Athletic Trainer Tips Find a Location Find a Doctor Sports Medicine Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Athletic Partnerships Athletic Trainer Tips Back On Track Aquatic Therapy Injury Clinics Heat Index Concussions ImPACT™ Testing On the Run with Stacey Resources FAQs Golf Performance Program St. Elizabeth’s athletic trainers are board-certified healthcare professionals who serve the athletic departments of Northern Kentucky high schools and Thomas More College. Our athletic trainers offer young athletes 11 tips to stay in top form all season long. Click on any of the tips below to view a video containing more information. Tip 1: Use pain as a guide. If you experience pain or discomfort during athletic activity, consult your athletic trainer. ~ Chris Unkraut, Athletic Trainer at Covington Catholic High School Pain is a message from your body that something is wrong and you should take a break before it worsens. Your athletic trainer can help you identify issues of improper training or gear use that could be causing pain or strain. It’s better to take a short break that will help you avoid a more serious injury than to play through pain and cause a bigger problem later. Tip 2: Avoid energy drinks, which are high in caffeine and sugar and can promote dehydration during activity. ~ Dawna Panko, Clinical Athletic Trainer, St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine While caffeine can provide a temporary energy boost, too much is problematic. Irritability, insomnia and increased blood pressure from too much caffeine can keep you off the field — and all the sugar in most sports and energy drinks can contribute to weight gain. Your best bet for hydration during exertion: water. Tip 3: Avoid sugary snacks and drinks. Instead, fill up with whole grains and lean meats to stay in the game. ~ Kelly Twehues, Athletic Trainer at Newport Central Catholic High School Simple sugars provide calories, but they don’t give you vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Complex carbohydrates from pasta, whole-grain breads and rice provide energy, fiber and vitamins and minerals without a lot of fat. Choosing lean meats will give you protein without contributing to issues like weight gain or high cholesterol. Tip 4: Stay active in the off season to perform better during the season. ~ Michelle Miller, Athletic Trainer at Villa Madonna Academy Maintaining a good level of basic fitness all year will help you avoid early-season injuries from using muscles that haven’t been challenged for a while. Plus, living an active lifestyle has countless health benefits from prolonging your life to giving you more energy to helping you manage stress. Tip 5: See your athletic trainer for all your bumps and bruises; don’t wait until an injury is serious. ~ Mike Bowling, Athletic Trainer at St. Henry District High School Athletic trainers help athletes prevent injuries, deal with injuries that do happen and maintain proper levels of conditioning and fitness. They can recognize when an injury that appears minor is actually serious. Becoming familiar with your athletic trainer early on will benefit you all season long. Tip 6: Just ice it. You can never go wrong with ice, but you can go wrong with heat. ~ Theresa Behan, Head Athletic Trainer at Thomas More College The purpose of icing an injury is to reduce swelling and pain and limit bruising. Using heat for an acute injury can increase inflammation and delay healing. Tip 7: A sports physical should not take the place of an annual visit with your family physician. ~ Scott Helton, Athletic Trainer, St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine See your sports medicine professional early to get a physical, but remember it does not take the place of your annual visit with your pediatrician or family physician.