AT All Stars: Dan Newman
Head Athletic Trainer, Union High School
"Every time you thought you had a sound plan, there was another rabbit hole to go down."
I guess you could say that I got into athletic training for some of the same reasons as most: the love of sports and medicine. I always wanted to know what was going on behind the scenes, so athletic training was the best of all worlds.
Now, after being in the profession for 24 years, my "why" has changed. Every day I want to follow the motto/movement a friend of mine created after the tragic loss of her son: “Go Be Great." I want to be great every day, whether its caring for my athletes, working with administrators to create sound policy for student athlete health, being there for an athlete for whatever reason, etc.
At this point in my career, I'm focused on using my position and success as an AT to promote meaningful dialogue with stakeholders to increase student athlete healthcare at the secondary school level. Simultaneously, I aim to continue promoting athletic trainers as a premier health care provider for the athlete.
I have known about Kinematic products since their introduction with the medical tent. It wasn't until this year I actually purchased one of their products, the HydratER®.
Going into Fall camp, myself and my staff needed to figure out how to manage a continuous supply of water for our players - and with an individual water bottle for every player. HydratER® made us more mobile, so we can and follow groups around with their water bottles, and ensure constant hydration during the hot summer practices. I'm excited to put these into use.
I think for any health care provider, not just athletic trainers, the COVID-19 pandemic has made us witness and experience every emotion. When our athletic director and I started discussing how our summer sports would look, it was an overwhelming experience. Every time you thought you had a sound plan, there was another rabbit hole to go down. There was always a “what if” and, more specifically, we learned that you could never make everyone happy with your plan. There were days I felt good about our procedures, then there were days I went home feeling completely defeated.
As we started moving through the summer, our athletes and coaches completely bought-into our procedures and guidelines, making it easier to work through the little things. I also learned that I would have to take each day as it comes. I couldn’t dwell on what I couldn’t control.
I do think that despite the negative, our profession has adapted in many ways - and shown that we are not just ankle tapers, but true healthcare providers. I believe our industry as a whole has worked with and leant-on each other through this time, coming up with innovative ways of protecting our athletes, patients, coaches and staff. It's a true testament to our profession.
As athletic trainers, we will come out of this pandemic with more confidence and hutzpah to show just how valuable we are to the health care of student athletes - no matter what the situation is.
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