Paris Johnson, varsity women’s baseball, soaks her foot in the whirlpool at the athletic training facility (Photo by Ryan Canfield)
Story by Ryan Canfield
The unsung heroes of any athletic sports are the invaluable athletic trainers. No matter what the season is, they work hard around the clock to ensure the athletes are healthy and ready to play. Even during an off season, these men and women are doing what they can to make sure, they are prepared for whatever the coaches throw at them.
Lyndi Fuemmeler, certified athletic trainer and instructor, has been a trainer for five years, three of those being at Valley. Fuemmeler said, about the important things the athletic staff does, “Being available and the communication, like here we teach and we do it. When we are teaching, we make sure they know we are in class. If that’s the only time they can come in, we will already have stuff written down and other people to work with them, that way they feel like you care about them.”
She also added the importance of making sure the students don’t feel pushed off. In a situation where a student is assisting them, they do what they can to check in on them. The staff wants the athletes to feel important, wants them to continue to come back, and get better.
Fuemmeler doesn’t just believe that rehab is solely physical. She said, “The psychological aspect is huge! This is especially true after a season ending injury that takes months of rehab. There tends to be an anxiety associated with return to play. Often they will be timid and scared. The most important thing is to work with the athlete and have them do a lot of sport specific activities so they don’t play ‘scared.’ When an athlete plays scared they risk injury to themselves and other players as well.”
Kyrie Young, Athletic Training major and senior at MVC, added, “We spend all of our time with them. We are there for preseason, after season, everything, before practice, after practices, before games. We are the first ones out on the field, when things happen, or out on the court. We are always here. We know them really well.”
Freshman football player Brad Wolf was being assisted for a pulled hamstring. His injury, having come about on Monday, was managed with immediate action by the training staff. He said, “Most of the time I feel like I’m one of the only few in there. But, even on the busy days like today, there is still plenty of time to get one on one time.”
For the trainers at Valley, the most important thing they try and do is to help all athletes feel needed, supported, and important. They work hard to get the athletes close to the level they were before the injury.