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Meet Our Team: Stuart Schmidt

Stuart Schmidt, Athletic Trainer Supervisor

Stuart joins The Center Foundation as the Athletic Training Supervisor after having spent the past six years as an Assistant and later Head Athletic Trainer at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Stuart attended Oregon State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science with an option in Athletic Training. After graduating from Oregon State University, he worked as the Athletic Training Fellow at The Center and The Center Foundation where he divided his time between working in the cast room and as the Athletic Trainer at Sisters High School. Stuart left Bend to attend graduate school at The University of Florida where he received his Master of Science in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology. During his time at UF he served as the Head Athletic Trainer at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.

Stuart is excited about being back in Central Oregon and contributing to the excellent care and services provided through The Center Foundation to the local community.

First job?

Scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins

Favorite food?

BBQ

Something quirky/interesting about you?

My summer job in college was working at the Salmon Fisheries in Alaska.  I enjoy cooking, spending time in the outdoors, and am a very passionate Oregon State Beavers fan!

What’s one thing you would like people to know about athletic trainers:

Certified athletic trainers are highly trained allied-healthcare providers who are especially qualified in evaluation, treatment, and prevention of athletic injuries. We are qualified to treat the full range from acute emergencies to chronic overuse injuries, and everything in-between.

Meet Our Team: Shawn Taylor

Shawn Taylor, Program Administrator

Involved in sports from an early age, Shawn enjoys living an active Central Oregon lifestyle through running, cycling, cross-country skiing, and hiking, but she feels most fulfilled when she supports others to excel. She is thrilled about having the opportunity to support young athletes, keeping them healthy and in the game through our sports medicine program.

Shawn started her career as an administrative and medical assistant in an orthopedic surgeon’s office. During that time, she was also pursuing education to become a licensed massage therapist (LMT). She practiced as an LMT for seven years, while also spending three years as a pharmacy technician for Salem Hospital and three years at St. Charles. After that, Shawn decided to fulfill her dream of getting a bachelor’s degree and graduated with a BS in biology with a chemistry minor after six years of working full-time and going to school. Before joining The Center Foundation, she spent seven very exciting and demanding years as the Executive Assistant for OSU-Cascades while the campus grew tremendously.

She feels deeply aligned with The Center Foundation’s mission. With her lifelong passion for health and medicine, Shawn has found her true calling as the program administrator for The Center Foundation.

First job?

After babysitting? Picking strawberries during the summer in Junior High School (yes, it was JHS when I attended. Did I just date myself?). My first “real” job was as an administrative and medical assistant in an orthopedic surgeon’s office.

Favorite food?

Bacon!

Something quirky/interesting about you?

While I am linear, logical and detailed at work, I’m kind of a dreamy, spacy artist at home. I paint in both oils and acrylics and have had the honor of selling several pieces.

Athletic Trainer Spotlight: Lindsay Hagler

Athletic trainers (ATs) are at the heart of The Center Foundation's sports medicine program. Working in concert with coaching staff, ATs help create a safe and supportive environment to keep Central Oregon’s student athletes healthy, safe, and active.

Meet Lindsay Hagler, AT-C

Lindsay has been an athletic trainer for over ten years, and spent eight of those years working with the student athletes at Mt. View High School. She graduated from George Fox University with a bachelor’s in Athletic Training and Fitness Management, providing her the opportunity to work closely with the Portland State University football team. She received her Masters in Sports Medicine from Western Michigan University, while working at a local high school as their first athletic trainer. Lindsay finds it most rewarding when she is able to help athletes from the moment they are injured on the field, through rehabilitation, and then finally seeing them compete again in the sport they love. 

First job?

Lifeguard
 
 

Favorite food?

Tacos
 
 

Something quirky/interesting about you?

I love to ride motorcycles
 
 

What’s one thing you would like people to know about athletic trainers?

We are highly trained allied health care professionals that do “a lot of behind the scenes work”, you may only see us on the sidelines of games, but we started preparing several hours earlier and we usually put in additional time after the game concludes, working to keep our athletes safe and healthy.

Flexibility and Strength in Sports: The Correlation

Flexibility in sports and athletics is essential not only to prevent injury, but also to improve performance. When a muscle is tight or shortened, it can create an unnecessary weakness in the body, which in turn can limit an athlete’s performance and predispose them to injury.

Flexibility and injury prevention:

Poor flexibility can lead to poor posture and dysfunctions within the kinetic chain. Sports and other athletic activities that require quick explosive movements demand a more pliable muscle/tendon unit to store and release the high amounts of energy required to perform at an optimal level. The body of an athlete who does not have pliable muscle/tendon units may become overwhelmed by the high energy levels these sports demand, leading to strains in muscles and/or tendons.

But the good news is that a regular flexibility program will increase the pliability of the muscle/tendon unit and decrease dysfunctions in the body’s kinetic chain, decreasing the chance of injury.

Flexibility and sport performance:

A tight/shortened muscle in an athlete’s body can cause the opposing muscles to work harder and prevent the athlete from utilizing their muscles to their full capacity. Sports, in general, require a certain range of motion from the joints in the body that are critical to the sport or exercise being executed. If you consider a sprinter, their body requires a large range of motion in the hip area to get sufficient knee-drive during a sprint. If the glute muscles are tight, the athlete will not be able to adequately accomplish their goal with the loss of stride-length and power in the hip flexors from the tightened muscles. Conversely, if the hip flexors are tight, the athlete loses much of the power needed for the glute muscles to do their job.

The benefits of a flexibility program:

A flexibility program will improve joint range of motion, increase the power output of a muscle by allowing it to contract through a larger range of motion, relieve stress on involved joints, and improve health and pliability of the muscle/tendon unit in an athlete’s body.

A proper flexibility program includes the following components:

  1. Foam Rolling – Foam rolling consists of three phases. Using the quadriceps (quad) muscle as an example, the athlete is lying face-down with the foam roller under the quads. Here are the steps to follow in order to effectively use a foam roller on sore muscles:
    1. Start by rolling up and down the length of the muscle. When you find a hot spot (one that hurts quite a bit), hold in that spot for 30 seconds and concentrate on breathing.
    2. After the 30 seconds, roll up and down past that point 5-10 times.
    3. Find the spot again and flex (bend the knee to bring your foot to the glutes) and extend, then straighten the leg 5-10 times.
    4. Find another spot and repeat. This process can be repeated for the calves and IT bands (the side of the leg) simply by changing position on the foam roller.
  2. Dynamic Warm-up – A dynamic warm-up is part of many sport practices. If your team does not do a dynamic warm-up, encourage your coach to incorporate one into your practices. A dynamic warm-up moves the body through a variety of repetitive movements allowing the body to move farther with each repetition. Many of the movements are designed to simulate athletic movement, therefore a dynamic warm-up is a great way to prepare the body for athletics.
  3. Post Activity Static Stretching – After a sports-related activity, when the muscles are still nice and warm, is the best time for static stretching as the muscle fibers are more pliable when they are warm. Each stretch should be held at least 30 seconds. Below you will find instructions for a static stretching program that can be effective for athletes.

Instructions

Do 3x/day holding for each stretch 30 seconds, one of which can be after practice.

Things to remember: Stretch to the point of mild discomfort. KEEP BREATHING!

Area StretchingHow to do it
High HamstringsLying on back, rope wrapped around foot, pull leg straight.
Lower HamstringsLying on back, rope wrapped around foot, knee to chest, pull foot so that leg starts to straighten out.
GlutesLying on back with knee to chest, pull to opposite shoulder.
PiriformisCross right ankle above left knee, pull left knee to chest. Will stretch right side. Repeat for opposite leg.
IT bandStanding, place outside of right foot on table, allow knee to drop out to side, lean forward at waist.
Repeat for opposite leg.
BackPull right leg across body, breaking at waist and keeping shoulders flat. Repeat for opposite leg.
GroinButterfly and push down on knees.
QuadsLaying on stomach, pull foot to butt OR standing, pull foot to butt keeping stomach tight and chest up.
Hip FlexorsStanding, lunge forward keeping back foot straight, keep chest up, and push butt forward.
Bucket Stretch/
Hip Flexor Tendon
Kneel on one knee with other foot in front in a lunge position, place back foot up on bucket behind you.
Push hips forward. Repeat on opposite side.
Elbow to Instep/
Deep Hip Flexor
Kneel on right knee with left foot in front in a lunge position, step out with left foot into a long stride. Push hips toward the
ground, try to touch left elbow to left instep. Repeat on opposite leg.
CalvesStanding on step with heel off edge, with knee STRAIGHT.
AchillesStanding on step with heel off edge, with knee BENT.

How do you work on your flexibility in sport?

Share your tips in the comments.

Young Athletes And Concussions

Concussions can happen in any sport, whether it is a high impact sport like football, soccer, and basketball, or a lower impact sport such as track and field, tennis, and cross country.

concussionA concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way a brain functions, and can have a negative impact on its victim for years to come. Although concussions are usually caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when a person’s head and upper body are violently shaken causing the brain to be forced back and forth inside the skull. Concussion damage can range from mild to severe and 90% of all concussions occur without a loss of consciousness.

All concussions are potentially serious and can result in complications including, prolonged brain damage or, in the worst cases, death if not recognized and managed properly.

Signs and symptoms can present themselves immediately or sometimes can take a few hours or days to fully appear. In other words, concussions and their symptoms are unpredictable, which means that young athletes and their parents, as well as their coaches, need to be educated and ready to spot the symptoms of a concussion. If an athlete reports any symptoms of a concussion or you notice the symptoms and signs, the athlete should be immediately removed from activity and evaluated by a medical professional.

What do I do if I suspect my child has suffered a concussion?

Any athlete who is suspected of suffering a concussion should be removed from play immediately. No athlete should return to a sports-related activity after sustaining an apparent concussion, regardless of how mild or how quickly the symptoms subside, without written medical clearance from an appropriate health care professional. Close observation of the athlete should continue for several hours and you should seek medical care. The child’s parent, coach, athletic trainer, and/or school administrator should be alerted immediately if an incident has occurred where a concussion is suspected.

What can happen if my child keeps playing a sport with a concussion or returns too soon?

Athletes with signs and symptoms of a concussion should immediately be removed from practice or the game where an incident has occurred. Continuing to play leaves the young athlete especially vulnerable to sustaining a second concussion. There is an increased risk of significant damage to the brain if an athlete who sustains a second concussion before the first one has resolved. This can lead to prolonged recovery or even severe brain swelling (Second Impact Syndrome) with devastating and even fatal consequences.

What are the steps to recovering from a concussion?

The first step in gaining full concussion recovery is cognitive rest and is essential for the brain to fully heal. Activities that require concentration and attention, including homework, use of electronic devices, such as computers, tablets, video games, texting, etc., as well as exposure to loud noises, may worsen symptoms and delay recovery. Students may need their academic workload modified initially while they are recovering from their concussion. This may involve staying home from school for a few days, followed by a lightened school schedule, and then gradually returning to a normal schedule. No consideration should be given to returning to physical activity until the student is fully integrated back into the classroom and is symptom free.

When should a young athlete return to practice or competition after a concussion?

An athlete must first complete a graduated, step-wise return-to-participation physical activity progression under the supervision of a medical professional, as outlined in Max’s Law (OAR 581-022-0421), which requires Oregon school districts to implement concussion management guidelines for all student athletes.

The athlete should then be given a written clearance note (per Oregon State Law HB 348) from a health care professional, releasing them to full practice and competition. Until these steps take place, the student should not be cleared for practice or competition.

What’s most important is the health of our youth athletes. And while these protocols, symptom assessments, and recommendations for concussion awareness and management may seem cumbersome, they are necessary in order to keep our athletes safe and sound on the field and at home.

For additional information, please visit the following websites: