitching coach that specializes and works with the players on rehab to ensure proper throwing mechanics are being used. At some points of a throwing program we will utilize video to go over mechanics.

After throwing or conditioning programs, I work with the athletes on mechanics and corrective exercises in their rehab programs. Following the programs each player obtains post-treatment.

What do you like about your position?
My position allows me to work with many types of personalities. Some people just always keep you on your toes. We (patients and staff) have a lot of fun during the day and it breaks up the monotony that rehab sometimes gets. Satisfaction comes from taking an athlete pre-surgery all the way to the major leagues.

What do you dislike about your position?
This position often requires a lot of hours and time away from home and family. Your family needs to be understanding and accepting of your position. During the baseball season, it is not uncommon to work seven days a week for 10+ hours a day.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?
I became a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer (AT) through the internship route. I spent a lot of hours in the athletic training facility and conversing with my mentor, Jeff Etherington. I also spent a lot of time working with other ATs and orthopedic surgeons. My advice to younger ATs is not to be afraid to put in more than is required. Eventually, your extra work and dedication will become noticed and rewarded, both professionally and mentally.

Hydration and Nutritional Considerations in Cold Weather

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The leaves are changing colors and the temps are beginning to drop. In fluctuating temperatures, staying hydrated is still important. Water is an essential component for all processes the body completes each day. The human body is made up of 70% water; most of the water is found in and around tissues like skin and within the tiny individual cells that make up our body parts like organs. Dehydration can occur when we don’t take in enough water to compensate for the water lost during routine processes or exercise.  

Awareness, recognition and education are the ways to help prevent dehydration during cold weather training. The goal is to replace 100% of sweat and electrolytes lost during exercise outdoors. Read more about dehydration and performance and cold weather nutrition and hydration from Jeffrey A. Kline, ATC, NASM-PES.

During warmer weather we are very aware of water loss because of the sweating mechanism our body uses to keep cool, but it is harder to recognize when there is cold weather. Shifting temperatures and not having enough water can cause cramping and increases injuries. Read more about hydration and cramping at

Drinking water or sports drinks before, during and after sports is especially important for children and pre-teens because they have special fluid needs compared to adults, or even teenagers. As a parent or coach, make sure you take precautions to prevent heat illnesses in children and that they follow recommended sports hydration guidelines. Review the Youth Sports Hydration Guidelines reviewed by Susan Yeargin, PhD, ATC on

Written By: Brittney Ryba

An In Depth Look with an Athletic Trainer in Major League Soccer

Friday, October 5th, 2012

An In Depth Look with… Theron Enns, MA, LAT, ATC

Describe your setting: I am the Head Athletic Trainer for the Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer (MLS). 

How long have you worked in this setting? I have been an Athletic Trainer in MLS for 14 seasons. Nine with the Colorado Rapids and now five with the Dynamo.

Describe your typical day: We get to the facility around 7:30am and start setting up, players arrive around 8:00am to begin treatments/rehabilitations. We treat and tape until 9:30 when I talk to the coach about our daily injury report. Then training begins and is usually 1 ½ -2 hours long, we work with the injured players on the side or in the gym during that time as well as responding to any injuries on the field. After practice we have another treatment session for about another hour. After a quick lunch my “desk” job starts. Returning e-mails, talking to medical providers, scheduling appointments, handling worker’s compensation issues and entering information into the players’ electronic medical records takes most of the afternoon. I try to be done between 4:00 and 5:00pm during the week. The “off” day is usually only a half day of work for us with the injured players.

Game days start around 4:00pm with treatments for the injured players and workouts for the guys not on the game day 18 man roster. The starters get to the stadium around 6:00pm with most games starting around 7:30pm. We do all the standard taping/treating to get them ready for the game. Hopefully we’ve done our work all week and we can just watch the game. Post game, we take care of any injuries that may have occurred in the game and we’re usually wrapped up by 10:30 or 11:00pm. 

What do you like about your position? I like being a part of a team and helping athletes get back from injuries and succeed on the pitch. Probably the same reason most people went into athletic training.

What do you dislike about your position? The paperwork only seems to get more extensive every year. Also the schedule can be relentless at times. Our schedule has had us play four games in 2 weeks in four countries!

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?  You really need to enjoy working hard; this is a 6-7 day a week, 10-month-a-year type of setting. Days off are few. The “glamorous” side of working in pro sports fades quickly and then you have to like doing the work necessary to support the team.


National Customer Service Week

Monday, October 1st, 2012

BOC staff takes pride in providing a high level of customer service to stakeholders. Customer service is highly regarded as the BOC establishes and regularly reviews both the standards for the practice of athletic training and the continuing education requirements for BOC Certified ATs.

Have you heard? The BOC is calling 100% of athletic trainers (excluding new ATs certified in 2012 and 2013) to educate them about the recent recertification changes.  Between March 2012 and October 2013, four BOC staff members will work to call 38,000+ ATs to update them on the status of their recertification progress and review the changes the BOC made last year.  Information includes the current reporting period and required number of CEUs, instruction in using CE203 and AT203 Continuing Education Forms in BOC Central and 2012 and 2013 Recertification Fee payment updates.  An email then follows up the call with information to be referenced if necessary.

This is just one way that BOC Works 4 U!  National Customer Service Week is October 1 - 5, 2012.  How do you provide great service to your students and patients everyday?

Written By: Jessica O’Neel, MS Ed, ATC