Safety in Football

August 27, 2018

Like several other states, the Nebraska State Athletic Trainers Association is holding a Safety in Football campaign in order to promote safety measures in football and help people understand athletic trainers' jobs.

According to The Columbus Telegram, the campaign lasted from Thursday, August 23 to Friday, August 31. During the campaign, pictures of athletic trainers doing their jobs have been posted on social media, and participating schools had their football players wear stickers on their helmets. Andrew Sheridan, an athletic trainer with Premier Physical Therapy assigned to Scotus Catholic High School, stressed the importance of the work athletic trainers do.

“We’re pretty fortunate here in Columbus that every high school has an athletic trainer,” Sheridan said. “Most schools in Lincoln or Omaha do as well, but a lot of the smaller schools around don’t have access to an athletic trainer due to funding at the school, a lack of a local hospital willing to help out or the location of these little towns especially out in Western Nebraska. The awareness is about showing schools how important it is to have an athletic trainer. Studies show trainers can decrease the risk of injury and improve the diagnosis of injury.”

Sheridan said that while many people witness athletic trainers helping injured athletes, that is only one part of their jobs. He said that not only do athletic trainers help prevent major injuries, but they help coaches set up strength and conditioning programs, and establish strengthening and recovery programs to ensure that athletes avoid suffering minor injuries.

“Concussions are popular,” Sheridan said. “It’s in the news and it’s what everyone wants to talk about. But what they don’t always see is what goes on every day – going in and making sure you have everything ready for practices in terms of hydration or any taping or bracing that goes on for minor injuries. People don’t see the behind the scenes work like how trainers take care of players with injuries ensuring those that can still play are properly protected.”

Sheridan described being an athletic trainer as a great career.

"It's very demanding, but it's also extremely rewarding to see those kids you've been working with get back on the field, participate and succeed," he said.

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