Parkland athletic training program keeps Cobra athletes healthy
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 17:09
Sports are very rough on the human body. Injuries are part of it, and most athletes understand the risks they are taking when they step on the playing surface.
Athletes at Parkland College can compete at the highest level and not worry as much about these risk thanks in part to a brand new training room.
Located just west of the new Fitness Center, in room P-125 sits the new Parkland Athletic Training room where athletes go to get treatments during their seasons.
The person in charge of the training room is Amy Kulczycki, who is employed as an athletic trainer by Carle Hospital in Urbana.
“Parkland and Carle have a contract that says Carle will provide athletic training services,” Kulczycki said. “So I come over here to fill that contract.”
She focuses on the prevention of injuries, as well as providing treatments to help athletes get through their painful experiences. She works alone in the training room.
The main role she is able to perform is to give the athletes a diagnosis of their injury and to set them on the best path to a speedy recovery.
Kulczycki was the right person in the right spot to obtain the Athletic Training job at Parkland.
“I was actually in the process of making a career change from a P.E. teacher and an athletic trainer to just a full time athletic trainer, and the position opened up,” she explained. “So I applied for it.”
The training room isn’t made available for athletes until she arrives at 1:00 p.m. and it will stay open until 5:00 p.m. on regular practice days when there are no conflicting sporting events. The hours can differ for her and the training room though.
“I’m not ever here in the mornings really, unless there’s a morning volleyball tournament,” she said. “Then the evenings and weekends I’m here as games dictate.”
She covers all sporting events in the evenings as an on-the-spot medical examiner in case an athlete is injured in some way during the course of a game.
During the Fitness Center construction, the athletic training room received a major upgrade as well.
“I’ve probably doubled, if not tripled in size and have also triple the amount of training beds in order to see patients,” she said. “With as busy as it gets prior to practices, it’s very nice to have people on all the beds and be able to work on them all simultaneously.”
In a previous training room the size of a small classroom, Kulczycki could only see three patients at once. Only three beds could fit in the room with the rest of the needed supplies for sports medicine.
There was often a waiting list for athletes to get treatment, but this is no longer the case.
“The ability to have a workout area, therapy area, where we can stretch, we can roll muscles and we can do our ankle workouts is crucial to our athletes,” Kulczycki explained.
All this extra room is going to be filled in the near future as new equipment is set to come in for use during athletic training.
In addition to the two brand new combination ultrasound units that are used to diagnose injuries and give a reading of the location of the injury, two new whirlpool tubs are set to be put in during the coming weeks.
They can be filled with hot or cold water to be used for pre-game or post-game treatments for all athletes in terms of muscle therapy.
In the currently open area of the new room there will be more specialized strength equipment used to help athletes rehab from injuries.
The biggest advantage of all for Kulczycki and the training room capabilities is the addition of the new Fitness Center.
“I can do plyometric exercises there. With the overhead limitations here we’re not going to do medicine ball tosses here,” she pointed out. “Now we’re able to do them out there.”
Kulczycki also takes full advantage of the new top of the line equipment the center now offers.
“The pulleys and the Heiser pneumatic machines are excellent for upper body and lower body strengthening,” she said. “So I’ll give athletes exercises to do, then send them in to the fitness center to complete them.”
All of the construction additions to the fitness center and athletic training room have allowed Kulczycki to realize her goals for Parkland athletes.
“The ability to see athletes who can’t function because of injury, then recover and get to full functioning is the thing that I love,” she said.
Athletic training at Parkland College is at its highest peak thanks to the construction additions and the hard working staff of one.