Just as top athletes want great weight rooms, stadiums and fields when they're choosing their schools, they also expect top-of-the-line training rooms. And coaches, strength coaches and other athletic trainers are looking for the same.
Ultimately, to attract top talent, you’ll need an athletic training room outfitted with quality rehab equipmentthat allows for effective, efficient care. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but old, worn and outdated equipment won’t cut it. Here are seven signs it’s time to invest.
If you don’t have enough equipment — or if the pieces you do have don’t work well for your needs — your athletes will spend a lot more time waiting than being treated. Inefficient care means slower healing, longer returns to play and more money spent on bandages, splints, ointments and other consumables. In the long run, an investment in better equipment could yield significant returns.
2. Worn Appearance
“If you look good, you’ll play well.” This adage applies to the training room as well as the playing field. Top athletes want to train in aesthetically pleasing facilities, and an orderly, well-equipped training room shows pride in your school and teams. If your room looks worn-out and outdated, it’s time for a few upgrades.
Student athletes usually sign waivers, but why take chances with faulty equipment? Plinths with broken head-rests, unstable assistive devices and other hazards should be avoided at all costs. The same is true for splints, braces and other pieces necessary for protecting injured athletes. Ultimately, equipment that’s new or in like-new condition will be good for your athletes’ health and your facility’s bottom line.
4. Growing Demand
If your school’s athletic programs are growing, your athletic training department will need to grow too. More athletes will mean more injuries, and you’ll need the materials (and personnel) to keep up. Invest proactively, before you’re short on people, time and equipment, or you’ll risk hurting your program reputation.
5. Changing Needs
Similarly, new sports and new teams may create a need for different types of equipment. Every sport has a unique set of common injuries and overuse issues, and you’ll need to make sure you have the materials necessary to deal with each one.
6. Lack of Vendor Support
High-tech, high-dollar equipment often requires significant vendor support. Are your manufacturers or distributors still available for repairs, part replacements and technical support? If not, you may need to invest with more reliable vendors.
7. Lagging Technology
Finally, if your current equipment lags years behind the latest technology, it’s time to invest. Innovative modalities such as light therapy, E-stim, ultrasound and lasers have been extremely successful among physical therapists, and they’ve become critical for up-to-date training facilities. These tools offer quick, efficient therapy to damaged tissues, and when combined with therapeutic exercise, they can significantly hasten the recovery process for sprains, tears and other injuries to soft tissues and connective tissues.