Athletic trainers, the unsung heroes of athletics  

Athletic trainers, the unsung heroes of athletics  

Photo courtesy of Makayla Reusch  

Kelsey Watson, Staff Writer

Wrapped ankles, full ice buckets and muscle therapy are some things that can go unnoticed, but the people behind them are some of the most important people in sports. Athletic trainers do anything and everything they can to help athletes perform at 100%. 

Athletic trainers specialize in working with all athletes to prevent and treat physical injuries. They work with coaches, players and doctors to ensure every athlete is at their best.

Nicole Clinton, North Greenville University athletic trainer, said that every day looks different. Whether it be football season or lacrosse, the only true downtime is Christmas break and summertime.

There are so many things that go into being an athletic trainer. Of course, we know helping athletes when they are injured, but it goes deeper. NGU athletic trainer Amanda Belmudes said they are the jack of all trades.

“When someone gets hurt on the field, we’re running out there. We might have to splint them. We might have to do CPR. We might have to use an AED. We have to triage everything,” said Belmudes.

Trainers work under physicians and also help athletes with not only physical therapy but mentally as well. 

At North Greenville, different trainers work in different sports. Clinton works mainly with women’s volleyball, men and women’s basketball and men and women’s lacrosse. Belmudes works with football, softball, cheer and cross country. However, this is not set in stone. Trainers go where they are needed, and it fluctuates a lot. More injury prone sports and teams with more players will have more trainers assigned to them.  

Clinton said that athletic training was a no brainer for her after she took a sports medicine class her junior year of high school.

“I like sports. I like helping people. So, it felt natural to do that. And at that point, it was an easy decision,” said Clinton.  

Athletic training has its ups and downs, but Belmudes said it is extremely rewarding.

“Seeing an athlete who’s had a season-ending injury get back on the field whether it’s that season or the next season, just working with them and seeing them progress . . . being able to help and cheer them on,” said Belmudes.

She also said being a part of the team is special, feeling a sense of community. 

Everyone knows North Greenville University is a special place and the athletic trainers feel no different.

“I enjoy the fact that it kind of feels like a family. Everybody here has the mindset about things they’re trying to pursue, things they want to spread, and that reminds me of home,” said Clinton.  

Belmudes said the faith-based atmosphere is what was really special to her.

“Praying with the athletes or talking about their relationship with God,” said Belmudes.

After graduating from a Christian college, she knew the type of institution she wanted to be a part of.  

You cannot be an athletic trainer without the desire to help people.

“I enjoy being one of those people that when they can’t or when they need help getting back to where they were, I have the tools and the knowledge to get them where they need to be, to do the best that they want to do,” Clinton said.  

While they can seem to be unseen and not given enough credit, athletes and teams would not be where they are without an outstanding athletic training team in their corner.  

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