COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 1
The Disorderly Fighting of COVID-19 and Those in Athletics
Georgia Southern University
Starting in late December 2019 was the outbreak of the severe penetrative respiratory
disease coronavirus 2 virus, also known widely as COVID-19. Originating in the Wuhan
Province of China, the virus spread rapidly around the world for the next few months, especially
in the United States. To date, The United States has accounted for 29 million cases and 525,000
As a result of the rising correlation of the population and recorded, government officials
made selections to slow down the development of the lethal and novel respiratory illness. The
day to day lifestyles of the world were disrupted as government-issued stay-at-home orders
closed many businesses, canceled sporting events, and in-person educational institutions. These
adjustments resulted in at least more than 23 million Americans filing for unemployment
insurance and many others being positioned on furlough, working decreased hours or for
decreased pay, or assuming new roles inside their organizations. (Winkelmann & Games, 2020,
COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 2
20). Health care specialists have been also affected through the COVID-19 pandemic. According
to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment declined for dentists, physicians, and other
health care practitioners by 1.4 million during April 2020.
As it turns out, Athletic trainers (ATs) are health care specialists who are nationally
licensed and recognized by the American Medical Association. They supply care to various
patient populations, such as work (industrial, military, occupational), life (recreational sports,
clinics, hospitals), and extracurricular (secondary schools, colleges, universities) athletes all
through the United States and globally. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a ripple impact on the
profession, characterised by using layoffs and redistribution of the body of workers to the
vanguard of COVID-19 administration at health center emergency departments. Others have
been able to proceed their jobs with the use of virtual health care by using telemedicine to have
interaction with patients around the country (Winkelmann & Games, 2020, 20).
Many Changes Around Many Areas
Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of sports has found itself
working to relieve past postponed competitions, launch new and reconstructed seasons, and
analyze the advantages and disadvantages of conserving aggressive events with or without
supporters present. Athletes, coaches, parents, and sporting stakeholders proceed to experience
COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 3
the impact on the Coronavirus; at the same time as sport businesses have made magnificent
strides to save seasons (and careers), it has no longer passed in addition to giant sacrifice and
stress. Athletes are discovering themselves removed from their families, residing in bubbles and
quarantined areas in order to compete, and performing in arenas of digital fans and limited
seating. Coaches are making an attempt to run practices and education camps with appropriate
social distancing pointers and while imposing mask policies. Athletic trainers, electricity, and
conditioning coaches are working jointly now more than ever to make effective athletes capable
of returning to play safely after taking a whole lot of time off from training and/or competing.
Although athletes and sports followers alike are excited for the return of competition, concern
lurks in the shadows as players, coaches, and body of workers proceed to check a positive test
Opinions and Judgement from Athletic Teachers
Because of the abrupt transition of the in-person framework of athletic training, many of
those people have taken a sort of adaptability to maintain the same results while changing their
routines. As with the aforementioned, athletic trainers, coaches, and conditioners are in the
ballpark for this. Through many collegiate establishments, gyms, and even high school, various
people involved in teaching and training athletes and physically active people have been dealing
differently with the new rules of interacting with each other whilst keeping the same goals
COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 4
Beginning in the high school section, Amy Boyer is an athletic training program manager
at Athletic Coast Athletic Club in the Virginia Area. For 16 years, she has been a physical
therapist and trainer. With her organization, ACAC, they have been responsible for “providing
licensed health care professionals that provide preventative services and emergency care as well
as diagnosis and rehabilitation and medical conditions to public and private high schools in
Central Virginia” (J. Harvey, 2020). With some of their tasks, they make sure that athletes have
water and ice on the playing fields and in the game, as well as well-stocked medical kids. trainers
provide follow-up care required for the athletes, communicate with parents and coaches on any
issues, complete daily documentation and prepare the athletic training room for the next day.
With the virus and pandemic into play, these duties are increased for another one to two hours.
Boyer stated that a crash course was implemented for those additional duties during summer
2020 workouts. Temperature checks and screening questions with athletes and coaches, putting
emphasis on being vigilant with cleaning and sanitizing, as well as athletes and coaches
maintaining proper physical distances. If one needs to be tested for COVID-19, it would go
through the athlete’s health-care provider. Boyer said that “From there, our athletic trainers
would be informed of the results of the test. As with anything medical, our athletic trainers must
abide by HIPAA regulations while protecting the athlete and likewise any other athletes and
coaches that may have been in close contact with them” (J. Harvey, 2020)
Next level is the collegiate. Jacob Moore (Football Athletic Trainer, East Carolina
College) and Mike Nicola (Assistant Athletic Director, University of Nebraska Omaha) have
both stated one of the most difficult challenges is dealing with ever-changing guidelines for the
COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 5
virus whilst within the guidelines of the NCAA and whatever conference they are in
(AthleticDirectorU). Erin Chapman, another assistant athletic trainer at the College of Brockport
State University in New York, built on her already established relationships and the increasing
knowledge of the coronavirus to become the main resource in her area of all these COVID
subjects (Higgins, 2021). She in her own words stated that “By diving right into COVID-19 and
what we would need to do as a campus and in athletics, [the administration] saw that I was the
go-to person for questions. I became as knowledgeable as possible” (Higgins, 2021) Many
people have and are going through numerous modulations and adjustments to keep everyone safe
and secure and doing the things needed to be efficient with their bodies and goals
Examples and Suggestions to Combat
Over the previous year, collegiate athletic trainers on campuses huge and small have
stepped up to ease up the spread and slow down the COVID-19 pandemic. While many ATs have
transitioned to testing and even vaccinating in the athletics department, many establishments
have done certain tasks to help both sides in the fight, even letting their athletic trainers take the
lead for the complete campus as indispensable health care providers. Practical and tangible
examples of results?
In the Journal categorized by Winkelmann & Games, 611 ATs participated in a survey to
explain the job status, duties, and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine was a
COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 6
big thing, with over 40% providing it during the pandemic, although the same percentage was in
use before as well. Telemedicine is the broad use of technology (eg. live video, short, multimedia
messages, telephone calls) by health care providers to deliver an array of services, including
evaluations, follow-up appointments, and interventions (Winkelmann & Games, 23, 2020).
Associated for Applied Sport Psychology made an article of tips for both exercisers and trainers
alike for how to navigate including being aware of burnout, self-care, and seeking help for the
mental component (). A Dakota high school AT named Mark Schoenfelder focused on athletes’
lungs. A certain procedure they do is 50 percent max of 15-20 minutes of exercise and then
progressing from there. They limit the amount of aerobic activity you have (Feldmann, 2020).
Another AT in Indianapolis named Lindsey Foust deals with high school athletes as well in her
clinic Parkview Sports Medicine. Students take a self-screening assessment on their phones
before they come to practice. If they don’t have access to it before they get there, computers are
set up for them so they can check in with a coach before starting practice (Parkview Health,
2020). At Erin Chapman’s localization, 5,000 students, faculty and staff are tested weekly. She
was a part of the planning and prepping process for bringing those on campus safely, sitting on
committees and task forces. In addition to the coordination of the testing site and organization of
tests, she also manages about 20 volunteers daily on site to administer tests and organize pool
samples, and handles timesheets for student workers at their site (Higgins, 2021). Because sports
is so much of a physical sport, there is a lot more upkeep of being cleanliness and following
directions. That comes with the sort of responsibilities as with what Erin is doing. Keep everyone
safe, be safe and diligent, and pay attention.
COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 7
The massive tidal wave of COVID-19’s spread has really taken the world, specifically the
United States, by storm. Not since the Spanish flu of 1918 has a virus spread deadly into a
pandemic, and the United States has not really faced a situation like this in modern times to
where many businesses have to be isolated for an indefinite period. Of course in times like this,
tribulations can be a shock to many people where they may not be prepared to be resourceful.
The space of many people in one area cannot be made and careless mistakes are taken aback.
Thankfully, we can say in this particular world of athletics, people can adapt easily and can help
the same amount of people before, during, and after a spread. Many ATs and conditioners have
expressed their plans, concerns, and ways to contrast the limited guidelines. There has also been
a more concerted effort of care for others due to the issue being health-centered. In the world of
athletics, the need to adapt and be flexible is crucial. With COVID-19, that need has been
elevated. Most athletes and coaches wish for the day they can return to action safely.
Everyone wishes to get again to normal, however there is a chance we may not get back to what
regular was. Instead, we have the chance to make matters better and examine from the
circumstances we have in front of us.
What does that mean? At the moment, it means paying even greater attention to little
details and being diligent each and every day. It means making sure matters are getting sanitized,
that athletes and coaches are social distancing and adapt… to the everchanging guidelines.
Ultimately, ATs are just one piece of the pie that other industries and careers are going through
COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 8
during this pandemic. It needs to take every single industry and person in the economy to take
this outbreak seriously and combat this so everyone can live safely and soundly.
the Association for Applied Sport Psychology Founded in 1985, & the Association
for Applied Sport Psychology. (2020, October 14). Navigating a Pandemic: Tips for Athletic
Trainers Serving the Sport Community. Navigating a Pandemic: Tips for Athletic Trainers
Serving the Sport Community | Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
An athletic trainer’s perspective during the pandemic. (2020, July 21).
Feldmann, M. (2020, September 30). HEALTHBEAT 4: How COVID-19 is changing the
jobs of athletic trainers. KTIV.
Harvey, J. (2020, August 17). Local athletic trainers learning and adapting to COVID-19
challenges. The Daily Progress.
COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 9
Higgins, C. (2021, March 1). AT Irreplaceable in On-Campus Testing, Care. NATA.
https://athleticdirectoru.com/. (2020, November 20). Experts’ Roundtable: Inside the
Current Challenges for Athletic Training. Athletic Director U.
Winkelmann, Z. K., & Games, K. E. (2020). Athletic trainers’ job tasks and status during
the COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A preliminary analysis. Journal of Athletic Training, 56(1), 20–30.
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COVID-19 AND TRAINERS 11
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