College of the Canyons is well known for its top notch athletic programs. With volleyball, football, basketball, soccer, softball, cross country and golf all winning conference back in 2013, it is proven that COC sets its standards with highly competitive student athletes.
Competing at such a high level, it is necessary for athletes to put hours into practice and conditioning to ensure that they are as game ready as possible.
Although the athletes at COC have received recognition for their outstanding achievements on the field, their achievements could not have been done without the help of the people working off the field or in the training room: the athletic trainers.
Sarah Ehrsam is head of the athletic training department at College of the Canyons. Sarah is responsible for the medical care of every athlete at COC.
“I work daily to prevent, assess and treat injuries when they occur,” Ehrsam said.
“I develop and oversee rehabilitation programs for injured athletes, educate athletes concerning their injuries, decide on participation restrictions for injured athletes, as well as determine when it is safe for them to return to full participation.”
Ehrsam also talks with coaches and doctors regarding the athletes’ injuries and participation status, applies athletic taping and bracing before practices and games, sets up water on fields and courts as needed, provides practice and game medical coverage, manages and treats emergency situations as they arise and supervises her athletic training students as they practice the clinical techniques they are learning in her class.
Although injury can be devastating, taking an athlete from their point of injury, developing a treatment plan and seeing them return and excel on the court or field is the most rewarding part about being an athletic trainer, according to the department head.
Ehrsam loves working with her sports medicine students to figure out if this is what they want to do.
She helps them create a plan to achieve their goals, which includes helping them get into an accredited athletic training education program.
“The type of student that will excel in athletic training is someone who enjoys sports, perhaps is a little competitive themselves and finds the body and medicine fascinating,” Ehrsam said.
“Athletic training is a fast-paced, results-oriented profession. It’s a lot of fun, but definitely not for everyone.”