Sep 28, 2022Athletic Trainer Using VR Technology To Help Student-Athletes Rehab
Being an athletic trainer in 2022 and beyond means doing more than just taping ankles and packing ice bags.
One athletic trainer is taking that idea to the next level by incorporating virtual reality (VR) technology into his high school student-athletes’ rehab process.
A recent story from Spectrum Local News San Antonio highlighted how this MacArthur High School is using technology to help student-athletes rehab from injuries.
Below is an excerpt from the Spectrum Local News San Antonio story.
“Start you on the ground first. See how you can Rocky Balboa it,” Coach Chad Sutherland said.
Sutherland, the head athletic trainer, is implementing some new technology to help student-athletes.
“I was confused about how it would work because I had never done it before,” Bailey Fitzsimon, a junior soccer player at MacArthur, said.
Coach Sutherland has been an athletic trainer for more than 20 years.
“It’s changed so much,” the MacArthur High School head athletic trainer said. “Before we were here to kind of just tape and brace and do some basic rehab stuff.”
But this is the first year he’s using VR games during rehab, putting Bailey through a fierce boxing match.
“My shoulders and back are sore,” Fitzsimon said.
“It kind of uses those muscles that you don’t realize you use in sports every day,” Sutherland said.
Sutherland says he’s had to remind students the new equipment isn’t a toy. The light pods focus on balance, reaction time and agility. Good for concussion recovery.
“Instead of just running ladders or running to a cone,” Sutherland said, “it’s a little different. They see the light, and they have to react to it.”
Typically injured athletes aren’t happy about being sidelined. But Sutherland says the new tech in the training room has students looking forward to rehab.
“You want to be playing,” Fitzsimon said. “And you want to be doing the stuff everyone else is, but it makes it more fun and more engaging.”
These trainers’ goal is to get student-athletes back in the game and get them healthy enough to play.
To read the full story from Spectrum Local News San Antonio about athletic trainers incorporating VR technology, click here.