by Nic H., Concordia Applied Journalism
The cheers from the crowds, the energetic whistle beeps, the shouts of encouragement by the players and coaches – these are some of the sounds we’re used to at Concordia sporting events. Thanks to our athletes, we’re able to enjoy the intense rivalries between our sports teams. Athletes enrolled in our season two sports are still working hard to win games, and “Phoenix Pride” is still on the rise!
None of this can be achieved, however, without the support system that’s been provided for our athletes, especially when they become injured during practice or a game. This is where our athletics trainer comes in for the save.
“When someone gets injured, I’m the first on the court or the field to assess what the injury is,” says Dr. Rizzo when being asked about her role as the athletic trainer for our athletes.
Ever since season two sports started for Concordia athletes, many choose to go to Dr. Rizzo to keep their body in ideal condition. Athletes regularly make appointments with her, whether if they’re injured or are experiencing other physical ailments. Her role at Concordia is crucial as many athletes suffer from previous injuries untreated or have been lingering for a long time.
But above all, she tries to bring the athletes back on the court again.
“We work on strengthening the muscle, working on increased range of motion in the joints,” explains Dr. Rizzo. In many instances, the problems that athletes tend to have are physical. To ensure their safety, Dr. Rizzo requires them to join her in rehabilitation, a strategy that she has been perfecting for a long time for athletes to become suitable for both practice and games. Athletes are recommended to come in either before practice or to miss practice completely if the injury is serious.
Aside from her role at Concordia, she also derives her motivation to become an athletic trainer through her personal experiences in high school and at college.
“I landed on my middle blocker’s foot, and rolled my ankle, and partially tore my achilleas”, exclaimed Dr. Rizzo. For her, this meant more than anything as she had this experienced this traumatic incident in the third day of preseason in college – yet it led to something transformative.
“I met an athletic trainer for the first time, and I thought it was the coolest job,” states Dr. Rizzo. Although she spent most of her college career unable to play any sport, her passion for athletic training increased drastically, which lead her to earn a doctorate in applied physical science. For her, it was more of a blessing than a curse.
Clearly, Dr. Rizzo invests a tremendous amount of effort for the players in our community. She’s been incredible with all of the athletes for her years here and has contributed greatly to the success of Concordia Athletics.
“My favorite moments are when an athlete has spent months with me rehabbing, not able to play their sport, and they go back on the courts,” she claims.
Nic H. is a student of Concordia Applied Journalism.