Student-athletes surviving the injuries
Edgar Ayala – Sports Editor
As an athlete, injury concerns will always be part of the game. Learning how to prevent those injuries is important to know in order to avoid any future encounters.
One of Southern Connecticut’s athletic trainers, Charles Davis, said the best way to avoid injuries is to not ignore sings the human body is giving off.
“If I had a nickel for every time somebody said ‘I thought it would go away’ and it hasn’t gone away and now it’s worse, I would be a rich man on a beach some place,” Davis said. “It’s important not to ignore things. Either get online and find out about it, go to a doctor and get it checked out, or go to health services.”
Davis, in his 23rd year as an athletic trainer for Southern, recalled one of his colleagues in the athletic training department doing a study on how chocolate milk helps recover the athlete’s muscles after their workouts.
Furthermore, Davis said dieting and exercising are important factors to comprehend if the athlete wants to remain injury-free.
“There’s a lot of different ways [to prevent injuries], it just depends on how serious you are about your sport or activity. You have to eat a nutritious diet. You have to be fit. Your conditioning has to be good; strengthening and stretching,” said Davis.
On the other hand, Michael Eckrote, senior quarterback on Southern’s football team, said he is “thankful” enough to only have one sports injury in his 16 years of playing football.
In his junior year of high school, Eckrote had a crack on his collarbone, but added that the bone healed quickly and was only forced to miss two games.
“Any injury is going to be an adjustment,” said Eckrote. “You just have to know how to adjust, and work around it. When you step on the field you need to remove all the fear out of your mind, or it’s going to affect your performance. Injuries in football are a part of the game, that’s what we signed up for.”
Additionally, this past summer, Eckrote worked in an orthopedic clinic. In that clinic, he noted that seeing all the injuries reminded him that not only is the pain physical, but can also be mentally exhausting.
Eckrote said learning to take care of your body is a major element in helping the body avoid injuries.
“I used a jacuzzi pretty frequently and took plenty of ice baths,” Eckrote said. “I also made sure I was getting plenty of rest. Whether that meant going to bed early or taking naps throughout the day, I did it.”
Unlike Eckrote, Meghan Davis said she has never experienced any major injuries as a student-athlete for the Owls. Davis, a senior field hockey player, said she only had a short-term lateral ankle sprain in the offseason of 2014. Rehabilitating with Southern’s athletic trainer, Allison Dale.
“Any sports injury minor or major is frustrating. It inhibits your ability to give your all at practice and games. You have to sit out and watch your teammates, but it makes you want to get back out on the field with them and work even harder,” said Davis.
However, Davis also found that eating healthy and stretching is “extremely” helpful in the recovery process of avoiding injury.
“Making healthy choices ensures that my body is able to keep up with the demands of being a student-athlete. Although I watch what I eat during the season, I do allow myself to indulge every once in awhile. Wendy’s 4 for 4 meal.”
All in all, injuries can be prevented. The athlete just has to be willing to listen to signs their body gives them. They must not ignore any pains, as this will only increase the chances of that same pain resulting in a much bigger injury.
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas