Posts Tagged ‘athletics’

In-Depth Look: Assistant Athletic Trainer for The Original Harlem Globetrotters

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Posted December 19, 2016

Austin Burns, ATC is the Assistant Athletic Trainer for The Original Harlem Globetrotters. The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athletics, performing arts and comedy.

Describe your setting:

I work in a setting with a mixture of professional sports and performing arts.

How long have you worked in this setting?

I have worked in this setting for a little over a year and will be beginning my second tour this holiday season.

Describe your typical day:

Depending on the city we are playing in and how far we have to travel to the next city, my day will typically begin around 6:00am. We are usually on the bus by 8:00am and then off to the next location. After traveling for roughly 4 to5 hours, we check into our hotel and grab a quick lunch.

Afterwards, I head to the arena to meet up with our production and equipment truck. I’ll start by meeting with the arenas facility manager to locate the locker rooms and familiarize myself with the layout of the building. I’ll then help the truck driver unload all of my equipment and supplies; this is usually in a hallway somewhere.

The players, coaches and remaining staff arrive to the arena around 4:00pm and hold a walk through practice. At 5:00pm, I begin all of the pregame routines including stretching, taping, prehab exercise, and various other treatments depending on the needs of the athletes. At 6:45pm, the pregame entertainment begins so I’ll end all treatments and get changed for the show. The show starts at 7:00pm and runs for 2 hours.

During the show, my primary focus is no different than any other Athletic Trainer (AT). I manage acute injuries, perform wound care, make sure the athletes are hydrated and stay alert for anything out of the ordinary. Following the end of the show, the athletes have an autograph session for 20 minutes. I use this time to make ice bags, pack my equipment, load the truck and perform any additional treatments.

By 10:00pm, we are back on the bus and on our way to the hotel. Once in my room, I enter in the medical notes for the day and try to get to bed by 12:00am so I can repeat it all the next day.

What do you like about your position?

What I like most about my position is how creative and adaptive I have to be when working on location. Not having a designated room to perform treatments and exercise can be very challenging. Most days, I find myself performing corrective exercise and prehab on the bus, manual and soft tissue therapies in the hotel room and ice baths in the hotel room tubs. This can be difficult when working with athletes who are all over 6 feet 5 inches tall and can’t fit in the seats, beds or tubs.

What I also love about my position is getting to see the joy people experience when coming to one of our shows. So many children and adults leave the game smiling and laughing. To know you helped make that happen is really rewarding.

What do you dislike about your position?

The hardest part about the position is being on the road for 5 to6 months at a time. Being away from friends and family can start to take a toll on you. Fortunately, you begin to develop a small family with the athletes and staff involved in the production, which helps with the home sicknesses.

 What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young AT looking at this setting?

The advice I would give to any young AT looking at this setting would be to go for it!

Don’t think because you have only worked in football, baseball or basketball your whole career that you can’t tackle performing arts or any other setting. I have become a more well-rounded AT because I chose to challenge myself by working in new and different settings.

I was very nervous when I started in this position but am grateful I made the decision to take on this role.




How important is nutrient timing?

Friday, March 14th, 2014

We have all heard how important it is to eat a meal after a workout, and that there is an ideal time frame post workout to replenish glycogen stores, but how important is that window?

According to this article from Precision Nutrition, nutrient timing is not that important.  That is not to say that eating after a workout is not important and that our athletes should not be doing it. It just means that they do not have to eat the minute they hit the locker room. They have time to go get a healthy meal and do not have to rely on bars, shakes or other portable items.

Following good nutrition principles throughout the day is more important than the meal consumed after a workout. We need to consistently educate our athletes on choosing healthy options that fit with their preferences, goals and tolerances. Establishing those habits is going to go further to help them achieve success than the shake or sandwich they eat after a lift or practice.

The majority of athletes are busy and do not think they have the time to plan out their meals in advance. Grabbing a shake is an easy option for them, but by thinking of quick, easy to make and eat meals, they can definitely make stronger strides in their recovery.

What strategies do you employ with helping your athletes make good food choices?

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Cheerleading Injuries and Athletic Trainers

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Cheerleading is an activity that continues to grow. Shields and Smith reported that participation grew from 3 million participants in 1990 to over 3.5 million in 2003. At the same time, injuries increased by 110%!

Cheerleading has grown from an activity that at one time was all about spirit and supporting other athletic teams to where it stands now in a competitive environment. Tumbling, stunting and cheering have all been wrapped into intense routines. This can be attributed to an increase in injuries as these females and males attempt techniques that require a lot of strength, flexibility and coordination.

It has also been reported that cheerleading accounts for approximately 65% of catastrophic injuries in female high school athletics. While the actual injury rate itself may be low in cheerleading, the amount of catastrophic injury is cause for concern. Additionally, the injury rate is increasing so it is important to take steps to prevent injuries as best as we can. Cheerleaders experience injuries of all types from minor scrapes and bruises to serious head and neck injuries. Sprains and strains are also very common in the activity.

It is a surprise to me that only 29 state associations consider cheerleading a sport. The NCAA also currently does not recognize it as a sport. There are many who believe that designating cheerleading as a sport will improve its safety. To me, I don’t believe the designation itself matters. But recognition that cheerleaders are athletes is where I insist we must improve.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released some recommendations in November 2012. Here is a brief run-down of those recommendations:

1. Cheerleading should be designated as a sport.

2. Cheerleaders should undergo a pre-participation exam.

3. Cheerleaders should be supervised by certified coaches.

4. Cheerleaders should be trained in the proper technique in stunts and in spotting.

5. Technical skills should not be performed on hard, wet or uneven surfaces.

6. Pyramid and partner stunts should be done on soft surfaces only.

7. Pyramids should be no more than two people high.

8. Coaches should follow rules for execution of technical skills.

9. Coaches, parents and athletes should have access to venue-specific emergency action plans (EAPs), and a Certified Athletic Trainer or physician should be present for all practices and competitions.

10. Cheer competitions should be held in venues compliant with the National Cheer Safety Foundation.

11. Any cheerleader displaying signs and symptoms of a concussion should be removed from activity until cleared by a physician.

12. Surveillance of cheerleading injuries must continue.

To read more about this statement, please go to the following link:

The research into cheerleading injuries remains rather limited, and I hope that will continue to improve. As Athletic Trainers, we must be advocates for all athletes.

Every Athlete Deserves an Athletic Trainer #AT4ALL

Shields BJ, Smith GA. Cheerleading-related injuries to children 5 to 18 years of age: United States, 1990-2002. Pediatrics. 2006; 117(1):122-129.

Jacobson BH, Redus B, Palmer T. An assessment of injuries in college cheerleading: Distribution, frequency, and associated factors. Br J Sports Med. 2005; 39:237-240.

Written By:
Michael Hopper, ATC


ATs Take Action for Back-to-School Sports

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Summer 2013 is drawing to an end, and it is back to school time. With young athletes returning to playing fields in time for preseason practice, now is the time to ensure parents, coaches, administrators and others are well educated on injury prevention to ensure safe and successful seasons. With nearly 7 million high school students participating in sports today, there are a reported 715,000 high school sports-related injuries experienced each year, and 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms each day for sports-related injuries, according to the National Council of Youth Sports.

Educating parents and school personnel about ways to help children avoid common sports-related injuries is a top priority. And, nothing is more frustrating to the athlete, his or her team and family, than for an avoidable injury to occur and sideline him or her from play.

How can you prepare as a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer (AT)? ATs often serve in a risk management role through annual emergency action plan reviews and protocol and procedure communication with staff and local emergency medical personnel.

Preseason is a great time for ATs to meet parents of the student-athletes through parent associations or club meetings and to build a positive relationship. Keeping open communication regarding injury prevention and health of the student is crucial.

The beginning of a new school year is also a good time to review the BOC Facilities Principles. This document will provide the means for secondary and post-secondary educational institutions and organizations to self-assess their policies, procedures and facilities to ensure the safe, effective and legal provision of athletic healthcare services.

Don’t forget to review the BOC Standards of Professional Practice and to renew your Athletic Trainers’ Professional Liability Insurance (also called Malpractice Insurance) as required under the Code of Professional Responsibility. This can help protect your assets and keep your career in health care successful.

State regulation for ATs is now required in 48 states.  ATs working in these locations must operate under a current registration, certification or license depending on their state practice act.  Be Certain.™ to hold a current state regulation certificate and follow state laws.

Written By:
Brittney Ryba