There’s way more to high school sports than the star quarterback or head cheerleader.
With some sports programs looking like small colleges, there is a growing need for pros to keep those kids safe and healthy.
High school used to have shop classes, and they didn’t really blend with gym class. Cabot High began pioneering a program in 2010 that you might call a sports-shop mashup.
“Our high school students need us just as much as professional athletes need us.”
Lyndsey Rich is out to fill that need. She is an athletic trainer turned teacher who knows there are way more student athletes these days than pros.
“They deserve the same kind of health care that our professional athletes have.”
Rich spends her days showing students the ropes when it comes to wrapping an ankle or rehabbing an old break.
The program at Cabot is giving students a head start and raising awareness for the important of sports medicine at all levels.
“Because of this program it’s creating jobs for athletic trainers. I never thought that I would actually get into education when I went into athletic training,” said Rich.
Her profession has only been around for 60 years. Sports training only got recognition as a medical profession by the AMA in 1990.
There are some misconceptions about what they do and why it should be taught in high schools.
“They don’t just stand there on Friday nights and get to watch a ball game.”
The athletes in the class get a better sense of how to stay safe while they play.
“You can help prevent things for other athletes and yourself, not just the head athletic trainers or the teachers. We can do things ourselves as the athletes,” said student Abbie Lippinscott.
And for those athletes without pro prospects, this class opens new career windows.
“Well I’m trying to just get into medical honors because I’m planning on going into probably therapy later in life,” said Student Logan Gilbertson.
Cabot is one of only 12 sports medicine programs in the state. They helped develop the curriculum to get similar courses off the ground, making teachers like Miss Rich not only in demand by the starting point guard, but also several state principals.