Oct 15, 2016Part of the Club
In many collegiate environments, athletic trainers and performance coaches work exclusively with varsity student-athletes. At California State University, Northridge, however, club sports participants also receive top-of-the-line sports medicine and strength training services.
CSUN’s Sport Clubs Athletic Training program is modeled after what is available in most NCAA Division I sports medicine departments. The program is staffed by two full-time athletic trainers and has a fully functioning athletic training clinic and weightroom.
“Our goal is to have the same capacity and same level of care and services available as a Division I NCAA program,” Wyatt Blue, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, PES, Head Athletic Trainer for Sport Clubs at CSUN, told The Sundial. “We’d been around several other universities and that high standard of care they provide [to NCAA athletes]. That’s not something sport club athletes typically get.
“A lot of our teams compete on similar levels as NCAA athletes, and that level of competition is what has driven us to need this high level of care and services,” Blue continued. “[The sport club participants] don’t care that they’re a sport club athlete. All they know is ‘I’m an athlete, and I’m competitive, and I want to be the best that I can be,’ and our goal is to help facilitate that and help them reach their potential.”
In terms of care, the club sport athletes learn preventive measures and receive rehabilitation when injuries arise. Additionally, the clinic offers chiropractic services through the Student Health Center, as well as orthopedic evaluations by a physician.
“We have a clinic during the semester every Thursday so the doctor can come in and examine our athletes with injuries — both ongoing, long-term issues, as well as anything new that happens during games over the weekend,” Blue said. “We also have designated time blocks on the Student Health Center schedule. We have multiple options for them.”
Beyond sports medicine, the Sport Clubs Athletic Training program provides athletes access to a weightroom, too. A key feature of the facility, the weightroom allows teams to work out at a high level of intensity. Teams can work out together, or individual athletes can train during open gym times.
“We do a lot of strength and conditioning training, corrective exercise, and movement pattern training,” said Blue. “For some of our higher-risk sports and for teams we see more regularly, we’ll schedule team training times during the week and shut down the gym for them.”
Overall, CSUN’s Sport Clubs Athletic Training program has been well-received. Student-athletes appreciate the high level of care they get.
“The program has been amazing,” said Aleks Trifonova, a member of the CSUN Ballroom Dance Club. “The [athletic] trainers are great and attentive and highly knowledgeable and passionate about athlete care and rehabilitation. The office staff are helpful and kind and always willing to help with a smile on their faces. The atmosphere is quiet and peaceful, and everyone in the program is highly focused on athlete diagnosis and recovery.”