Article reposted from Richland Source
It’s a long day in and out for the athletic trainers at Ashland University.
Between giving athletes medical attention, rehab and using evaluation skills, there is not a lot of down time.
“It’s a busy day,” said Jeremy Hancock, head athletic trainer for Ashland University. “That’s just a normal day. When football camp starts it’s easily 12-hour days. The college setting – we put in a lot of time.”
For Hancock, a typical day starts at 8 a.m. His staff treats and rehabs players until noon. He said he can sometimes sneak in a break, but other times it’s a working lunch.
After lunch, he helps players set up for football practice — taping and stretching. Depending on how banged up they are, he may be asked to do post-practice treatments.
“We’ll be there until 6 or 7 p.m. sometimes. It’s a busy day. That’s just a normal day.”
It’s a hectic, fast-paced shift, but this year the athletic trainers received some relief. In July, OhioHealth and Ashland University athletic trainers were contracted to add two more athletic trainers giving their staff a total of six.
“Now I can lay off basketball and focus on football more,” Hancock said. “It’s given me a lot of time to take care of the football team. We have 160 players on the roster, which is a lot for a person to deal with.
“Now I can do their off-season conditioning, their rehabilitations. It’s given me more time to spend with them, which is nice.”
Hancock said his wheels started spinning after Matt Bernard, an orthopedic doctor based in Ashland, asked him about adding staff, having more physicians attending games. Soon a three-year deal was created with OhioHealth to add the athletic trainers.
“OhioHealth has been a blessing for us,” Hancock said. “It’s taken a huge amount of workload off of my staff members and myself. It’s new for us, and we are continuing to build that relationship with them. But it’s been great so far. The access has become easier to (OhioHealth doctors) through them.
“We’re starting up here soon having some speakers come and talk to the athletes about nutrition, sleep — you name it. That’s been another good thing from it.
“We’ve been able to get a portable X-Ray machine that will come to campus on Mondays, which is unheard of at Division II programs.”
Hancock grew up in Ashland. He graduated from Ohio University in 1998 and received his masters degree at Cleveland State. He worked two years at the Cleveland Clinic. After a short stint at the Physical Therapy Services in Crestline he moved to AU, where he has been for 16 years.
“I know Ashland; I’m comfortable here. It’s a good setting, and as you can see, we’re doing great things athletically,” he said. “We’re winning in a lot of different sports. That is fun to be around.”
At 12:45 p.m., football players trickled in to the Dwight Schar Athletic Complex, some with inquires about pain, some needing treatment, others waited in line to take a fat-percentage test.
“That’s probably the best part of the job,” Hancock said smiling. “Some athletes refer to the training room as a social room. Sometimes more is said than needs to be said in here.
“We deal with kids every day. We have over 500 athletes. If they need help, you help them.”
The fraternity becomes tighter when helping a player recover after an injury.
“The rewarding part is seeing us bring a kid back after injury. Even if it’s a minor injury. It’s not all about the physical. There’s a mental part,” Hancock said. “Even if it’s not sports-related — if you have a family problem, come in and talk.
“I have an open-door policy. It’s a family atmosphere. That’s what is most important to me. The relationships I’ve built, and that they are healthy when they leave this place.”