Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tips for Designing an Effective Athletic Training Room

When given the opportunity, athletic trainers would love to have input on the creation, design and implementation of a new athletic training room. A new “home” for athletic trainers could be realized via newly constructed buildings or through renovation of existing structures.
Many components are beyond the building personnel’s input since they are dictated by local, state and/or federal coding statutes. For example, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act require a certain amount of floor space and free space for wheelchair accessibility which may alter plans for lavatory and rehabilitation spaces.

There are a few common themes that should be considered in the development phase of the floor plan.

Traffic Pattern

One of the main concerns is how athletes will enter, leave, access and utilize the area without creating blockage, overflow or compromise activity within the room. Placing the “need to get to first” activities such as signing in and practice preparation taping nearest to the door can control or eliminate a headache-producing traffic pattern. Look at your design and imagine 12 athletes arriving at your door at the same time—how will you control, organize or separate the crowd?

Placing other activities such as treatments, hydro modalities, rehabilitation stations and administration work stations in non-intertwined locations will make the room more efficient and productive. It will also promote safety for the athletes using the areas.

Within the athletic training room/equipment room complex where is the best location for the ice machine? Do you want athletes getting ice/water within the athletic training room so you can supervise them? Do you want them to access ice and water from a different location so as to eliminate extra traffic not related to therapy, taping or rehabilitation? Is your room located near outside doors that lend themselves to placing ice outside the athletic training room as well as outside the building?

Disposable Supplies

Having the necessary tools-of-the-trade conveniently located is critical. Obviously the day-to-day items are near their proper location, but where are the “once-in-awhile” ones located? Can you turn around and walk 5-10 feet and find them or do you have to go down the hall to the storage room to find them? Being able to install containers or storage units that are available but not intrusive can be very useful.

Communication and Emergency Equipment

When designing a facility, ready access to whatever system of communication and emergency equipment your organization uses in vital. How many phones do you want hanging on your walls and where do you want them? Which phone(s) is restricted to local or campus? Which one(s) can make calls anywhere? If you use walkie-talkies, where will they be stored and who can access them?

Where is your automated defibrillator stored? How many do you have immediately available? Is there one in the athletic training room, outside the room in the hall, is it stored conveniently or stored in a room that is occasionally locked?

If you have oxygen, backboards, or intravenous supplies, are they stored open or locked? Who is authorized to use them and can they get to them in an emergency?


Every athletic trainer has occasions when speaking with a parent or an athlete should really be done in private. Given the chance within your planning, include an office area which actually has windows for viewing the entire room as well as a door that can be closed if the situation dictates it. This reduced noise area also makes administering a neurocognitive assessment test on the computer to a single concussed athlete more easily accomplished than having to locate a quiet computer somewhere in the building.

Many of the items mentioned plus tables, cabinets, storage carts, ice machines, whirlpools and other modalities can be found at

Phil Hossler, ATC has been an athletic trainer on the scholastic, collegiate and Olympic levels. He has authored 4 books and numerous articles and served as an officer in state and regional athletic training associations for 20 years. He is a member of four halls of fame including the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

61 Famous Athletes with Diabetes + Tips for the Diabetic Teen Athlete

About the Diabetic Teenaged Athlete

Adolescent diabetics who play sports need to be very good at disease management but also time, food, exercise, rest, illness and fluid management. A diabetic teenager lacks the capacity to control blood glucose without supplemental insulin.

Glucose is the primary sugar circulating in your blood. Normally, after a meal, food gets digested and broken down into easily absorbed molecules, glucose being one of them. Glucose is a simple sugar that comes mostly from the carbohydrate that you eat. It must be present in your blood in sufficient quantity that your brain and nervous system can take it up and use it as their primary fuel.

Teachers, coaches and parents all encourage teens to eat breakfast because “breakfast” is actually “break” and “fast” which means morning blood sugar levels are low due to the fast of not having eaten overnight.

Low blood sugar levels impact brain tissue negatively, causing:
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • lack of attention
  • mental “drifting”

Not good qualities to have during school or sports!

Exercise is very useful to diabetics as it assist in mainlining good blood glucose control. A successful diabetic teenager who is also an athlete must become very good at organizing and preparing for the unexpected.

Balencing Diet, Exercise, and Diabetes

The interplay between insulin therapy, diet, and exercise is extremely important to athletes with diabetes. The goal is to match the type, amount, and timing of insulin to food intake and activity level. Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels is critical to ensuring that appropriate amounts of insulin are provided and metabolic complications are avoided. When insulin levels are not in balance with need, abnormalities in blood glucose and acid concentration can occur. By adjusting your insulin dose depending on the length and intensity of exercise, control of blood glucose level can be enhanced.

This is a subject you’ll want guidance on from your physician.

Including carbohydrate-containing foods with a low glycemic index can assist with blood glucose control.

Glycemic index is a tool used to rank foods according to their immediate effect on blood glucose levels. Carb-containing foods that are broken down quickly will rapidly release glucose into the bloodstream. These are known as high glycemic index foods. Those that break down slowly gradually release glucose into the bloodstream. These are known as low glycemic index foods, and this latter category can be advantageous for those with diabetes. (

Young diabetics have a great deal to learn about the disease, exercising demands as well as rest, fluids and the type /amount of food eaten.

Exercise is important for all of us, but it is vital to diabetics.

Learn about the condition, speak with your physician often and don’t be afraid...athletes with diabetes have competed successfully on all levels.

61 Famous Athletes with Diabetes

Arthur Ashe - Tennis - Wimbledon winner.

Walter Barnes - Football and actor. Before acting career he played professional football for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, 1948-1951.

Ayden Byle - Runner - First insulin-dependent man to run 6521.5 km across North America.

Nick Boynton - Hockey Player - Boston Bruins.

Doug Burns – Fitness consultant, Record-holding strength athlete.

Sean Busby - Champion Snowboarder.

Bobby Clarke - NHL - Philadelphia Flyers.

Ty Cobb - MLB - Detroit Tigers.

Scott Coleman - Swimmer - first man with diabetes to swim the English Channel.

Jay Cutler - Football Player.

Chris Dudley - NBA - New York Knicks center.

James “Buster” Douglas - Heavy Weight Boxer.

Kenny Duckett - NFL - New Orleans Saints.

Scott Dunton - World Class Surfer.

Mike Echols - NFL - Tennessee Titans.

Pam Fernandes - Para Olympian.

Missy Foy - Professional Marathon Runner.

Curt Frasier - NHL - Chicago Black Hawks.
Walt Frazier - NBA - New York Knicks.

“Smokin’ Joe” Frazier - Boxing.

Kris Freeman - Olympic and National Champion Cross-Country Skier.

Joe Gibbs - NFL - Washington Redskins coach.

Jorge "Giant" Gonzalez- Professional Wrestler and Argentinian Basketball Player.

Bill Gullickson - MLB - Cincinnati Reds Pitcher.

Gary Hall Jr. - US Olympic Gold Medalist, Swimming.

Jonathan Hayes - NFL - Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs.

Jay Hewitt - Ironman Triathlete.

Dave Hollins - 1993 Phillies World Series Third Baseman.

James "Catfish" Hunter - MLB - Pitcher, Baseball Hall-of-Famer.

Chuck Heidenrich - Skiing.

Chris Jarvis - World Champion Canadian Rower.

Jason Johnson - MLB - Pitcher, Cleveland Indians.

Kelli Keuhne - LPGA golfer.

Billie Jean King - Tennis.

Jay Leeuwenburg - NFL - Indianapolis Colts Lineman.

Mark Lowe - Major League Baseball.

Michelle McGann - LPGA golfer.

Brandon Morrow -Seattle Mariners Pitcher.

David Pember - MLB - Milwaukee Brewers.

Toby Petersen - NHL - Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Stars.

Sir Steven Redgrave - Rower - Winner of five consecutive Olympic gold medals.

Dan Reichert - MLB - Kansas City Royals.

Ham Richardson – Tennis star.

Jackie Robinson - Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sugar Ray Robinson - Boxing.

Ron Santo - MLB - Chicago Cubs legend.

Mike Sinclair - NFL - Philadelphia Eagles.

Kendall Simmons - NFL - Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ron Springs - NFL - Dallas Cowboys.

Jerry Stackhouse - NBA - Dallas Mavericks.

Hank Stram - NFL - Kansas City Chiefs Coach.

Bradley Suttle - Texas Longhorns - Second Baseman.

Bill Talbert - Hall of Fame tennis player.

Jack Tatum - NFL - Oakland Raiders.

Sherri Turner - LPGA golfer.

Scott Verplank - PGA golfer.

Jo Ann Washam - LPGA golfer.

David "Boomer" Wells - San Diego Padres Pitcher.

Dominique Wilkins - Basketball Player (Atlanta Hawks).

Wade Wilson - NFL player and Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach.

Dmitri Young - MLB Outfielder, first baseman

Use as a beginning point for information and Sports Health for diabetes supplies.

Phil Hossler, ATC has been an athletic trainer on the scholastic, collegiate and Olympic levels. He has authored 4 books and numerous articles and served as an officer in state and regional athletic training associations for 20 years. He is a member of four halls of fame including the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why Heart Failure Can't Always Be Detected in the High School Athlete

Understand and Prepare for Sudden Cardiac Arrest Before An Emergency Occurs

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is caused by sudden failure of proper heart function during or immediately following exercise. This often occurs with no known trauma. Since the heart loses its ability to effectively pump blood, the athlete quickly loses consciousness and will die. To stop this tragic cascade of events, normal rhythmical pumping of the cardiac muscle must be quickly restored using an automated external defibrillator (AED).

How Often Does SCA Occur and Who is Most at Risk?

Fortunately this tragic event is considered rare, happening about 100 reported times per year in the United States. The chances of a high school athlete suffering frame SCA is reported to be 1:200,000. SCA is more common in males, football, swimming and basketball and in African-Americans than in other races.

Heart Problems Are Difficult to Detect in High School Athletes

Typically, the athlete presents no symptoms of cardiac problems. The problem is caused by one or several cardiovascular abnormalities and electrical diseases of the heart that go unnoticed in healthy-appearing athletes. The most common cause is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) which is an enlargement (hypertropci) of the heart muscle (myopathy) producing a thickening of the heart muscle which can cause serious heart rhythm problems and blockages to blood flow. The second cause is congenital abnormalities of the coronary arteries.

Warning signs to watch for include:

  • Fainting, seizure or convulsions during physical activity
  • Fainting or seizure from emotional stress or excitement
  • Dizziness during exercise
  • Chest pains at rest or during exercise
  • Heart palpitations (skipping beats, irregular beats) during exercise or cool down periods after exercise
  • Fatigue or tiring more quickly than others or than expected
  • Shortness of breath limiting physical exertion

What steps can be taken to prevent tragedy during the annual pre-participation examination?

  1. Parents and athletes should provide information to the examining physician about any experience with the signs and symptoms listed.
  2. History of family members who died suddenly during or after exercise.
  3. Any family member under the age of 50 experiencing sudden death in car accidents or drownings (unexplained heart stoppage may produce fainting or death an inopportune times).

Is There Any Tests That Can Detect These Heart Conditions?

Dr. Mark Russell, a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, said no one screening test is able to detect the "several different heart conditions that can cause sudden death in a young athlete." EKGs may catch some defects, the echo others, while other problems may only be revealed in an exercise stress test.

How Can I Protect My Athletes?

Since detection can be elusive, consider the places where your athlete engages in activity - the swimming pool, the field, the gym, the weight room, the visitor's field - and consider having an AED available in these places to protect from the unexpected.

Find information on the AEDs available on the market today and request a FREE AED consultation >>

More blogs on the use of AEDs in schools >>

Articles That Make the Case for Placing AEDs in Schools:

Portable Defibrillator Helps Save Christian School Coach’s Life >>

Medical: Sudden Cardiac Arrests in Young Athletes Confounds >>

Additional Resources:

Phil Hossler, ATC has been an athletic trainer on the scholastic, collegiate and Olympic levels. He has authored 4 books and numerous articles and served as an officer in state and regional athletic training associations for 20 years. He is a member of four halls of fame including the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s.