Keeping High School Athletes In The Game
High school athletes work hard and play hard; all the while their bodies are growing and changing rapidly. So Community Sports Medicine certified athletic trainers are there on the sidelines and in the training room to help students perform at their best and prevent injury.
Injury prevention every day, not just game day
Day in and day out, trainers like Dustin Melvin, a Community athletic trainer at Lawrence Central, work with students to train right. “I enjoy the interactions with the athletes,” says Melvin. “Working with them and seeing young students grow into adults gives me joy.”
Seeing them perform at their best is also satisfying for Melvin. It starts with a pre-season evaluation that allows him to measure how the student moves and identify potential corrections he or she can make to prevent injury. This evaluation is called a Functional Movement Screening or FMS.
A special screening can prevent injury
Functional Movement Screenings evaluate seven movements and score a high school athlete on the quality of his or her form. Proper form is important because the repetitive movements of training and game play can lead to overuse or injury if not performed correctly.
Ultimately, students get a FMS score as a baseline. Then, they can work with Melvin to improve their movements, increase their score and reduce their risk of common injuries.
“The goal of one of these screenings is to reduce the likelihood of soft tissue injuries, such as pulled hamstrings, ankle sprains and overuse injuries like shin splints and patellar tendinopathy,” Melvin advises. By moving right during training, you can actually prevent injury on the field or court.
Support when an injury happens
If an injury happens, FMS scores become a part of an athlete’s recovery. A benchmark score is used by Adam Lane, a Community Health Network strength coach, to develop a rehabilitation program and measure progress. “We never want to rush an athlete back,” Melvin says. When athletes see improvement in their FMS scores, they can be confident in their ability to return to the game.