4 Ways Forté’s Athletic Trainers Can Enhance the Student-Athlete Experience

Posted on 
February 21, 2024

As the River States Conference volleyball tournament came to a close in early November, IU Kokomo players were celebrating an undefeated conference season and tournament. As one of the team’s biggest advocates, athletic trainer Fabian Munoz also had a lot to celebrate.

“We had a lot of injuries this year,” says Munoz. “It felt good to help keep them on the court and see them be successful.”

Munoz serves dual roles as an athletic trainer at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics who is also embedded year-round with IU Kokomo Athletics. This unique position is part of Forté’s outreach program, which creates partnerships with teams and clubs across the state to better serve athletes of all sports, ages and abilities.

As part of an embedded partnership, Forté’s athletic trainers work alongside teams to help enhance the student-athlete experience in four significant ways.

Providing Injury Prevention, Triage and Treatment

An athletic trainer is a medical care professional whose training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of acute and chronic injuries and medical conditions.

When athletic trainers are embedded with a team, they can implement injury prevention programs and warm-ups designed to keep student-athletes healthy and ready to play. Additionally, the immediate triage and sports medicine treatments they provide when an injury does occur can help shorten recovery times.

Expediting Access to Top Specialists

In the event of an injury, Forté’s embedded athletic trainers are also equipped to help student-athletes, parents and coaches expedite the next steps in the treatment process. Munoz and his colleagues have direct access to and relationships with Forté’s orthopedic specialists and physical therapists. This guarantees their athletes are seen – fast.

“We can treat most issues in-house, but we can also streamline the athlete’s ability to be seen by a physician when needed,” says Munoz.

Personalizing Physician Recommendations

The benefits of working with an embedded athletic trainer also go beyond expedited appointment scheduling.

Courtney Cox, a Forté athletic trainer embedded with the Indiana Fire Academy, says her soccer players can experience a variety of acute injuries, from ACL tears and ankle sprains to wrist fractures and concussions. When these injuries happen, Cox provides players and their family members with personalized physician recommendations.

“We have the benefit of knowing the specialties of each of the physicians at Forté,” says Cox. “We can recommend who an athlete should see based on their injury.”

Return to Play

Additionally, embedded athletic trainers can help injured student-athletes reach the finish line in their recovery and get back to play as quickly and safely as possible.

“I attend many Forté appointments with my injured athletes,” says Cox. “When they come back to training with me, I know exactly where they’re at in their recovery and their progression in return to play because I was on hand during visits with their physicians and physical therapists.”

Creating Special Bonds

Ultimately, the relationships built with embedded athletic trainers over seasons and through shared experiences create special bonds that better serve student-athletes and their support teams.

“Parents and coaches are always super grateful that they don’t have to do research on their own,” says Cox. “They know us, and they know we want the best for their kids. Because of that, they’re willing to trust us.”

The success achieved together can also feel that much sweeter, as in the case of IU Kokomo’s win at the 2023 River States Conference volleyball tournament.

“My favorite moment was seeing the ladies finish a regular season sweep and a conference tournament sweep,” says Munoz. “We ended on a high note with everyone staying healthy and having a lot of success.”

Want to learn more about Forté’s Outreach Program? Forté’s athletic trainers currently serve 10 individual sports organizations, two dance companies, the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders and six public safety departments. Find out more about Forté’s Outreach Program online or by calling 317.817.1200.

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