Photo by Kaytlyn Kindschy
By Kaytlyn Kindschy
Injuries play a big part in the lives of college athletes. The injuries that athletes face differ depending on what sport they are playing and what actions their bodies are doing on a daily basis.
With multiple sports being represented in Concordia’s athletic department, athletes are faced with a wide variety of types of injuries throughout the different sporting seasons.
“I think for a lot of our guys on the basketball team, we deal with a lot of back injuries,” Basketball Manager sophomore Brandon Timoney said. “A lot of those rehab plans deal with stretching.”
Concordia has many trusted people to help with the rehabilitation of athletes and their recoveries.
“Each sport is going to be different,” Head Athletic Trainer Randy Baack said. “Athletes are getting some things that are specific to their sport.”
Baack has been treating athletes at Concordia as the head athletic trainer for almost 18 years, beginning in February of 2002. He currently works alongside his team of trainers, including Assistant Athletic Trainers Kyli Haines and Eric Lundberg.
Dealing with injuries can put a damper on an athlete’s season, so it is important to take care of those injuries so that they don’t get worse.
“If they don’t admit they have a problem, they can’t get help,” Baack said. “If they don’t come in, we can’t let the coaches know and we can’t start the healing process.”
The training team has multiple kinds of equipment and techniques that athletes can use to help them with the healing process. The training room uses stem-units to help athletes relieve pain and muscle aches. Water can be used to help athletes heal as well, with treatments such as ice baths and Game Ready machines that circulate cold water around an injury. Athletes can also use heat when healing from an injury with hot packs in the training room.
While the training room has a lot of equipment ready for athletes to use, rehabilitation work out plans are also provided by trainers and by Director of Strength Conditioning and Training Todd Berner.
“I hurt my elbow and it was a tendon injury,” softball outfielder junior Jordan Metzger said. “Berner showed me some exercises to strengthen that tendon, so he is big on strengthening so you don’t get hurt.”
Berner also works with athletes before any injuries occur to make sure that they are educated about how to prevent season ending injuries.
“When Berner is in the weight room with us during lifting, he corrects our form so that we don’t hurt ourselves,” cross-country runner junior Lydia Cook said. “When runners get hurt, we start using bikes and ellipticals to condition and get back into running.”
The training staff is always ready for short-term injuries, but student athletes sometimes are faced with long-term injuries as well.
“This is my second ACL repair in the same knee and since this is my second repair, it’ll take me a year before I can run again,” cross-country and track athlete senior Savannah Dietz said. “The rehabilitation process is nothing new to me and my physical therapists know what they’re doing so I trust them.”
Injuries that cause a major delay in an athlete’s season often are a bummer for both the athlete and the team. However, the steps that are taken to heal properly can help athletes learn a lot about the mechanics of their bodies and also themselves individually.
“I stay positive by being around positive people who constantly encourage me, such as my friends, coaches, teammates and my physical therapist,” Dietz said.