Area high schools have partnered with Holland Hospital to offer customized athletic training programs for students. Now you’ll find Holland Hospital athletic trainers working with students at Holland, West Ottawa, Hudsonville, Zeeland East and Zeeland West high schools.
Our athletic trainers are certified and licensed health care professionals who specialize in injury prevention and treatment, and help athletes condition effectively. They are present daily during most practices and at home sporting events.
“Athletic trainers work very closely with students and coaches, but their responsibilities extend well beyond their individual schools,” says Scott Southard, manager of Holland Hospital Rehabilitation Services. “They also develop close ties with physicians and emergency personnel to ensure immediate care when an injury occurs.”
The hospital’s seven full-time trainers demonstrated the importance of those ties earlier this summer by organizing and leading an Emergency Preparedness Drill. For the daylong event, athletic trainers, physicians, and emergency and urgent care medical providers practiced emergency skills on participants with simulated injuries. Training sessions included care for fractures, lacerations, concussion, heat exhaustion, sudden cardiac arrest, and spinal injuries as well as proper removal of sports equipment without risking further injury.
“We hope that we never have to use these skills on real athletes, but if an injury does occur, we’ll be ready to provide the best care possible,” says Brindy Skinner, AT, ATC, head athletic trainer at Holland High School.
Safety basics for athletes
Get a physical screening before starting a new sport or beginning the season. Each year, area physicians volunteer their time to conduct pre-season physicals in schools using best-practice guidelines. All students must have a physician’s all-clear in writing before participating in a school sport
Be active before beginning a sport. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week for at least six to eight weeks before the sport begins.
Cross-train and stay in good overall physical fitness. Be sure to include exercises that promote aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility in your workout routine.
Use proper equipment, including good shoes (when applicable) and gear that is appropriate for your activity.
Give yourself a break. Don't train hard every day – spend some days working on other techniques or muscle groups that you don't focus on in your sport. Make sure to let your body rest.