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App State Athletic Training Staff Talk About What Inspired Them to Become AT’s

Updated: Feb 5, 2018

Caroline Lubinsky-

Jon Mitchell, Maggie Berkowitz, and Claire Davis are three of the 13 Athletic Trainers who treat

student-athlete’s injuries at Appalachian State University.

Mitchell, the director of Athletic Training, is in charge of Men’s basketball. Berkowitz treats the Women’s soccer team as well as Track and Field. Davis works with Women’s basketball and Men’s and Women’s tennis.

When asked to reflect on what inspires and motivates them, the three had interesting things to say.

“My High School Athletic Trainer was the first person who exposed me to the profession and showed me that this profession had the ability to enrich the lives of the students who you came in contact with,” Mitchell said in an e-mail interview.

Berkowitz also said how influential her high school Athletic Trainer was in her decision to

become one. She enjoys making the athletes she works with injury free and back playing the

game they love. She cites this as being her greatest motivator.

Davis took a less traditional route to Athletic Training then the other two. She originally wanted

to pursue physical therapy but realized that she would rather work with the active population

instead. She enjoys making people feel their best and helping them get back to the activities

that make them happy.

At Appalachian State, the training staff frequently have dialogue with the coaching staff of their specific sport(s) to report injury updates. According to Mitchell, they communicate face to face, or with email, and text-messages.

All three Athletic Trainers said how vital communication is in their job in order for things to run smoothly. They interact with other Athletic Trainers as well and give them assistance when someone else needs it.

The Athletic Trainers have a lot of responsibilities on game day. For Davis, in basketball season, this starts with the shoot around. She is there almost an hour before the student athletes arrive. Davis sets up the visitor’s locker room and the sidelines.

After the shoot around, the team eats a meal and then treatment starts for the athletes. The Athletic Trainers will then make themselves accessible to the athletes in case they are needed during warm-up or during the game.

After the game is over, there are post game treatments and ice baths. Once those are over, the cleanup and breakdown happens.

To add on top of the hard work they do every day, every two years an Athletic Trainer has to complete 50 hours of continuing education to show that they are on top of the latest practices and techniques. They must also get re-CPR certified every so often as well.

Athletic Trainers play many roles to students. They are friends, listeners, and helpers for both injuries and life. They want to see their athletes back on the playing field and being happy.

“We do a lot more than just evaluate injuries,” said Berkowitz. “We offer nutritional advice, listen to athlete’s problems, try and help with sleep patterns, reduce stress, give them mental health recommendations.”

Photo Credits: Tim Cowie, Dave Mayo, Rob Moore

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