By Sophia Grabiec
The Washington College Athletics Department has had the luxury of Carrie Kerr’s leadership in the athletic training room since her debut as head athletic trainer last year.
Kerr took over the position following the promotion of former Head Athletic Trainer Thadd Moore, to the position of athletic director.
When injuries inhibit athletes from playing time, Kerr is very attentive to the mental aspect of a physical injury.
“We definitely talk to them because there is a mental aspect of being injured, in addition to the physical aspect. We help them through the stress of not playing and being sidelined. We want them to have the mindset to get back on the field or court. Mental toughness is important when it comes to injuries,” Kerr said.
The staff at WC treats injuries with personalized care and the trainers have friendly dispositions. WC’s small population allows Kerr and assistant athletic trainers Erin Holle and Caitlyn Buckley to approach students with background medical knowledge and a personal relationship. Developing relationships with the training room staff is beneficial for both the student-athlete and the trainer.
“It works to our advantage, because then we know if we can push someone a little harder or if we need to take a step back,” Kerr said.
Before WC, Kerr attended Shippensburg University and Thomas Jefferson University for a three-and-two program, finishing with a master’s degree in physical therapy. She completed her athletic training program with West Chester University.
The initial hook for Kerr was her experience on the sideline of a football training camp.
“You are taping, you are right on the sidelines, and you see how the injury happens. You get to see how you are helping the athlete in getting back out to the field. The reward is so high and immediate in this position,” she said.
Her front row seat on the sideline for every contest is something she loves about the position. This was a bonus for Kerr, considering she enjoys watching all sporting events. Not only can she see exactly how an injury occurs, but she gets to watch WC athletes playing the sports they are passionate about and work hard for. The determined mindset in collegiate athletes attracted her from the beginning.
“The motivated individual to work with is what drew me. Athletic training is very focused on a population that wants to be active and moving,” she said.
With just three people currently covering all the injuries in the training room, the demand for trainers is high among athletes. In just one day, dozens of athletes have weak areas taped and wrapped, use the ice baths, and go through rehabilitating exercises for their injuries. When an injury requires more attention than rehabilitation or ice, the training staff reaches out to Health Services or orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frederick Lohr.
Kerr and the rest of the athletic training staff are located in the downstairs of the Cain Athletic Center, where they care for WC athletes and treat injuries every day.