There are athletes who are scared of going to the trainers. There are athletes whose lives revolve around going to the trainer. There are athletes who do not even know how to make an appointment with their trainer, and every other type of athlete in between.
Athletic trainers prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate injuries and illnesses for thousands of athletes every year. They are probably your most valuable asset on campus, so if you’re in the “athletes who do not even know how to make an appointment with their trainer” category, it’s time to figure it out!
From personal experience, my college coach has always told my team that we need to go to the trainers as soon as we start to feel any pain. They are happy to work with you and will most likely have exercises and therapy workouts for you. Even if you’re not injured yet, they have the tools to help prevent a minor ache from progressing into an injury. The point is to be proactive instead of reactive. What you don’t want is to ignore the pain because you want to play, and then have the injury progress and turn into a forced break.
You can even see them regularly if you’re not in pain. You can go to the trainer for ice baths, compression treatment, or help rolling or stretching out. They can even give you strength or flexibility exercises to target your weaknesses. You don’t have to be in pain to see your trainer, and seeing them early will help strengthen your game and prevent any injuries.
So, it’s never too early to see your athletic trainer. Even if you aren’t in pain, you can go to them to talk about your sport, school, or ways they think you can improve overall flexibility and stability to prevent injury. Build that relationship with them early, so you’re comfortable with them when you do end up needing treatment.
Long story short, your athletic trainers are your friends and they are there for a reason. There is no stupid question, and if you take the time to get to know them, they will greatly impact the rest of your time as a college athlete.
* Originally published on October 25, 2021, by Christie Ackendorf