On the Same Side

February 3, 2017

 

By Maria Hutsick

Maria Hutsick, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, is Head Athletic Trainer at Medfield (Mass.) High School and former Director of Sports Medicine at Boston University. She is a past president of the College Athletic Trainers' Society and was honored with an NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award in 2010. She can be reached at: mhutsick@email.medfield.net.

 

When I first came to Medfield (Mass.) High School about 10 years ago, I was faced with the challenge of covering my school’s freshman and j.v. football games alone. Now, all athletic trainers in the area travel with their varsity football teams, but due to the lower levels playing in the middle of the week and conflicts with other teams, our league dictates that the home team’s athletic trainer cover both squads during freshman and j.v. contests.

This was a problem for me. Because football teams stand on opposite sidelines during games, I’d have to run back and forth across the field if I needed to treat an injury on the visiting team. I simply refused to do this.

To solve this problem, I met with my athletic director. I told him that we needed to make a league rule requiring both teams to stand on the same sideline during freshman and j.v. football games. After all, other sports like soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse already do this. He agreed, and we got the rule passed.

There are a lot of potential benefits to this rule change. For one, it allows the athletic trainer to have access to both teams and the teams to the athletic trainer. This means the athletic trainer can discuss any injuries with the coaches and update them on the status of an athlete. It also allows the athletic trainer to more easily communicate with parents in the stands because the teams stand on the same side as the parents sit. This makes the game safer and the athletic trainer more effective.

In addition, it is a learning situation for the athletes. Since they are all still pretty young, some are hesitant to tell the coach when they are injured. They are afraid of their coach’s response to injury because in football they are often told to “suck up” a lot of minor pain to play. When I’m on the sidelines with them, I can spot anyone trying to hide an injury and make sure they get the care they need.

At first, the football coaches were resistant to the rule change. However, once the other athletic trainers in the league got on board, they had no choice. This has become the rule in our league, and all freshman and j.v. football teams that come to our schools have to go off the field to the same sideline as the home team.

Since implementing this new rule, only one team refused to follow it. Their reasoning was that they had an EMT with them. This caused a problem because the football coach didn’t do anything to intervene. However, I discussed the issue with that school’s athletic director, and it did not happen again.

Overall, the new rule change has been great. Medfield and other schools in the league have done well with this rule, and it has improved the care we provide to our student-athletes.

 
 
SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

A Rebounder With Versatility

Medicine ball exercises are a staple of many workout routines. Whether the goal is performance enhancement by strengthening the core or helping an athlete rehab from an injury, medicine balls are versatile piece of equipment that can get the job done. But most strength coaches and athletic trainers don’t have enough time available to catch … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Author and Strength Coach Mike Mejia Praises VersaClimber

“Over the course of the past twenty years I’ve trained hundreds of clients that run the gamut from average Joe’s to professional athletes and in all that time, I’ve never come across a cardio piece that comes anywhere near the Versa Climber!” says Mike Mejia M.S., CSCS, author of The Men’s Heath Better Body Blueprint, … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Indoor Pool Surface Solution

Mateflex has indoor pool surfacing that is safer and more enjoyable to walk on than concrete. Mateflex offers perforated tiles to allow water to drain through that can cover up old, unsightly concrete or just spruce up a new area with a colorful design. The interlocking tiles dry quickly while keeping your feet out of … CLICK TO READ MORE...

The Evolution of the Lifting Platform

The days of the above ground weightlifting platform may be a thing of the past. More and more high schools, colleges, and professional strength and conditioning facilities who are either building a new facility or renovating an existing facility are going away from the traditional above ground lifting platform and choosing the inlaid platform, which … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Teaching Principles: Neck Rotation

Coach Bill ‘Jake’ Jacobs goes back to the basic teaching principles with Neck Rotation. View his demonstration.  CLICK TO READ MORE...

VIEW MORE ARTICLES