Dear Cyclone Fanatics –
This week we are going to learn about the "TEAM" that helps keep your ISU athletes healthy: the athletic trainers and team physicians. Teamwork is critical for the success of the players and coaches and it’s also very important for the certified athletic trainers and medical professionals. Everyone needs to know their role and do it well in order for the players to be active, healthy and fully able to participate in their sport.
Certified Athletic Trainers
ISU has a long-standing history of an excellent athletic training program. Frank Randall ran the program from 1970 to 1998, and he was a NATA Hall of Fame trainer. Mark Coberley took over the program in 1998 and is the ISU Associate Athletic Director for athletic training. His role is to oversee the athletic training program including 12 staff ATCs and 60 students. In 2011, Coberley was recognized by his peers as the National Athletic Trainer of the Year. Shannon Peel is the program’s Associate Director and head football athletic trainer and he is assisted by Assistant Director Nate Postma and graduate assistant Meaghan Hussey. These four individuals do the hard, behind-the-scenes work of keeping ISU football players on the field.
The athletic trainers roles are multifaceted. Their work includes:
● Working the sidelines of practices and games and responding to injured players on the field.
● Treating the players’ bumps and bruises and sprains, using a variety of modalities and techniques, trying to get them back as quickly as safely possible .
● Rehabilitating injured players who require surgical treatment, such as ACL or shoulder reconstruction.
● Interacting with the coaching staff and strength/conditioning staff about practice schedule and workload of the athletes.
● Traveling with the team and helping prepare the team for game day, including providing taping and protective equipment (pads and splints and braces, etc.).
From the opening of two-a-days to the end of the season, the athletic trainers are basically in the training room every day–even during off weeks. They treat athletes during early-morning sessions and late-evening sessions. They are the unsung heroes and work their tails off to make sure players are healthy.
Our ISU athletic trainers’ hard work is recognized and appreciated by the coaches and players alike, but also by their peers. This year ISU Athletic Training program earned the Big 12 Conference Athletic Training Staff of the Year Award. This is the second time in eight years they have won this award.
Physician Care of Athletes
Dr. Marc Shulman, a sports medicine fellowship-trained primary care physician, works very closely with the Athletic Training staff. He is employed by ISU and helps oversee all the athletes’ health care needs, with special expertise in treatment of concussions and medical concerns. He has been involved with ISU athletics for over 20 years. He has attended countless Cyclone athletic events taking care of thousands of ISU athletes over the years.
Drs Buck, Warme, and I are the orthopedic surgery consultants for the ISU athletic department. We also work on a daily basis with the training staff and Dr. Shulman. We help evaluate and treat their musculoskeletal injuries and provide surgical treatment as needed. Some surgery is done emergently (ankle fracture), some during the season (ACL Recon or knee scope), and some at the the end of the season.
We travel with the team and work the sidelines. We work with the ATCs and Dr. Shulman in evaluating players as they come off the field. All three of us are Board Certified and Fellowship trained in Orthopedic Sports Medicine, and have many years of experience taking care of athletes. Dr Buck is in his 25th season of covering ISU football, whereas I’m in my 23rd season, and Dr Warme is in his 3rd season. We love working with the trainers, helping ISU athletes get back to health. Our "victories" occur when an athletes safely and successfully return to the playing field, able to participate once again in the sport they love.