Last week, medical staff carried two players from Hawaii off the field. So we ask, what happens when the injured players are our own?
BYU football trainers stand by players on the field, but it’s their relationship off the field that can make the difference between health and an ended career.
BYU Football trainer, Alex Davis, explains, “It’s our job to be a third party that’s separate from their competitive atmosphere that can say, ‘this injury is going to affect you for a long time in your life and you need to think about other things down the road other than just the game that’s happening tomorrow. You need to think about when you’re playing with your kids.’”
When a player goes down on the field, trainers are the first on the scene. They decide if an athlete keeps playing or if they take a seat…or even a stretcher. In the case of a serious injury, players are taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, conveniently located 5 minutes from LaVell Edwards Stadium. Trainers say the athletes respect their judgment.
“We have a great relationship with all our guys here,” Davis says, “They know us and they trust us. We spend a lot of time with them. They know that we’re here everyday for them.”
The sports medicine office has a gym, pools, and one-on-one guidance for injured players. Davis, who completed his undergraduate degree at Utah State and his masters at Weber State, sees a real difference in the BYU trainer program.
“Coming to BYU is a whole new level. They have some great resources here. They have some excellent facilities. Almost anything and everything is available to these guys to help them be as successful as they can be,” Davis says.
Even with several high profile injuries like those of quarterback Riley Nelson and running back Michael Alisa, trainers say the season is on track, and as a whole the team is doing well.
“We’ve kept our guys healthy,” Davis says, “We’ve kept them active. We’ve kept them playing. A few guys are banged up a little bit now that we’re halfway through our season, which is to be expected. It’s a pretty physical game. But for the most part I think our guys are fairly healthy.”
Trainers are the first to tell you that a healthy player is a happy player. So, let’s give a big thanks to our trainers and keep our fingers crossed that the Mighty Cougars keep on smiling.