Athletic Training Room hours: Monday through Friday, 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Hours will vary depending on weekly home game schedules. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Athletic Trainer’s Blog:
Baseline Concussion Testing
As the Winter sports season is under way, I will be completing baseline concussion testing. Many athletes have already completed their tests. If you already completed testing from a fall sport you do not need to take the test again. I will be utilizing two types of tests: the Standardized Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT3) and the ImPACT test. The SCAT3 is a paper test including a symptom checklist, memory tests, and balance tests. It takes about 5 minute to complete, and will be utilized as a sideline assessment tool. ImPACT is a neuropsychological test completed on the computer (not Brainbook!) including a symptom checklist, verbal and visual memory, processing speed, and reaction time. This test, taking about 45 minutes on average to complete, is a very thorough tool that is utilized to monitor concussion recovery and help to determine if an athlete is ready to return to play following a concussion. Following a concussion, if it is determined that an athlete needs to visit a neurologist, the test can be completed at school with me, saving both time and money at the doctor’s office. It is one of the most widely-used concussion evaluation tools among athletic trainers and neurologists.
This season, high school basketball, soccer, and wrestling athletes are required to complete both the SCAT3 and the ImPACT tests. Middle school baseball, soccer, softball, and wrestling athletes are required to complete only the SCAT3. If you are a parent of a middle school athlete and would like him or her to complete the ImPACT test as well, please contact me and they certainly are able to.
I have spoken with most of the teams already about completing their tests, and will continue to speak with them throughout the next week. Please remind your athlete to see me to pick a time to complete their testing. For middle school sports, the non-practice days will likely work best. For some sports it may be that the only time available to complete testing is following practice. I thank you in advance if your athlete is able to stay after school or practice one day to do so.
If you have any questions about either test, feel free to contact me. I have also provided the ImPACT website, which explains the test more thoroughly. https://www.impacttest.com/about/
The Athlete’s Mindset and Word Choices
I came across a few recent posts and thought I’d share them with you for some inspiration as we approach the end of the fall season and enter the winter season. Much of being a great athlete comes from having the correct mindset and being able to overcome everything that is thrown at you. The first link is to an article about having a a positive attitude and work ethic. The second link is to an inspirational video that hits at if you set bigger goals you are going to have minor set backs, or “fails.” But these “fails” are what’s going to push you to become a better athlete.
Coming from an athletic background myself, I know how difficult it is to balance school work with the demands of athletics, especially for multi-sport athletes. No matter your level in school, this will likely always be a challenge. If you establish good study habits now, the transition to the next level of school will be a lot easier, whether you are in middle school going into high school, or in high school getting ready to go off to college. It is up to you, the student-athlete, to figure out what type of study schedule works best – and this may vary with each sport season. If you seem to do better in morning classes or wake up early, perhaps set aside time before school to study. If you seem to do better in afternoon classes, try to focus after school, if time permits, before practice to get in some studying or finish an assignment. Sometimes it is necessary to map out schedules on a weekly basis to work studying in around athletics and other extra-curricular activities. If you find yourself struggling to get studying and assignments finished, try writing down your daily schedule, and utilizing the extra 30 minutes here and there. I know it’s easy to spend this free time socializing with friends, but you will likely be less stressed out if you utilize your time more wisely. Another suggestion is to make to-do lists of assignments. You can make one for an entire week, or break them down in to daily, or even study-session lists. It’s rewarding to cross something off the list and feel a sense of accomplishment when it’s finished.
Always communicate with your teachers regarding assignments, and with your coaches if you feel you need extra study time. I’m sure most coaches (and parents) would agree that missing one practice to catch up on studying is more beneficial than missing games or entire weeks due to poor grades. Keep in mind that you are a student-athlete.. the STUDENT comes first!
I imagine many parents of student-athletes are concerned with proper eating habits, especially when they may be dropping off their kids at 7:00am and don’t see them until 7:00pm after practice – or later as with some sports. Ensure your athlete is eating a balanced breakfast. Think grains, plus dairy, plus fruit. For example: cereal, yogurt, and a piece of fruit, OR an omelet, bran muffin, and fruit with yogurt. Lunch is also important, and can be as simple as a sandwich with lean meats, and side of veggies or fruit. Your athlete should also be eating a small meal shortly before practice. If your child has only a half hour before practice, this can be a piece of fruit or granola bar. If there are a few hours before practice, a meal can be more substantial such as a sandwich or leftover dinner from last night. It is okay for the largest meal of the day to be a late dinner; athletes are typically very hungry after practice. Ensure this meal is balanced with carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
The following article does a very good job of outlining the importance of different nutrients and food groups for young athletes. Please take a few minutes to look over it.