What I am looking forward to most this football season is gaining a new perspective on how a medical staff runs. The year 2002 was the last time that I was at a training camp practice while not in a uniform of a team that I was working for. This will be my first time in over a decade at a training camp in which I am not a part of the workforce, but rather an observer and admirer of the process.
The last time that this happened, I had nowhere near the knowledge that I do now about how a high-level medical staff takes care of their athletes. I am very curious to see what this process looks like when I did it and how different it feels from the stands.
I cannot wait to watch how people look coming in and out of drills from this new vantage point. I am also looking forward to seeing how the staff works so incredibly hard to take care of people that outnumber them nearly seven players to one.
I encourage anyone going to camp to not only watch the athletes, but also the people taking care of them and how closely those individuals pay attention to the needs of every athlete. Every play, their heads must be on a swivel for any needs to be met be it hydration, injury prevention or injury itself.
As someone who constantly had to be worried about athletes in heat, it will be fascinating for me to watch the athletes being monitored for this as well. Watch all the measures that the medical staff undertakes to keep players from overheating including fluids and cold towels. If you look really closely, you may even see a huge pool filled with cold water and ice.
Also keep a close eye on how drenched every athletic trainer is coming off the field. Their efforts in order to keep the machine running smoothly on the field cannot be underappreciated. I would routinely lose multiple pounds every day at practice running around to execute the job properly. Think of that when your favorite player scores a touchdown or makes a huge tackle. Someone is keeping that player out there for you to enjoy.
Finally, as I have stated previously, I don’t know everything. I am looking forward to learning about all the new things out there that I haven’t been exposed to yet. The science behind what is done on the field and how the care of the players advances consistently evolves.
The NFL is always on the cutting edge and seeing what new methods are being used only helps to educate us all.
Enjoy camp for the players, enjoy it for the beginning of the season, but don’t forget to look at how everything happens. Look around a little bit and ask questions, you may learn something.
Aaron Borgmann is the founder of AB Rehab Solutions LLC. He spent 12 years in the NFL as an assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist before joining Arrowhead Pride.