Athletic Trainer Ron Cooper

Athletic Trainer Ron Cooper

The start of practice was just last Friday, practices up to this point have been short and intense. Coach Muss gets the most out of each player in the 30 minutes of practice each day. I expect that intensity to increase a great deal in the coming days. The days of 30 minutes practices and multiple days off during the weak are almost over.  As expected, the increase in intensity will bring with it an increased risk of injury, muscle soreness, and fatigue. Two hours of intense practice on a daily basis can be extremely taxing on the human body. This is where my role as an athletic trainer becomes vital. 

As an athletic trainer, I am tasked with the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of all athletic injuries for the team. I am also responsible for preventing injuries. It is a well-known fact that we as athletic trainers cannot prevent injuries, however, we can play an integral role in decreasing the risk of injuries. Injury prevention is an area that I feel is often neglected in collegiate athletics and sports medicine.  It’s an area that I hope to address with the basketball program in the near future.  Developing an injury prevention program can be very time consuming. It involves each player going through a movement screen to assess movement patterns, muscle imbalances, and muscle weakness. The process then involves designing a corrective exercise program to correct movement compensations by inhibiting overactive muscles and strengthening weak and elongated muscles. Ideally this process begins when a player first arrives on campus. As a part of his physical, he is put through the movement screen and his corrective exercise program is immediately instituted for him to begin in the summer, with the hopes of him completing it before the start of the season.  I believe the implementation of this program will help contribute to the success of the men’s basketball program. 

With that being said, my focus right now is on keeping the guys healthy in preparation for our first game. It’s an exciting time to be associated with the Wolf Pack basketball program, and I look forward to another successful season.