Innovations in Athletic Training: Enhancing Safety and Performance
An Interview with Kelsey Hounshell, Assistant Athletic Trainer at the University of South Carolina
In the world of sports, where agility, strength, and strategy come together, athletic trainers play a crucial role in ensuring that athletes perform at their best while staying safe. This interview with Kelsey Hounshell, an Assistant Athletic Trainer with six years of experience, sheds light on how technology is reshaping the landscape of athletic training, enhancing both safety and performance.
Passion Meets Profession
Kelsey’s journey into the realm of athletic training was no accident. It was fueled by her lifelong passion for sports. “I played sports growing up and loved the fast-paced environment,” she shares. The love of the game and an innate desire to pursue a career in medicine led her to sports medicine, the perfect convergence of her interests.
One of the most rewarding aspects of her role, according to Kelsey, is “getting to watch and help the players grow into incredible young men and achieve their dreams.” The role of an athletic trainer extends beyond the physical; it’s about mentoring and supporting athletes as they strive to achieve their goals.
Innovation in Athletic Training
In recent years, innovations in athletic training have brought about a profound shift in the way athletes are managed. Kelsey emphasizes the significance of using technology to improve safety and performance. “By utilizing new technology, we have been able to bring athletes back onto the field faster and safer than ever before,” she notes. The use of data-driven insights has not only enhanced the rehabilitation process but has also allowed coaches to make more informed decisions.
A Focus on Head Impact Monitoring
Head injuries, especially in contact sports, are a critical concern. Kelsey explains the importance of tracking head impacts, stating, “To look at and try to predict potential TBIs or concussions.” This proactive approach to head injury prevention is a game-changer in athlete safety.
The Power of Data
The Athlete Intelligence System, used by Kelsey and her team, has proven to be an invaluable tool. “Being able to see which drills have the hardest impacts,” she says, is one of the most valuable insights gained from the system. This data not only helps in gauging the intensity of training but also informs injury prevention strategies.
Key Features of the Athlete Intelligence System
The system’s analytics and real-time data have been pivotal. “Analytics and time stamps allow us to compare data to practice,” Kelsey notes. This means that training can be tailored to individual athletes’ needs more effectively.
Uncovering Unique Insights
The Athlete Intelligence System offers insights that would be otherwise difficult to obtain. “We can identify which periods/drills have the highest number of impacts/hardest impacts and compare that to game situations,” Kelsey shares. This comparison enhances the precision of training regimens, ultimately benefitting the athletes.
A Suite of Technological Advancements
In addition to the Athlete Intelligence System, Kelsey’s program has embraced a range of innovative technologies. “We also use Catapult and Polar systems to help look at overall yardage, return to play speeds and loads, and heart rates during practice,” she adds. These tools provide a comprehensive understanding of an athlete’s physical condition, offering trainers more data to make informed decisions.
A Message to Fellow Athletic Programs
In closing, Kelsey emphasizes the value of head impact monitoring. “It’s a great way to show coaches how much a player hits during the game compared to practice,” she states. The information is not only instrumental in enhancing athlete safety but also in fine-tuning training programs for optimal performance.
In a field that’s constantly evolving, where the pursuit of excellence and safety are paramount, Kelsey Hounshell’s experience highlights how technology is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in athletic training. As the worlds of sports and science continue to converge, one thing is certain: the future of athletic training is brighter and safer than ever before.
About Athlete Intelligence
The Athlete Intelligence system is an innovative way of tracking head impacts, which can help reduce the risk of injury. The system allows for real-time alerts and helps improve athlete performance. The data generated by the system helps identify patterns in head impacts and shows the effectiveness of proper tackling techniques. Reports and analytics provide coaches with valuable information on their athletes, allowing them to make informed decisions and adjust training accordingly.