Angie Witt, ATC - Coordinator of Athletic Training
Kevin Kelenic, ATC - Graduate Assistant
Laura Vencill, ATC - Graduate Assistant
Our staff is certified by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association and Licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine in order to evaluate, treat, and rehabilitate athletic injuries. We strive to provide our club sports athletes with the best medical care possible to ensure peak performance during practices and competitions. We work closely with our team physicians in order to give our athletes the best chance for full and complete recovery from athletic injuries.
The athletic training department has 3 facilities for club sports use. Our main facility is used for all Club Sports teams and is open MWF 11am-6pm and Tues/Thurs 12pm-7pm. We have two game day facilities: One at the Ice Rink and one at the Lacrosse Facility.
It is recommended that all student athletes have their own insurance policy. The insurance information will be given to the Coordinator of Athletic Training on the Club Sports Authorization form. Currently each student that attends Liberty University will have an accident policy that will cover all accidents during the year. This is an ACCIDENT policy and does not replace general medical coverage. In addition Liberty University Club Sports has an accident policy that will be used if an injury occurs during practice or competition. All insurance information will be used in the event the student athlete must see a Licensed Physician for emergency or non-emergency medical treatment. The students insurance will be the primary insurance and will be billed first. The LU student accident policy will be used as a secondary policy. Finally, the LU Club Sports policy will process the claim for payment after all other insurance policies have been exhausted. It is vital that the Athletic training staff is informed of the injury immediately to ensure all bills are paid. LU Club Sports will only file the claim if the Athletic Training staff is notified of the injury before the athlete is seen by a physician. In case of an Emergency the coach must notify the Athletic Training Coordinator within 24 hours. ALL insurance claims must be filled within 90 days.
Hockey, Wrestling, and Lacrosse are required to do baseline testing for concussions. For all other club sports it will be optional and can be done at the request of the athlete or coach.
Concussions are a serious medical condition that needs to have proper care and treatment like any other injury. In order to keep a patient from further harm or damage after a concussion it is imperative that the participant communicate with the athletic trainer regarding head injury, no matter how minor. It is also important for other teammates and coach to spot abnormal behavior and concussive symptoms and report it to the athletic trainer immediately. Hiding it or continuing to play can lead to serious harm, further damage to the brain, and prolong recovery time. Athletes diagnosed with a Concussion will not return to play until they have been cleared by a Licensed Health Care Provider.
What is a Concussion?
Concussions are the most common form of head injury suffered by athletes. Due to the complexity of the injury and ever-growing research, a unanimous definition of “concussion” does not exist. A concussion can be caused by a direct or indirect hit to the head or body and can result in a disturbance and/or impairment in neurologic function. When an athlete suffers a concussion, the brain suddenly shifts or shakes inside the skull and can knock against the skull’s bony surface. A hard hit to the body can result in an acceleration and/or deceleration injury when the brain brushes against bony protuberances inside the skull. The exact recovery period from this trauma is unclear and will vary from individual to individual.
Following a concussion, the athlete may experience a variety of symptoms. Most concussions occur without a loss of consciousness. It is important to remember that some symptoms may appear right away and some may be delayed. Symptoms, as well as symptom severity, may differ between individuals; however, a combination of symptoms classically occurs.
Some Signs and Symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating - Nausea/vomiting
- Inappropriate playing behavior - Dizziness
- Decreased playing ability - Confusion
- Inability to perform daily activities - Fatigue
- Reduced attention - Light headedness
- Cognitive and memory dysfunction - Headaches
- Sleep disturbances - Irritability
- Vacant stare - Disorientation
- Loss of bowel and/or bladder control - Seeing bright lights/stars
- Personality change - Feeling of being stunned
- Unsteadiness of gait - Depression
- Slurred/incoherent speech - Ringing in the ears
- Loss of consciousness
Notification of Injury/Symptoms:
Due to the serious nature of this injury and potential dangerous results of returning to activity, concussions need to be recognized and diagnosed as soon as possible. It is required that student-athletes be truthful and forthcoming about their symptoms as soon as they are present. If/when he or she is diagnosed with a concussion, the student-athlete must report symptoms each day until he or she is cleared for full activity by the Team Physician or designee.
6 Step return to play progression:
A 24 hour period must pass before moving on to the next step. If symptoms return the athlete must go back a step. The Steps are as follows:
1. No Activity- Directly after being diagnosed with a concussion, the athlete should have total physical and mental rest. Once the student-athlete is asymptomatic at rest and concussion scores are 95% or better than the baseline scores the athlete will progress to the next step.
2. Light Aerobic Exercise- Walking, Swimming, or biking while keeping the heart rate low.
3. Sport-Specific Exercise- Basic low impact drills associated with the athletes sport. (No Head Impact drills)
4. Non-Contact Training Drills-Progress to more complex drills.
5. Full Contact Practice-After receiving medical clearance, athlete may resume normal training activities.
6. Return to Play
*This protocol will be followed at all times. No Exceptions!