Athletic Training Education for 2021

Athletic Trainer Lindsay Hagler

Do you wonder about the credentials of the person rehabbing your young athlete’s strained hamstring? Or, maybe you’re curious about what regulatory oversight there is for the medical professional on the sports field with your high school athlete? What are the athletic training education requirements for 2021, and how does one become an athletic trainer, anyway?


Education for athletic trainers strives to create highly skilled and knowledgeable allied healthcare professionals. To achieve this, athletic training education requires at least a bachelor’s degree from a nationally accredited program. This accreditation ensures that all athletic trainers meet the same minimum competencies required for their job. As an example, athletic trainers receive training in injury evaluation and diagnosis, acute emergency care, therapeutic injury rehabilitation, and injury prevention, among many other topics. Most athletic trainers have exceeded the minimum education requirements. In fact, nearly 70% of all athletic trainers have their master’s degree, as well.

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) oversees the core skills required for athletic training proficiency. Furthermore, CAATE performs regular audits of accredited programs. This guarantees program compliance. Along with learning the required skills, athletic training students must pass a national exam through the Board of Certification (BOC).


As of 2015, the National Athletic Trainers Association, CAATE, and the BOC, jointly agreed that a master’s degree is the new minimum level of education for entry-level athletic trainers. By 2022, all CAATE accredited programs must transition from an entry-level bachelor’s degree program to an entry-level master’s degree program.  Of course, an exception is in place for the 30% of athletic trainers currently practicing without a master’s level education. In fact, they will be allowed to continue practicing provided they stay current with their certification.


approved CE provider for the athletic trainerIn addition to the national exam, the BOC also ensures that athletic trainers complete at least 50 credit hours of continuing education every two years. This requirement guarantees that athletic trainers remain current in their ability to recognize, treat, and prevent injuries.


Individual states also have requirements of athletic trainers. For example, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) licenses all athletic trainers in the state of Oregon. Licensure ensures that anyone in the state of Oregon performing the duties of an athletic trainer has passed all the required education and certification standards. In fact, they must sign an affidavit verifying that they have kept up with continuing education requirements. The OHA may audit athletic trainers and request that they provide records of compliance with BOC requirements.

As you can see, athletic trainers are subject to many layers of education and oversight. Specifically, they must complete a rigorous course load, pass a national exam, obtain state licensure, provide proof of compliance with agency requirements, and complete 50 credit hours of continuing education every two years. As a result, you get a professional, specialized, and competent allied healthcare professional caring for your young athlete when you need them most.

Please visit if you would like to learn more about athletic trainer educational requirements, CAATE, and the BOC.

Original article written by Michael Estes, MS, ATC, athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Crook County High School in Prineville, OR, and updated for 2021 by Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS, athletic trainer supervisor. Learn more about Michael and Stuart HERE.

Train Your Brain 2021

Train Your BrainOur grade school outreach program, Train Your Brain, brings brain safety education to third grade classrooms across Central Oregon. Each year, we visit every third grade classroom in Central Oregon, delivering a fun, educational presentation on the importance of preventing brain injuries. We focus on helmet safety, care and fitting of a multi-sport helmet. In addtion, the presentation caps off with our famous melon drop demonstration to highlight the importance of wearing a helmet. At the conclusion of the presentation, we give out and properly fit multi-sport helmets for every kid that needs one. In 2019, we visited more than 30 elementary schools across Central Oregon and gave out over 800 free helmets. We have proudly presented this program for the past 10 years.

Sadly, in 2020 we canceled our tour due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in 10 years, our third graders did not learn the importance of keeping their brains safe. Which is why, in 2021, we will resume Train Your Brain. By transitioning to a virtual program, we can ensure that kids receive the message about how to prevent brain injuries. Just as important, we make sure that every kid that needs a helmet gets a helmet.

New to Train Your Brain for 2021

This spring, we will include both third and fourth graders in our tour, enabling us to reach the kids that missed out last year. Our new video presentation works in both virtual and live classrooms. Of course, the video will our include famous melon drop demonstration and detailed instructions on how to fit a helmet properly. Teachers will help us deliver helmets to kids that need them.

While we will miss meeting and interacting with the kids in person, we are committed to adapting to the terms of the pandemic and doing our part to #keepkidssafeinsports.

This program is only possible because of the generous support from our program sponsors. Thank you to First Interstate Bank, Summit Medical Group, and Bend Broadband.

Train Your Brain 2021 Sponsors

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.


Flu and COVID-19 Exercise Risks

Flu and COVID Exercise Risks

This year’s cold and flu season is unlike any we have experienced before. Specifically, the combination of the annual flu season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means increased focus on personal and community health. In past years, it was common for people to push through cold and flu symptoms at work and school. However, there is a complicated overlap of symptoms between the cold, flu and COVID-19. This makes it confusing to know for sure which illness you have without a test. Because of the importance of limiting community spread, it is critical that you stay home when you have a runny nose, cough, or sore throat that hasn’t been diagnosed. I think it is safe to say that we should not be seeing a repeat of the Michael Jordan flu game this year!

Exercise with Flu – MAYBE

When it comes to exercising while sick, the ‘above the neck’ rule is what we used in the past. In fact, we previously wrote a blog on this topic HERE. In short, if your symptoms were “above the neck” such as a sore throat, runny nose, or congestion, then it was okay to continue to exercise. Conversely, if your symptoms were below the neck, like a deep or hacking cough, fever, upset stomach, and muscle or body aches it was time to stay home and rest. However, this is not the best approach to take when dealing with a possible COVID-19 infection.

Risks of Flu and COVID

While many of the symptoms of flu and COVID are the same, the health risks are quite different. Data and observation of COVID patients in hospitals show an increased risk of myocarditis compared with other viral infections. Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, which can cause abnormal heart rhythms. It can also limit the ability of the heart to pump blood effectively.

While it seems that most young people who get COVID recover in 5-7 days, there is sometimes a sudden worsening of symptoms during days 7-9. Because of the potential severity of these late-stage symptoms, and the risk of heart damage from myocarditis, doctors recommend full rest and a slow return to activity following a COVID-19 infection.

Exercise with COVID – DON’T

The American Medical Association recommends that very active people who test positive for COVID, but don’t show any symptoms, should rest for two weeks from the date of the test. Athletes who test positive and have symptoms should stop all physical activity for two weeks after all symptoms are gone.

Once the two-week rest period is over, it is important to get clearance from your doctor before returning to activity. This is because of the risk of heart issues. Once cleared, you can start a very gradual return to activity with the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, like a certified athletic trainer.

Return to Activity

A supervised return to activity should happen over a 5-7 day period. Begin with light cardio, like walking, jogging, or riding a stationary bike. Start by exercising at less than 70% of your maximum heart rate, and not longer than 15 minutes. Over the next 5-7 days, you can gradually increase the duration and intensity of exercise. Each step of the way, you need to complete the activity without any chest pain or tightness, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, or fainting. However, if any of these symptoms do develop, you should go back to your healthcare provider for evaluation before continuing to exercising.

Flu and COVID – Rest is Best

If you have mild symptoms of flu and COVID, but haven’t been tested, you might assume you just have the flu. You might be tempted to push through sickness and continue exercising, especially with mild symptoms. Don’t do it. You may worry about losing hard-earned fitness or letting your team down. Your symptoms might be so mild that you think you are just not that sick. The truth is, the risks outweigh the rewards. In an effort to make minor gains in your fitness, you risk a huge setback from serious illness. In fact, you do more for your future athletic success by sitting out and making a full recovery.

Of course, it is best to do everything you can to avoid getting sick in the first place. Get your flu shot, practice good hygiene, wear your mask, socially distance, eat healthy whole foods, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep (Read our blog on the importance of sleep HERE if you missed it).

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.


Hull, J., Loosemore, M. and Schwellnus, M., 2020. Respiratory Health In Athletes: Facing The COVID-19 Challenge.
Phelan, D., Kim, J. and Chung, E., 2020. A Game Plan For The Resumption Of Sport And Exercise After Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection.
Elliott, N., Martin, R., Heron, N., Elliott, J., Grimstead, D. and Biswas, A., 2020. Infographic. Graduated Return To Play Guidance Following COVID-19 Infection.

Sleep for Health and Performance

Sleep for Health and PerformanceAthletes often search for the newest invention, technique, or ‘secret’ to give them an edge in performance, injury recovery, and injury prevention. While not actually a ‘secret’, there are ways to get an edge that you have direct control over every day.  Sleep is one of those elements. In fact, the benefits of sleep for health and performance are powerful, but often overlooked and ignored.

Benefits of Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to improve your physical and mental performance. In addition, sleep helps you recover from injuries faster, and improves your overall health and resistance to illness. The benefits to getting a good night’s sleep include:

Improved mental health

  • Getting enough sleep supports the body’s ability to manage stress and anxiety. Lack of sleep is directly associated with depression.

Improved physical health and immune function

  • Cell and muscle growth and repair occur during sleep. Therefore, without sleep your body won’t recover fully from the previous day’s workout.
  • Poor quality sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity in adolescents and young adults.

Improved cognitive performance

  • Lack of sleep reduces your ability to focus and maintain attention, and impairs decision-making and memory.

Lack of Sleep

Studies show that sleep directly affects immune function, and that lack of sleep is associated with increased injuries in adolescent athletes. A study on the effects of sleep deprivation on adolescent athletes found that athletes who got less than 8 hours of sleep a night were 1.7 times more likely to be injured than athletes who slept 8 or more hours a night.

Getting Better Sleep

As you can see, there are many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep. Although, knowing this and doing it are two different things! First, it’s important to understand how much sleep to aim for. Teenagers should get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. Adults should shoot for 6-8 hours of sleep a night.

Second, it is good to have some strategies to make falling asleep as easy as possible. Try some of the following tips to find what works best for you.

  • Use blackout curtains and reduce excess light to make your bedroom as dark as possible.
  • Avoid spending time on your phone, computer, or watching TV at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
  • Create a bedtime routine to start winding down at least 30 minutes before going to bed. For example, your routine might include reading, listening to relaxing music, journaling, or taking a bath.
  • Get the recommended amount of exercise throughout the day. However, avoid intense exercise close to bedtime as it can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages late in the day.
  • Establish a consistent bedtime. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. By sticking to a routine your body can count on, you are more likely to get the recommended amount of sleep.

Sleep for Health

The most important factors associated with health and performance tend to be things that we do every day. As you can see, sleep is one of those things. By working towards our best possible sleep on a daily basis, we improve our health and perform better, both physically and mentally. So, what are you waiting for? Go to bed!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.




Warm Up for Injury Prevention and Performance

soccer players dynamic warm up for injury prevention

Warming up before exercise is one of the easiest and most important things that you can do to reduce your risk of injury. A good warm up for injury prevention can also help improve your performance – it’s a win-win!

What is a Warm Up?

A warm up is a gradual way to get your body ready for the demands of your chosen exercise. When performed properly, the warm up period should last about 10-15 minutes. In addition, it should be specific for your chosen activity. In other words, the exercises and stretches you include in your warm up should target the same muscles and areas of the body that your chosen activity will use.

Purpose of a Warm Up

A well-designed warm up functions to prepare you, mentally and physically, for the demands of the sports activity you are performing. It does this by increasing blood flow to your muscles, increasing body temperature, and increasing your heart rate. In addition, a warm up improves range of motion by stretching the muscles that you will be using for your activity. Together, this gets your body ready to perform its best and decreases your risk of injury.

Examples of Warm Ups

For example, if you are planning to go for a run, your warm up should include dynamic lower-body stretches, like walking lunges and leg swings.  Follow this with a light activity to get your heart rate up, like jumping jacks or squat jumps. Alternatively, if you are planning to lift weights for your upper body, your warm up may start with several minutes on a rowing machine. Follow that with some dynamic arm exercises such as arms swings and some D2 shoulder swings.  Continue the warm up by doing a few reps of your lift with no weight on the bar. After that, progressively increase the weight as you build up to your target.

walking lunge warm up

Likewise, if you are getting ready to play a sport, whether in practice or a game, your warm up should target the specific muscles that you will be using. Start slow and gradually progress throughout your warm up to the desired intensity of the sports activity. In addition, your warm up is a great opportunity to build in repetition for desired movement skills. You can also include targeted drills to improve mobility. More about that in a future blog!

After your warm up, you are ready to move into your planned activity. If you still have some tight areas in your body, take a few more moments to stretch lightly. About 15-20 seconds at a time for a specific area is enough. However, don’t spend so much time stretching that you cool down and need to do another warm up! After your workout, while your body is still warm, is the ideal time to do a thorough stretching routine to cool down. We will cover the cool down in another article.

Warm Up for Injury Prevention

So what are you waiting for? It only takes about 10 minutes, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple warm up routine that is easy to remember is best. Prevent injuries and improve performance by adding a warm up to your exercise routine today!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.




Keeping Your Kids Safe in Sports

2020-21 Athletic Training Team for The Center FoundationSchools are resuming in-person sports activities, and our athletic trainers are excited to get back to work protecting young athletes. However, we know that there are concerns about COVID-19. As a parent, it’s natural to be anxious about the safety of your child. For this reason, we want you to know that our team is committed to keeping your kids safe and healthy.

Keep reading to learn how we are working together to protect your child from exposure to COVID-19.

Oregon Health Authority & Oregon School Activities Association

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Sports Activities Association (OSAA) offer a framework of required policies for all schools wishing to participate in athletic events during this time. In fact, the Oregon Health Authority recognizes that “Participation in physical activity is vital to the health and well-being of young people.” Therefore, we fully support these policies to steer safe sports participation. You can find more information about the specific policies here at OHA COVID Policies and OSAA Coronavirus.

How we are Keeping Your Kids Safe

Over the summer months, our athletic trainers and the school districts of Bend-La Pine, Sisters, Crook County, and Jefferson County collaborated to develop policies and procedures to ensure safe sports participation. In addition, we are working closely with the local school districts to ensure that we follow all health and safety initiatives.

Our athletic trainers are adopting the following measures keep your kids safe.

  • Face masks worn at all times by athletic trainers and students while giving or receiving treatment.
  • Hands washed/sanitized between every interaction with students.
  • Tables, counters, and equipment disinfected before and after every use.
  • All athlete interactions/encounters carefully logged to aid in contact tracing in the event of a positive case of COVID-19 among student athletes.
  • Educate parents, coaches, and student athletes on the importance of following health and safety policies, the risks associated with sports participation during COVID-19, and strategies to minimize those risks.

In addition, our athletic trainers will be working with schools to identify and quickly respond to positive cases and possible exposures. This will help minimize the spread of the disease. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and avoid another shutdown of sports and schools.

How You Can Help

Despite all of these necessary measures, there is still risk associated with returning to in-person sports. Admittedly, there is no way to remove risk entirely, other than abstaining from sports altogether. However, as parents there are a few things your child can do to help protect themselves, your family, and others.

  • Stay home if sick. This cannot be overstated. In fact, it is true for any symptoms of illness, but especially important if your child has
    • symptoms of COVID-19,
    • been diagnosed,
    • is waiting for test results,
    • or been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Maintain social distancing. This means your child should stay at least 6 feet from other players whenever possible.
  • Wear a face mask. Yes, even while exercising. If you missed it, read our previous blog about exercising while wearing a facemask for some helpful tips.
  • Bring your own water bottle. Instruct your child to bring a personal water bottle. Remind them not to share it or to drink from other people’s water bottles.
  • Wash your hands with soap and hot water regularly.
  • Practice good hygiene. Remind your child to avoid touching mouth, nose, or eyes with their hands. In addition, avoid spitting, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow. And, always remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterwards after a sneeze or cough.
  • Don’t share equipment. While this is not always possible, your child should try to minimize sharing of equipment such as helmets, gloves, and bats.

Keeping Your Kids Safe Together

We know how important physical activity and sports participation is for the health and happiness of kids. Therefore, remember that we are all in this together and follow the above precautions. Help us ensure that your kids continue to play the sports they love. By working together, we reduce the risk of illness and speed up a return to normal life.

Below are some additional resources and references to help you as your children go back to playing sports during the pandemic.

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.


Considerations for Youth Sports – CDC
Understanding Risk Related to COVID-19 and Youth Sports
Safety Checklist For Sports Participation During COVID-19
Cloth Face Coverings in Youth Sport
Playing Sports –COVID 19 CDC

Tips for Wearing a Face Mask During Exercise

Photo Credit: newschant dot com

Are you worried about wearing a face mask while exercising? You are not alone. While we have had to accept the reality of wearing face masks during our daily lives, the concept of wearing a mask while exercising or playing sports is another thing altogether. Figuring out how to exercise, sweat, and breath hard while sucking air through fabric or filters can be daunting. Regardless, we will have to accept this reality if we want to exercise indoors or in more crowded outdoor spaces. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) currently requires face masks both indoors and outside, if social distancing cannot be maintained. This requirement includes gyms, crowded parks, trails, and basketball courts. However, there are a few things you can do to make wearing a face mask during exercise a little easier.

Types of Face Masks

Picking out the most appropriate face mask for your activity can be a challenge. Because there are so many different types of masks to choose from, it is important to understand the options. Medical grade face masks, such as N95 respirators and surgical masks, are not ideal for exercise. While N95 masks are great at protecting you and those around you, they are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients.

Likewise, surgical masks and other paper disposable masks are not great for exercising. Because paper masks lose their effectiveness as soon as they get wet (think sweating!), wear them once, and throw them away. Although face shields are becoming common, it is important to understand that they are primarily for eye protection. In fact, the CDC does not currently recommend the use of face shields as a replacement for face masks. Rather, they recommend face shields and masks be worn together as an additional level of protection. Cloth masks are the best choice for exercise because they are washable, reusable, and tend to be the most comfortable.

Selecting the Right Face Mask

Selecting the right cloth mask means finding one that is both comfortable and effective. The best masks have multiple fabric layers for increased protection. In addition, they need to be breathable so you get enough oxygen for exercise. Companies, like Under Armor, Columbia, and Adidas, have created sports oriented face masks designed specifically to wear while competing. Another popular option is the neck buff. A neck buff is a tube of fabric worn around the neck. Many people use them as face masks by pulling them up over the mouth and nose. Even though neck buffs are popular, a recent study indicated that they might actually be worse than not wearing a face mask at all. There is some evidence that the fabric of a neck buff may spread particles out in a larger pattern than normal, and they do nothing to restrict or block the spread. While convenient and comfortable, neck buffs are not likely to protect the user or other people.

How to Wear a Face Mask

Once you have selected your face mask, make sure you get the most out of it by wearing it properly. Here are some tips on how to wear a mask:

  • Make sure that the mask completely covers your mouth and nose.
  • Your mask should fit snugly, yet comfortably to your face.
  • If you have difficulty breathing in your mask before you begin exercising, you may need to select a different mask.
  • Wash your hands before and after putting on or removing your face mask.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth while putting on and removing your mask.
  • Do not touch your mask while you are wearing it.
  • Do you sweat a lot? Carry more than one mask and switch them out as needed.
  • Wash and dry your face mask after each use.
  • Put on and remove your face mask by the ear loops, rather than touching the front of the mask itself.

Exercising with a Face Mask

Exercising while wearing a face mask can be uncomfortable at first, and you may need some time to adjust. Therefore, ease into activity slowly when you are wearing a mask. You can accomplish this by planning shorter, less intense workouts the first few times you wear a mask. Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, having difficulty breathing, or having shortness of breath are all signs that you need to slow down. If that doesn’t help, you may need to stop your activity altogether until the symptoms resolve.

For health conditions that causes difficulty breathing, or if your doctor recommends that you not wear a mask, consider starting a home exercise program. In addition, there are many options for exercising outdoors without a mask rather than in a gym. Remember to always practice social distancing.

Now that you have selected a face mask, and are wearing it properly, get out there and start exercising!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.


Meet the Team – Gavin Thiele

Gavin Thiele, MEd, ATCGavin Thiele was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After high school, he left his hometown to attend Purdue University. Gavin enjoyed his time at Purdue and the unique opportunities available to him. In fact, one of his favorite experiences was working as the student intern athletic trainer for the Buffalo Bills.

In 2012, Gavin completed his bachelor’s degree and headed west. He accepted the position of Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer for Arizona State University. While working as a graduate assistant, he studied for his Master’s Degree in Higher and Post-Secondary Education and Administration. His time at ASU included working with the ASU wrestling team, as well as the freestyle Olympic wrestling teams.

After receiving his master’s degree, Gavin returned to his hometown and spent the next five years as a high school athletic trainer. In addition, he acted as preceptor for both high school athletes and local college students. Through all of his experiences, Gavin feels that returning an athlete to play is the best part of his work.

Feeling the urge to head west, he recently made his home in Central Oregon. Gavin is thrilled to join The Center Foundation, and looks forward to serving the students at Bend Senior High School.

A Little More About Gavin…

What was your first job? Lifeguard

What is your favorite food? Deer jerky

Tell us something quirky or interesting about you? I love to snowboard and surf.

What is one thing you would like people to know about athletic trainers? Athletic trainers are health care professionals, and they will be with you during every step of your recovery.


To learn more about our high school athletic training team here.
Find out how you can support the work of The Center Foundation here.

5 Tips to Get Ready for Fall Sports

We are all in a holding pattern as we wait to learn the status of school sports for fall. However, it is important that you don’t wait to get prepared for the upcoming season. Follow these 5 tips now to be ready for sports this September!

Get OK to Play

Visit your primary care physician for an annual wellness exam, including your sports physical. Make sure you start the season healthy by visiting your doctor, and our athletic trainers will be there to keep you healthy. Learn more about getting OK to Play!

Get Used to the Heat

With summer still in full swing, the early sports season can be hot! Get your body used to the heat gradually by starting early and slowly. If you take your time increasing your exposure to exercising in the heat, your body will adapt. As a reminder, head back to this article for the top tips for hot weather exercise.

Get Fit Early

Don’t spend the summer sitting on the couch playing video games! Instead, start getting in shape early by doing general exercise like running and weightlifting. If you have spent some time on the couch, read this article on getting back to fitness.

Heal Old Injuries

If you still have lingering injuries from the past season, its important to use this time to heal. Whether you need rest, a visit to the doctor, or some time in rehab, get started now. Regardless of the injury, you can train around it safely with guidance from a qualified healthcare professional.

Food and Water

Proper nutrition and hydration are the most basic things you must have to be ready for the sports season. Eating well not only helps your body grow strong, but also helps your body recover. Need a reminder on good nutrition for athletes? Check out this article on nutrition.

Still Need Help?

Talk to your athletic trainer if you need help developing a rehab or training plan to get ready for the upcoming sports season. Athletic trainers specialize in injury prevention and they can help you reach your sports goals safely.

One last thing – we realize that this summer is different than previous summers due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, we remind you that It is important that you do not exercise if you are not feeling well. In addition, if you have a fever, cough, or you are short of breath, call your doctor. Do not return to physical activity, whether it is in a group or solo, before you have been cleared by your physician.

Follow these 5 tips, stay healthy and safe, and you will be ready to jump into fall sports!

high five 5 tips for getting ready for fall sports

Burn Injuries – Know What to do This July 4th

 Burn Injuries - Know what to do this Fourth of July

Burn Injuries – Know what to do This July 4th

In my last post, I shared important tips for staying safe on the Fourth of July. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of injury during your holiday celebrations. If you missed that post, you can read it HERE. Each year, burn injuries account for 44% of the injuries caused by fireworks. Even if you follow all of the safety tips, accidents can still happen, so it is important to learn how to identify and treat burns.

Types of Burns

Classified as first, second, and third degree, appropriate burn treatment will vary depending on the severity and size of the injury.

first degree burn


A first-degree burn is the least severe. Specifically, it occurs when the outer layer of is damaged from touching or picking up a hot object. The skin becomes red at first, and then it eventually dries and peels. Pain from a first-degree burn typically lasts 48-72 hours before subsiding. Another common example of a first-degree burn is a sunburn.


second degree burn


Second-degree burns happen in the same way as a first-degree burn, but they are more severe. With a second-degree burn, damage occurs to the outer layer of skin, as well as parts of the inner layer of skin. Signs of a second-degree burn include blistering, white blotchy patches on the skin, possibly a deep red color, and the area may look wet and shiny. In addition, there could be swelling, and the area will be painful to the touch.

third degree burn


Third-degree burns are the most serious and require urgent medical attention. As with second-degree burns, third-degree burns damage both the inner and outer layers of the skin. Visually, the area may look dry and leathery, or the skin may appear charred, black, yellow, white or brown. Interestingly, a third-degree burn is not always painful at the time of injury. This is because of damage to the nerve endings in the area.


Treat minor burns by cooling the area under running water, or applying a cold, wet compress to the area. If possible, remove anything from the injured area that could restrict circulation such as rings, watches, belts, or tight clothing.  Apply a lotion such as aloe vera gel or other skin moisturizer. This will provide some pain relief and help reduce drying and peeling. Cover the area with a sterile bandage and wrap the area loosely with a clean bandage.

If blisters are present, do not pop them. Popping blisters creates an opening in the skin that can become a source of infection. If a blister does pop, gently clean the area with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin, and cover with a bandage to keep it clean. Taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help ease the pain and swelling. Always follow the directions on the bottle for appropriate dosing.


burn first aidIf you can see that the level of damage is deep, covers an area greater than 3 inches, or covers the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, than you need to call 911 and seek immediate medical care. All third-degree burns as well as some second-degree burns, require immediate medical attention.

While waiting for emergency care to arrive, take steps to protect yourself, the patient, and others from further injury. First, ensure the injured person is in a safe area. Next, check the ABC’s – Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. If there is no pulse and the individual is not breathing, send someone to call 911, start CPR and continue until medical help arrives.

AIRWAY – If the person is unconscious, open the airway by putting one hand on the forehead and the other on the patients chin, then tilt the head back while lifting up the chin.

BREATHING – Look to see if the chest is rising and falling with each breath.

CIRCULATION – Check for a pulse on the neck or wrist.

Once you have confirmed that the injured person is conscious and breathing, make sure to remove any items that restrict the injured area such as jewelry or belts. Cover the burned area with a cool, moist bandage or clean cloth, but do not immerse large burns in water. Elevate the injured area, keep the patient warm, and watch for signs of shock until help arrives.

Finally, when planning your Independence Day celebration, it is a good idea to have a small, well-stocked first aid kit available, and make sure at least one person in your household is CPR trained. If you are not comfortable providing care, or you are not sure what the right course of action is, call 911 or go to your local urgent care or emergency room.

Be safe and have fun this Fourth of July!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.