The Outreach Team includes trainers, physiologists, physical therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, and sport nutritionists who work directly with high school and college athletics programs which have Licensed Athletic Trainers on staff. The Team conducts conferences and seminars, and provides training and education for student athletes.
Kevin Bastin, A.T.C., L.A.T., M.S. Ed., C.E.S.
Director of Athletic Training Services for the Ironman Sports Medicine
Institute at Memorial Hermann • Bachelors in Physical Education/Athletic Training from West Virginia University • Masters in Sports Health from University of Miami • 20 years of experience as an NFL athletic trainer with the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans • NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year in 1995
Bob Marley, M.A., A.T.C., L.A.T., C.S.C.S.
He has served as the Head Athletic Trainer at Houston Baptist University for 7 years and still serves as an adjunct faculty member. He is the Head Athletic Trainer at Needville High School for the last 22 years. • He is a Licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. • He is a member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Southwest Athletic Trainers' Association, Texas State Athletic Trainers' Association, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Greater Houston Football Coaches' Association, Texas High School Coaches' Association and the Greater Houston Athletic Trainers' Society.He serves on the boards of the Greater Houston Football Coaches' Association and Greater Houston Athletic Trainers' Society.
Athletic Trainers Should Be Part of Your Team
When "time out" is called because of injury during an athletic event, the licensed athletic trainer (LAT) is among the first to spring into action. Although today's LAT plays an essential role in competition, his or her expertise might surprise even the most ardent of fans.
"The most common misconception about our profession is that we don't have medical training," says Robert Marley, M.A., A.T.C., L.A.T., C.S.C.S., senior outreach athletic trainer with the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute and with the department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. "In fact, many people think we're coaches with first-aid training," he adds.
That perception changes once athletes and their families get better acquainted with LATs, Marley explains. "They start looking to the athletic trainer as the gatekeeper for all of their healthcare needs. We get calls for all kinds of things, including referrals for specialists from pediatricians to gynecologists."
Recognized by the American Medical Association as allied health professionals, athletic trainers must have state licensure and continuing medical education to maintain that licensure. LATs possess a thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, emergency medicine, injury prevention, taping and bracing, strength and conditioning, rehabilitation, nutrition and psychology.
The career path for today's LAT begins with a bachelor's degree in athletic training, kinesiology, exercise science or a similar line of study. Next, the candidate is required to work under the supervision of a LAT at a college or university to obtain 1,800 or more clock hours of work experience.
Caring for Athletes
Marley credits the growing trend towards active lifestyles for the increased popularity of athletic trainers. "As medicine has become more specialized, our profession has also benefited. It used to be that people went to a primary care doctor for all their medical needs. That's no longer the case. When an athlete needs a doctor, he or she wants to see someone who specializes in sports."
Although the public may first spot the LAT in a huddle on the field, the job entails an even broader scope of responsibilities. "The whole credo of an athletic trainer is care," Marley explains. "Of course, we tend to injuries and look for ways to enhance an athlete's performance; however, we also strive to prevent injuries, whether it's bracing and support, or spotting weaknesses by observing gait. For instance, we may notice if a hamstring is tight so we can help with strength, weakness or imbalance."
Affiliated with UTHealth Medical School department of Orthopaedic Surgery and other area sports medicine-trained physicians, the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Athletic Training Outreach Team includes 11 athletic trainers as well as exercise physiologists, physical therapists, strength and conditioning coaches and dietitians.
For high schools and colleges with LATs on staff, the Outreach Team serves as a resource by answering questions and streamlining access to Memorial Hermann-affiliated physicians and physical therapists. In addition, Outreach Team members conduct talks, seminars and student trainer education, as well as coach and athletic trainer workshops. Services are also available to both youth and adult leagues.
During the course of a typical day, Marley interfaces with 110 to 130 students, a number he cites as typical for an athletic trainer in the Houston area. "We often visit a high school, college or other sports team that doesn't have an athletic trainer," Marley says. "We evaluate injuries, do physician follow-ups and serve as a resource in preventing injuries by designing strength and conditioning programs."
Jerry Long, athletic director and head football coach at East Bernard High School, describes the benefits of the Outreach Team as "huge." "In a school our size we don't have an in-house trainer on the payroll," he says. "For Bob to come out one day a week and at the drop of the hat when we have an injury - and to have a good place like Memorial Hermann that we trust to send our kids to - is very, very helpful."
Regardless of the sport - football, basketball, volleyball, cross country, track, soccer, gymnastics, swimming, diving, cheerleading or power lifting - athletes and athletic trainers forge a unique bond.
"I think any athletic trainer will tell you that the most rewarding part of our job is just watching an athlete get well and return to athletic performance," Marley said. "There's a special relationship that develops. We enjoy working toward a common goal and being part of that camaraderie and team atmosphere."
Learn how your school team or league team can benefit from the services of the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Athletic Training Outreach Team, please call (713) 242.2838.