Football is a physical sport, plain and simple. Every single snap involves high speed collisions whether it is the offensive and defensive lineman battling in the trenches, the linebackers chasing down running backs, or wide receivers being hit by the safeties as they make the catch over the middle of the field. As practice goes on through the year and games are played, these hits begin to take their toll on the players’ bodies. In some cases, players can get significant injuries like broken bones that prevent them from playing. However, most players become victim of the inevitable “wear and tear” including aches, bruises, and soreness that accumulate as the year goes on.
Fortunately for us, we have an entire athletic training staff dedicated to our well-being. They take the necessary steps to prevent injuries, as well as providing treatment plans in order for a full recovery when they do happen. The training room offers a place to receive electric muscle stimulation, ice bags, heat packs, and massages to name a few. It also is where players complete their physical therapy workouts to strengthen their muscles back.
The athletic trainers are also very adamant about preventing injury and keeping the body healthy so you can perform at your highest level. Before every practice, it’s mandatory that each player gets their ankles taped or wear braces to prevent any sprains. Offensive lineman are also required to wear custom fitted knee braces that will protect their knees when there are large pile-ups and running backs fall towards your legs. After every practice, players get into an ice bath for 10 minutes which helps keep the legs fresh for the next day by preventing lactic acid from building up in the muscles.
Yes, injuries happen throughout the course of the year; it is just the nature of the game. However, with the wonderful help of our training staff, us players are able to maintain the health of our bodies and return to the football field in a timely manner prepared to play. A special thank you goes out to trainers Rob Scheidegger, Daren Nystrom, Rachel Hall, John Jackson, Matt Nerrie, and all the student-interns who take care of our health during the year.