TVS Athletic Training
An athletic trainer (AT) is an allied health care professional who collaborates with physicians and other healthcare professionals to optimize activity and participation for active individuals. After completing a four-year, accredited education program in Athletic Training, a candidate sits for an exam to obtain the national credential of Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). Over 70% of athletic trainers complete an advanced degree. ATs are required to comply by National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) ethical standards and practice acts while remaining current with their continuing education hours.
The athletic trainers at Trinity Valley School provide immediate care for athletic injuries and illnesses, ranging from a scraped knee to a catastrophic head or neck injury. Whether a student suffers a sprained ankle or a concussion, the TVS team has the tools to manage the situation. Frequently, an injury can be handled and resolved “in-house.” However, when more serious issues arise, the ATs evaluate and manage an injury while concurrently referring to a physician for further care. Because TVS has close working relationships with many medical professionals, the ATs serve as the link from school injury to timely medical care. Oftentimes, the ATs make a phone call to expedite an ER trip or to arrange an immediate visit to a physician’s office.
Rehabilitation of athletic injuries and return-to-play progressions are other services the TVS athletic trainers provide for returning athletes to their sport. After any major injury, rehabilitation is necessary to restore range of motion, strength, and full function. The TVS team focuses on creating a program beginning with basics and leading up to sport-specific functional exercises. Depending on the injury specifics, the rehabilitation process may be as brief as one week, or as long as several months. Athletes often do rehab with the athletic trainers two to three times per week and supplement with either a home program or physical therapy.
Starting in 2015 every student will need a new physical each year to participate in athletics, dance or PE.
Injury Evaluation, Treatment and Rehabilitation Hours
Evaluation of New Injuries, Treatment or Scheduled Rehabilitation
- Morning Flex Period, Student Free Period (BY APPOINTMENT), or Lunch Period
Preventative Treatment, Taping or Stretching
- Afternoon Flex Period, After Final Class Period of Day
All students participating in TVS Athletics (including cheer, dance and PE) in grades 7-12 are required to have a Physical Exam performed by a physician to determine if they are physically capable of participating. To better align with preventative healthcare and best practices a new physical exam is required every year. In addition to the physical exam, each parent and student should complete the Athletic Medical History form on Ren-Web. This form will give the TVS Medical Staff a more detailed and complete picture of your child’s health history. The Athletic Medical History form includes; a Permission to Treat Acknowledgement, a HIPPA Statement, and Concussion Acknowledgement Statement. The Athletic Medical History form should be completed annually through renweb.com. No student will be allowed to participate in any TVS activity without completing and returning their pre-participation physical examination and online Athletic Medical History form. Please submit the completed pre-participation physical exam to the Athletic Trainers prior to your child’s sport or activity begins. You can submit the forms via Fax #817-321-0161, email, or deliver to the Athletic Office to ATTN: Athletic Trainers.
Trinity Valley School Concussion Policy
Based on current standards of care and in compliance with Texas state law, Trinity Valley School has established this concussion policy. All athletic trainers, coaches, student-athletes, and parents shall follow these procedures and policies stated from here forth concerning the care and diagnosis of concussions. On a yearly basis, each student-athlete, his/her parent/guardian, and all coaches must read and sign the Concussion Acknowledgement Form prior to athletic participation.
Definition – a concussion is a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain caused by a traumatic physical force or impact to the head or body, which may include temporary or prolonged altered brain function resulting in physical, cognitive, or emotional symptoms or altered sleep patterns; and/or involve loss of consciousness.
Diagnosis – Any student-athlete suspected of a concussion shall be removed from practice or competition for further evaluation by an athletic trainer or physician. Concussion evaluations may be performed on the sideline, practice field, court, or in a controlled environment. The athletic training staff will use peer-reviewed, research-based methods to evaluate and diagnose the injury. Evaluation will consist of verbal communication, functional testing, and symptom scoring. If a concussion is still suspected and/or diagnosed, the student shall not return to activity that day and the procedures below must be followed.
Cognitive Rest – A student diagnosed with a concussion will need cognitive as well as physical rest to allow the brain to heal. No two concussions are the same and do not present with the same symptoms or timeline for recovery. Each student-athlete’s case will be handled individually based upon the initial symptoms. The athletic trainers will communicate with the appropriate division heads and school nurse to make academic accommodations as needed based on their symptoms. Accommodations can be as simple as extended time for assignments, to no tests or quizzes during this time, or the student may need to stay at home while symptoms are present. Once the student-athlete has passed the ImPACT test and is symptom free, the athletic trainer will inform the division head that the student has returned to normal cognitive function and no longer needs academic accommodations because of the concussion.
ImPACT Testing - The ImPACT Test is a computerized neurocognitive exam that evaluates an individual’s brain function. This test is well researched and among the industry standards in the assessment of concussions. The ImPACT Test is used by the majority of professional and collegiate sports teams in the United States. Here at TVS we administer a baseline test every two years to all upper-school athletes participating in a collision or contact sport. If your child were to sustain a concussion we can compare their baseline score to their post-injury scores. This helps the Athletic Training Staff and physicians make better decisions on academic and athletic modifications.
Treatment and Return to Play – Every student-athlete diagnosed with a concussion must be evaluated and cleared by a physician and must complete the TVS concussion return-to-play (“RTP”) protocol. The athletic training staff will communicate with the appropriate school official to make adjustments to the student-athlete’s academic affairs to allow cognitive rest. Once the athlete is asymptomatic for 24 hours, he/she may begin the RTP process.
Return to Play (“RTP”) Protocol
- Step 1- Rest, until symptom free (physical and cognitive rest)
- Step 2- Once asymptomatic for 24-hours take neurocognitive test*
*Does not apply to middle school students; instead, wait 48 hours once asymptomatic with no increase or return of symptoms as a result of classwork. Symptom score sheet will be used to track student’s symptoms from injury through 48 hours of being asymptomatic.
- Step 3- Begin the RTP protocol.
- RTP occurs over a minimum of five steps. Must wait 24 hours between each step.
- RTP 1- light aerobic activity (bike or elliptical) 10-20 minutes
- RTP 2- aerobic (jogging or elliptical) & resistive training for 20-30 minutes
- RTP 3- sport specific functional drills or non-contact practice
- RTP 4- full contact activity
- If symptoms return during any step, the student-athlete must go back to the previous step and begin again after 24 hours.
- Total days missed will vary and are determined by how long it takes for symptoms to resolve, and/or if any steps have to be repeated.
- Step 4 – The student-athlete will be cleared to return to full participation after the following requirements are met: completion of the RTP protocol (Steps 1-4) while remaining symptom free; written consent given from the treating physician and the parent/guardian; and all documents submitted to a TVS athletic trainer.
Parent Concussion Guide
TVS Return to Play Form
Any student-athlete who sees a physician, nurse, or physical therapist for any illness/injury must present a written note to the athletic trainer’s office documenting that he/she is cleared for further participation in athletics. Without proper documentation, the student-athlete will not be allowed to participate in any athletic practice or event until proper documentation is submitted.
The athletic trainers’ primary responsibilities are prevention, recognition and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. Any injury that is a result of activities associated with TVS Athletics or Dance need to be reported as soon as possible to an athletic trainer, coach or instructor. If you suspect that you have sustained an injury that may require additional treatment or result in lost playing time; make arrangements to meet the with the athletic trainers during your free period or the morning flex period for further evaluation and to develop of a proper treatment plan. The small window of time before athletics begins is usually not sufficient enough time to evaluate, treat and communicate your injury status to your coach prior to the beginning of practice. Failure to appear at designated treatment times is not an acceptable excuse to miss a practice, as all athletes will be expected to be present for team practices.
The number of heat illness-related incidents has increased nationwide. In response, many secondary schools and colleges have adopted heat policies to better protect their student athletes from the threats posed by these extreme temperatures. Because the majority of fall sports in North Texas are played during the hottest time of the year, it would not be prudent for us to cancel practices frequently and still expect our athletes to perform at a high level of competition without experiencing a period of acclimation conditioning.
Research from the National Weather Service indicates that a heat index of 105 can be dangerous to high-risk individuals. This high risk group contains the elderly, the very young, persons who have sustained/suffered from heat illness previously, asthmatics, and those with cardio/pulmonary disorders. In light of this information, we adhere to the following procedures for Trinity Valley School PE and Athletics:
Pre-Season Upper School Practices (prior to school starting in August):
- If a heat index of 106 degrees is reached and maintained for 5 minutes during an outdoor practice session, the session will be moved indoors, postponed, or rescheduled.
- If a heat index of 106 degrees is reached before a practice is scheduled to begin, the practice will be moved indoors, postponed, or rescheduled.
During the School Year:
- At temperatures of 95 degrees or above, all K-5 physical education classes shall remain indoors.
- At temperatures of 100 degrees or above, all outdoor middle school, grades 6-8, practices will be modified in the following manners:
- frequency of water breaks (mandatory team breaks are taken every 20 minutes at minimum)
- location, if possible (indoors vs. outdoors)
- At a heat index of 106 degrees, all outdoor upper school sports practice times will be adjusted.
- In the case that a heat index of 106 degrees is reached during school, students will report to study hall immediately following classes and practices will begin at 6:30pm, or at the earliest time after the heat index has dropped below 106.
- If the heat index levels are anticipated to exceed 106 degrees for an extended period of time, practices may instead be held from 6:30-8:30am.
The overall health and safety of our student athletes is of utmost importance to everyone associated with Trinity Valley School athletics. This policy is designed to make participating in athletics at TVS during these hot fall months as safe as possible.
In conjunction with altering practice times, we ask that all athletes report to all activities properly pre-hydrated and adequately fueled through nutrient-rich foods.
17-20 fl. oz. two hours before practice/game
At least 7-10 fl. oz. (water) 10-20 minutes before practice/game
4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio
example: turkey sandwich on wheat bagel
simple grab-n-go pre-practice snacks: fruit, granola bar, bagel with peanut butter
Water is available to all athletes at all times throughout practices. In addition, team water breaks are required approximately every 20-30 minutes. During break time, athletes gather in the shade of the pavilion with mist sprayers, fans, water, and Gatorade.
Any athlete displaying or reporting symptoms of heat illness will be removed from activity immediately. If your child is taking any medications that may increase his/her susceptibility to heat illness, please inform the child’s coach, the athletic trainers, and the school nurse.
Trinity Valley School will be using Perry Weather Services for detection of lightning and other life threating weather. At the current moment there will be no audible siren or strobe set to notify the TVS community of the impending danger. It is recommended for all individuals who plan to be outside during the school day track and watch the weather for potential dangerous storms.
Common sense should prevail, don’t wait to be notified, these catch phrases should be used to improve safety.
“When Thunder Roars, Head Indoors” Or “If You See It, Flee It”
Lightning Information – Lightning can strike and kill a victim up to six miles away. To decrease the chance of a lightning injury here on campus we have set up a 10-mile radius to notify and advice all individuals to seek shelter. Due to the risk that lightning can strike in any direction, a 30 minute all clear countdown clock will start when there are no detectable strikes within the 10-mile radius of TVS. All of this information will be tracked and notified to you through the Perry Weather Services. Ultimately, if you see it, flee it, don’t wait to be notified.
Appropriate Shelter – In the event that lightning strikes within the 10-mile radius of campus all individuals should seek out a safe shelter location. Safe shelters areas have four walls, a roof and are plumbed and wired for electricity. A school bus or car is also an appropriate safe shelter as long as the occupant stays away from the windows. Un-safe shelters include pavilions, tool sheds, dugouts or under free standing objects.
Notification of Campus – There are two ways in which the campus will be notified of a potentially dangerous storm, text and email. Text notifications of lightning strikes within 15, 10 and 5 miles of campus will be sent to individuals directly responsible for outside activities on a daily basis. Email notifications will be sent to TVS administrators, security and those deemed necessary to receive the information. The email will notify that lightning has struck within the 10-mile radius of campus and it is no longer safe to be outside. A second email will be sent once the all clear has been given, after 30 minutes of no strikes within 10 miles of campus.
Alerting Faculty, Staff & Students During Regular School Hours – Once the campus is alerted that there has been a strike with in the 10-mile radius the following actions should be taken.
Administrative Assistants or Divisional Heads will announce over the intercom system.
“Lightning has been detected close to campus, stay inside in a safe location.”
All outside activities (recess, class projects, brain breaks, etc.) should be suspended until further notice.
A member of the security team will drive through campus. Advise individuals that there is dangerous lightning in the area and they should seek appropriate shelter immediately.
Administrative Assistant or an Athletic Trainer (AT) will notify any PE classes during that time. Any teams outside will be advised of the danger by an AT, AD or Coach.
“Lightning has been detected close to campus, stay inside in a safe location.”
Alerting Spectators of Sporting or Other Outdoor Events – When outdoor events are scheduled and there is a possibility of storms, event organizers should be cognizant of the weather and monitor it closely. In the event a lighting strike is detected within the 10-mile radius of campus when an outside event is taking place the following actions should occur.
School Fair, Concert etc.
TVS Athletic Trainer or Athletic Director will notify the appropriate coaches and officials of the impending danger and suspend play until the all clear is given. They will advise all players and spectators to seek appropriate shelter in one of the gyms or their school bus.
TVS Security will alert the event organizer of the impending danger as well as making announcements to the participants of the outdoor event. They will advise all participants to seek appropriate shelter until the all clear is given.
TOE Leaders will notify their group of the impeding danger and seek appropriate shelter. TOE will monitor weather appropriate to their location.
All Clear – Perry Weather Service will monitor the storm and lightning strikes. Once there are no strikes detected with in the 10-mile radius for 30 minutes, a second “All Clear” email or text will be sent to the appropriate individuals. At this time is safe for students to participate in outside activities.
- An announcement should be made over the intercom system, event organizers or athletic participants; “It is now safe to resume outside activities.”
Common sense should prevail to improve safety.
“When Thunder Roars, Head Indoors”
During the winter months, we may experience cold temperatures that at times can be considered extreme. Exposure to extremely cold conditions can not only be uncomfortable for TVS personnel (athletes, coaches and spectators), but can also lead to impaired performance and possibly lead to some life threatening situations. All student-athletes and families are encouraged to review the weather conditions often when winter weather is expected. Student-athletes are recommended to wear multiple layers of appropriate clothing, including stocking caps and gloves, if they are to be exposed to the outside environments. Exposure to extremely cold conditions can lead to frostbite (freezing of superficial tissues) and hypothermia (dangerous dropping of body core temperature). Exposure to cold air can also exasperate conditions for those persons with asthma. Therefore, the TVS Athletic Department has set up some guidelines to determine when we should and should not allow our students and staff to be exposed to the cold weather.
When considering when it is reasonable and prudent to have our community out in the cold for practices and games, we will consider the following four factors:
A) Ambient temperature
B) Wind chill
C) Precipitation and/or wet conditions
D) Age and/or level of competition
1. COLD WEATHER:
a. Temperature, including wind chill, is above 30 degrees, with or without rain.
b. No game or practice restrictions. Community will be advised to adjust and/or layer clothing.
2. EXTREMELY COLD WEATHER:
a. Temperature, including wind chill, is between 15 degrees and 30 degrees, without rain (dry).
b. Outside exposure will be limited and/or adjusted.
c. No Physical Education classes outdoors.
d. Reschedule Sub-varsity games (younger students).
e. Varsity games will be played at the Athletic Director's discretion.
3. DANGEROUSLY COLD WEATHER:
a. Temperature, including wind chill, is between 15 degrees and 30 degrees, and precipitating,
b. Temperature, including wind chill, is below 15 degrees.
c. No outside exposure, Varsity games will be rescheduled if required.
Over-the-counter medication will only be distributed to student athletes at the time of an injury or when the athletic trainer deems appropriate. Students seeking daily dosage of any over-the-counter medications should consult their physician.
Taping and bracing can be used for preventative measures, for acute injury, and during post-injury rehabilitation. Taping is usually done at the discretion of the TVS athletic trainers, or by written request from a physician treating the injury. Injuries should not be expected to be alleviated by taping alone. Appropriate treatment and rehabilitation should be done under the direction of the athletic trainers.
Ankle braces are required during participation in upper school football and girls’ volleyball. Bracing is also recommended by the TVS athletic trainers for upper school boys’ and girls’ basketball, and boys’ volleyball. There are many options for supportive ankle braces on the market. Each athlete may choose to buy their own, or ankle braces are available from the TVS athletic training department for $30 per pair.
For sports in which mouth guards are required (football, field hockey, lacrosse), the TVS athletic trainers will provide each athlete one at the beginning of the season. Replacement mouth guards will be provided thereafter for $1.00 each.