Athletic trainers assess heightened risk of injuries ahead of new semester

Tate Cadang, Sports Reporter

Whitman’s athletic trainers have been preparing themselves for all fifteen varsity sports to resume their seasons in the spring, and have been anticipating a semester with more injuries than usual.

Athletics injuries all over the world are on the rise due to the lack of training during this quarantine period. Athletes who have not practiced their respective sports are more likely to see an injury unless they have been training the right muscles and movements.

Head Athletic Trainer, John Eckel, and the rest of the training staff are fully aware of the potential for increased injuries but are hoping that the injuries do not increase dramatically.

“Following such a long break from organized team practices, it will be important to gradually increase the volume, intensity and duration of activities and to allow adequate time for athletes to adapt to the stresses,” Eckel said.

Athletes should be preparing for their upcoming seasons prior to their return to campus within the next two months, but the pandemic forced the shutdown of athletic resources like the gym.

Assistant Athletic Trainer, Anna Doyel, predicts that the excitement many athletes feel about coming back to their sport will be one of the main causes for the potential rise in the number of injuries.

“I anticipate athletes to be so excited to be back and practicing that they will push themselves harder than they should right at the beginning,” Doyel said.

Since trainers are not able to be with each athlete to discuss the importance of correct training, coaches have also been giving their teams workouts to prepare them for the upcoming season.

Assistant women’s basketball coach, Marnie Ketelsen, talked about the workouts that her team received during the fall and the summer.

“Injury prevention is always at the forefront of our mind and is typically a large part of our fall workouts,” Coach Ketelsen said,

A lot of the workouts for her team include exercises for injury prevention in the knees, activation and strength strengthening.

“From an injury prevention standpoint, our players understand the importance of moving and training in ways specific to basketball practice and games before the start date,” Coach Ketelsen said. “With time not on our side, it is important to start these exercises soon in order to adapt.”

Easing athletes back into the process of training again will be hard, but not impossible with the right precautions such as the workouts Coach Ketelsen gave her team.

In all the athletes’ cases, patience is key.

“Make sure to listen to your body and understand your limits!” Doyel said. “Your endurance and strength will return, but it may take some patience!”