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    Athletic Trainers lead the fight in injury prevention

    Athletic Trainer

    Photo By Sgt. Samuel Fletcher | Josh Lundgaard, an athletic trainer certified with Special Training Company, Support...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Samuel Fletcher  

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island           

    Athletic Trainers lead the fight in injury prevention

    At Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, recruit training can be physically grueling for both recruits and drill instructors. Aboard the Depot, it is the athletic trainers’ job to ensure that the recruits and Dis are taking the proper steps to increase injury prevention awareness and help them recover if injuries occur.
    “Athletic trainers on the Depot are in charge of human performance and injury prevention,” said Vincent Mancini, the Athletic Trainer for Drill Instructor School. “We observe and plan out programs and workouts for both the recruits and drill instructors. For injury prevention, we help teach proper limb stretching, and make sure everyone is drinking water and eating correctly.”
    Athletic trainers were introduced to the depot in 2003 as a pilot program because the Marine Corps was losing too many Marines and recruits due to musculoskeletal injuries, according to Mancini. Athletic trainers were introduced in attempt to reduce injuries and speed up rehabilitation time. After six months, the athletic trainers were permanently hired for the results they were producing.
    There are currently six Marine Corps athletic trainers aboard the depot; one for each Recruit Training Battalion, one for Drill Instructor School and one for Special Training Company. If a recruit is injured during training, they first report to base medical and if needed are later directed to their Battalion’s athletic trainer. If an injured recruit cannot immediately resume training, the recruit will be transferred to the STC athletic trainer, who will help them recover and continue training.
    “I give the drill instructors classes on injury prevention in between cycles,” said Jay Gibson, the athletic trainer for 1st Recruit Training Battalion. “I make sure they know how to do everything properly as well as watching out for the recruit, so they can help mitigate injuries as well.”
    “My job is to make you understand your injury and to teach you how to take care of that injury,” said Mancini. “Your knee could be hurting you but it might not be coming from your knee… it could be coming from your hip or your ankle. That’s how we are taught; don’t just look at the injury; Look for what could be causing it. Athletic trainers explain why the stretching is important and why it’s needed along with proper techniques.”
    All athletic trainers aboard the depot are required to have a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training, which places them on an equal level with their peers in collegiate and professional sports.
    “We have the same certifications as the athletic trainers that work for professional sports teams, division one colleges, and some high schools,” said Jay Gibson. “Parents can feel assured that their recruit is being taken care of.”
    For Mancini, being an athletic trainer is more than just a job. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 Mancini was going to drop out of college and enlist in the Marine Corps just six months before he was supposed to graduate with his master’s degree. His father, a former Marine, told him to finish college and to find another “in” to the military. After working in pediatrics with Vietnam vets for a year, Mancini caught wind of the opportunity to help the Marines stay in the fight in 2003.
    “My favorite part of my job is when the individual comes in they are distraught about their injury, whether it’s a recruit or Marine, and when they leave you can tell they have a sense of hope,” said Mancini. “That is the best part of the job, connecting with a person and having them realize that they can be helped.”



    Date Taken: 02.17.2021
    Date Posted: 02.17.2021 15:28
    Story ID: 389242
    Location: PARRIS ISLAND, SC, US

    Web Views: 284
    Downloads: 2