The summer months and pre-season are regarded as a dangerous time of the year as student athletes who have taken some time off tackle their training for the upcoming season, not to mention the threatening heat.
Athletic trainer Jason Luty takes us through a day in his life as an athletic trainer, sharing tips and advice for athletes on how to stay healthy. He details why athletic training has been important to him over the years and how his relationship with athletes allows them to be better at their sport.
Find out more about how you can stay healthy while training, especially during this crucial time in your athletic career.
Tell us a little about your career as an athletic trainer.
I have been an Athletic Trainer for the past 19 years, I have worked in most settings from clinics to hospitals and from universities to high schools. My main focus over my career has been rehabilitation and sports performance. When I’m not working with athletes in our clinic, I work with them in the gym to help develop and increase their athletic performance.
What made you get involved in athletic training?
I had not originally intended to work as an athletic trainer, I started my career as a cardiac rehab specialist (helping patients that have had major heart surgery or heart attacks recovery). But when I realized that I would be much more suited to work with athletes, I went back to school and became an Athletic Trainer.
When I was in high school I had an Athletic Trainer that was always there for us when we were injured, he helped rehab my injuries after surgery and when they were less severe. He must have left a profound mark on me since I believe he was part of the reason I made the switch to another profession.
What are some of the important safety tips you give to your athletes to prepare for the summer season?
I would highly recommend athletes set training schedules to help stay consistent with their working out, being consistent is a big part of success. My other recommendation is to work on increasing core and glute strength, along with making sure they maintain good flexibility in upper and lower body.
Do you see more or less injuries during the summer season compared to a fall or spring season?
We see the most injuries in pre-season from deconditioned athletes and then we see many injuries in the fall due to the types of sports that are played during that time.
What are some of the most common injuries you see?
We see a lot of ankle sprains and concussions as the more severe, the less severe injuries we see a lot of isbasic muscle tears (strains) due to over usage and poor flexibility.
How can you help your student athletes in the heat of the summer months?
We monitor our athletes very closely, especially football, if any of our athletes have heat related illness they are required to return using a heat protocol that monitors their hydration levels daily. We also consult with our team physician Dr. BJ Smithregularly on athletes that are having heat related issues.
How do you keep your student athletes focused on their sport when they’re on summer vacation from school?
This is up to the coaches we do not interact with athletes in this capacity. We do however monitor and provide rehabilitation services to our athletes over the summer when needed which will help them maintain goals and focus on returning to playing sports.
We hope that all athletes have fun and are safe when playing sports over the summer, and we hope leagues and schools provide more access to athletic trainers and team physicians through the summer months to athletes that become injured to make sure they are getting the care they need to return to the fields safely and healthy.