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The Training Staff: A team behind the scenes

By Taylor McBeth
On February 26, 2012

A variety of people encourage athletes to play, including the coaches, teammates and parents.

However, there is another team that helps improve and develop players as well; in the background of games, tournaments or practices, the University of Bridgeport athletic training staff is at every event for the Purple Knights athletic department.

 

They don't have the usual Monday through Friday, nine to five job, but they work around six days a week, sometimes seven covering every practice that the teams have. On some days, they arrive at around 7:00 in the morning and don't leave until midnight.

 

They work relentlessly to help every athlete be ready for every game and every practice. So, what exactly do they do? The athletic trainers are there for every cut, every pulled muscle, every torn ligament and every tired body. They are involved in the rehab and strengthening of all injuries.

 

"We treat athletes who are injured by icing, heating and massaging," associate athletic trainer Leah Dunagan said. "The rehab depends on what phase the injury is in and the severity. Sometimes it will involve pre surgical or post surgical attention."

 

The trainers work every day helping athletes get back onto the court or onto the field. For some of them that is the most rewarding part of their job.

 

Seeing an athlete return from an injury and start playing again is one of the most satisfying feelings.

 

Not only do the athletic trainers help aid the athletes physically, they are also available for any other type of problem.

 

"We now have private offices that are available if an athlete needs to talk," Dunagan said. "We can help with any physical, emotional or mental problem an athlete may have."

 

Back in February 2011, the athletic trainers moved their facility across the hall in Hubbell Gymnasium to a newly renovated athletic training room. This new training room is much bigger, better organized and more productive for the athletes and the trainers. With their new training room they are able to help in all areas.

 

"We have more space to treat more athletes at one time," head athletic trainer Dan Smith said. "The bigger area has better separated the treatment tables from the whirlpools and then rehab equipment. Overall, it has created a better atmosphere."

 

Smith has been working in athletics since 1988, and one of the biggest changes he has seen have been the many different technological advancements.

 

"Over the years technology has come such a long way that has helped our job become a lot easier and more efficient," said Smith "Probably the biggest improvement has been the convenience of a computer."

 

The University of Bridgeport athletic training staff is improving athletes' health weekly. Their nonstop support and successful results helps motivate athletes to become stronger every day.


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