KODE — This month is National Athletic Training Month.

If you played sports or have kids who did or are — you know how important sports medicine personnel are.

“Sports Medicine is a big team of professionals that work together. I’m an athletic trainer and with the other 12 in this immediate area, we work with our physicians or sports medicine physicians, orthopedic doctors, our physical therapists and all the other therapists that that we may need. Speech therapists, etc.,” said Mylene Ray, Sports Med. Outreach Coordinator.

With one overall goal, keeping their athletes healthy and safe. It starts long before the season begins with sports physicals.

“The main goal of the physicals is to catch those athletes that may be at risk for something whether it’s heart and lung, but of course we look at any musculoskeletal issues that may predispose them to any incoming injuries,” said Ray.

This spring, they’re already looking ahead to the 2023 – 2024 school year. When those games start, Freeman Health System trainers will be ready.

“And so with that, we are on the sidelines, especially with home events. And so our role again, is to kind of as we’re watching the game, we either are doing some pregame taping, getting the athletes ready for the games, covering the game, so taking care of managing any injuries that might occur during the event,” Ray said.

Everything from sprained ankles to concussions and more.

“It’s just the satisfaction of if you’ve got, you know, a possible career ending or season ending injury but getting that athlete back to where they can possibly play the next season. So just seeing that full journey of you know the injury, getting them through that part of the journey. And then getting them back on the field,” Ray added.