March was National Athletic Training Month. The theme was “We Have Your Back.” As an athletic trainer, I would have to add that my peers and I not only have the athletes’ backs, but also the athletes’ overall health.
The statement “we have your back” carries a lot of meaning for those of us in the athletic-training field. The athletes’ health and well-being is our major concern and, quite often, it means going to bat for athletes by informing coaches that a player has an injury that will keep him or her from practicing or playing in an upcoming game.
In the same context, though, “we have your back” can be applied when watching over coaches. We take care of them by identifying injuries to their athletes and returning them as quickly as possible to the action.
We also watch over the coaches to ensure that, together, we provide the safest environment for the athletes to participate.
In keeping with the theme “We Have Your Back,” we also provide an annual all-sports physical. This year, our annual all-sports physical will be from 8 a.m.-noon April 26 at Bradwell Institute.
This does not mean the athlete shows up at noon to start their physical, as no physicals will be started after 11:30 a.m. to ensure that all physicals are completed by noon.
All female athletes and only those male athletes who have an event that day will be seen between the hours of 8-10 a.m. All other male athletes will be seen between the hours of 10 a.m.-noon.
Again this year, we request that one or both parents of all athletes attend the physicals with their children. We have found that this helps to eliminate missing information, get signatures and lets us get answers to questions regarding the overall health of an athlete.
Packets for this year’s physical can be picked up from all athletic directors at Bradwell Institute, Liberty County High School, Lewis Frasier Middle School, Snelson-Golden Middle School and Midway Middle School.
We also have asked the athletic directors at the middle schools to indicate which high school their eighth-grade students will be attending so that their physicals can get back to the appropriate schools. This eliminates confusion in attempting to track down the physical once the school year begins. As a reminder, this physical will be valid throughout the upcoming school year and will expire at the end of May 2015.
This physicals are free and open to all athletes in Liberty County. A physical must be on file for all those who wish to participate in athletic events, cheerleading, band, step/flag teams and ROTC at the high- and middle-school levels.
I also would like to remind the parents that this is a screening and does not take the place of your athlete’s annual physician’s physical; rather, it can be a tool to help you and your physician.
This year’s physicals are being sponsored by: the Bone and Joint Institute, Liberty Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic, Diversity Health Clinic, Martha Kitchings, Liberty Regional Medical Center, West Rehab and Kissiah Moore of Savannah Tech’s Liberty campus.
On behalf of the Liberty County School System and the athletes, thank you for ensuring that our athletes are ready to participate. To the coaches and administrators of all the schools, thank you for caring about your athletes’ health so that they are able to participate in the various athletic and extracurricular activities that are offered through the school system.