A training room should be the safest place for players to go.

By Drew Champlin, FNF Coaches Contributor

The purpose of a training room is for teams to have a place to treat players with injuries or provide preventative measures to help them avoid injuries. It should be the safest place for players to go.

Jeff Steinberg is entering his 26th year of coaching, with 20 as a head coach, so he knows what he wants to have in his training room.

Steinberg is going into his third year as head coach at Rancho Verde High School in Moreno Valley, Calif. He has also been a head coach at nearby Burroughs, A.B. Miller and Santiago. At each of his stops, he has placed an emphasis on making the training room a sanctuary for his players. It is a place where they can get treated for injuries, taped, hydrated, or just relax. But it has to be a clean environment where everyone feels safe.

This year, “everyone” includes a total of 90 players for Rancho Verde. The freshman team alone has around 50 players.

Steinberg listed 10 things every training room should have for safety purposes.

  • Training table: Rancho Verde has five, where players sit on or lay down to get taped or examined. They are five to six feet long.
  • Athletic tape: Steinberg isn’t sure how much tape is in in his training room, or even how many rolls are in a box. What he does know is that the athletic trainers have more than enough to tape players’ ankles and even fingers or wrists, if necessary, before practice and games.
  • Spine board: In case of an emergency where you have to mobilize an athlete, Steinberg thinks there should always be one available. Rancho Verde has two.
  • First-aid kit: This has everything needed to handle injuries, including bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial soap, or possibly scissors, cotton and gauze.
  • Crutches: Steinberg said Rancho Verde’s training room has a surplus of crutches and, even though metal crutches are adjustable, he suggests having them already set in at least three different sizes based on heights “so you don’t have to mess around and you have them ready to go.”
  • Ice cups for the freezer: “As many as you can fit in there. Put them in a Dixie cup or small Gatorade cup. That’s to do ice massage on the athletes. If they have a contusion, that helps right away.”
  • Water jugs: These are for all sports. The athletic trainer fills them up with water or Gatorade and takes them out on the field for hydration.
  • Heat packs: Much like ice packs, heat is also used to treat injuries or aches.
  • Ice machine: Rancho Verde has two ice machines, but Steinberg says you need at least one that regenerates ice to scoop into a wrap to slow swelling or treat injuries.
  • Whirlpool: Rancho Verde has one, but not all schools can afford this. If that’s not an option, oversized trash cans filled with ice and water for cold baths also do the trick. “We have one whirlpool, but we have six oversized plastic trash cans. After our Thursday practice (during the season), kids take ice baths.”

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Dan Guttenplan