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March 2014 • Volume 3 • Issue 2

Athletic Trainer Spotlight: Steve Cole, ATC

In 2006, the NATA recognized Steve as the College/University National Athletic Trainer of the Year, and in 2000 he was honored by W&M as an honorary alumnus.

Steve Cole, ATC, associate athletics director for internal operations at the College of William and Mary, might not have discovered athletic training if his middle school in Tampa, Fla., hadn’t been overcrowded. “There were too many students,” Steve explains, “and I was one of about 125 ninth graders shipped to the high school. To participate in sports that year, I would have to go back to the middle school and didn’t want to do that. My homeroom teacher, who taught science, was a certified athletic trainer. I was involved with boy scouts and knew some first aid, so I became the student athletic trainer.  I bought Cramer’s three-ring student workbook binder, and from that I learned taping and about Cramer products. That was my first move toward athletic training!”

After high school graduation in 1972, Steve attended West Virginia University and became a student athletic trainer there, involved with football. He graduated in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and athletic training.

At the time, Steve followed a common path of athletic trainers who wished to work in the secondary school setting—he pursued a degree in education. He moved to Parkersburg, W.V. to student teach at Parkersburg High School. “I stayed on in the spring as a substitute teacher. I was taking night classes and realized it would take a long time to get my master’s that way. So after a year I went to the University of Virginia as a graduate assistant in their master’s program in athletic training, graduating in 1978 with a master’s degree in sports medicine.

It was on to Columbus, Ga., where Steve worked at a brand new high school for four years. Then in 1982 he took a job with Troy State University in Troy, Ala. “I was there for a year, but due to my contacts through the University of Virginia, I had applied to the College of William and Mary in 1981 and 1982, and the third time, in 1983, I got the job!”

Thirty-one years later, Steve is still glad he pursued employment with W&M. Six years ago, he was named associate athletic director for internal operations and says it’s exciting to serve in a broader role. His responsibilities include monitoring financial matters, coordinating the scheduling of athletic events and facilities, and supervision of coaches and staff.

During his first year at W&M, Steve hosted a Cramer student athletic training workshop. “We’ve continued that annually ever since,” he says. “When Cramer ended its student workshop program, we continued ours and still do so today. We are grateful to Cramer for their sponsorship each year, and are proud of that 31-year relationship. The Cramer name contributes to our workshop’s great reputation. Last summer we had more than 90 kids, and there are always some students from other countries including Canada and Australia. In the early years, high schools sent kids to the workshop so they could serve as the school’s student athletic trainer. Now, of course, all participants work with an ATC at their high schools. The workshop has evolved to keep pace with the changes in education and the regulation of the practice of athletic training.”

For the past 25 years, Steve has partnered with a physician to offer Sideline Management Assessment Response Techniques (SMART) workshops to primary care physicians through the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians. “Athletic trainers have unique skills that many physicians want to learn, including managing spine-injured athletes on the field and evaluating athletes wearing protective equipment,” he explains.

For nearly 20 years Steve has collaborated with Dr. Herbert Amato, ATC, of James Madison University to offer the ACES Preparatory Workshop, a program that prepares students to take the BOC exam. Several years ago several ACES prep tests were added to the NATA website. And this summer, Steve and Dr. Amato are introducing a summer workshop for program directors designed to increase the student BOC first time pass rate.

In 2006, the NATA recognized Steve as the College/University National Athletic Trainer of the Year, and in 2000 he was honored by W&M as an honorary alumnus. “The most humbling thing about the awards is that the people I work with every single day nominated me,” Steve says. He also received a 25-year membership pin from the NATA in 1997—and if you do the math, that means he became a member as a high school senior!

Steve is committed to fitness. He participates in 4-6 triathlons every year, and about ten years ago started running marathons. He rises at 6 a.m. to work out and says he likes working out in the morning. “I enjoy seeing the sunrise while running in the morning, and I like the solitude of the bike. Three mornings a week, I swim. The variety is interesting and helps me stay in shape.”

The World University Games:

If you haven't heard of the World University Games you're not alone, even though the U.S, has participated since 1967. "It's almost a secret," Leroy Heu, ATC says.

The World University Games is an international athletic competition that is much like the Olympics, with winter and summer games, but is specifically for university student athletes from around the world. The International University Sports Federation (FISU) supervises the World University Games. Like the Olympics, the Games take place in a different city each time...but unlike the Olympics, both the Winter and Summer World University Games take place every two years.

The World University Summer Games is a 12-day event with student athletes competing in 13 compulsory disciplines including basketball, fencing, football, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, judo, swimming, diving, water polo, table tennis, tennis, and volleyball, plus up to three optional sports selected by the host country. The World University Winter Games last 11 days with eight compulsory disciplines including alpine and cross country skiing, curling, ice hockey, biathlon, and snowboarding, short track speed skating, figure skating and synchronized skating, with up to three optional sports chosen by the host country.

Leroy Heu, ATC, Assistant Athletic Director Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer at the University of California-Santa Barbara, has been involved with the World University Games since 2009. "Dr. Gary Cunningham runs the Games," Leroy explains. "At one time he was the athletic director at UC-Santa Barbara, and was my boss. For each event, I'm part of a small team that stays in the host city for nearly three weeks. We're the first ones to arrive, and the last ones to leave. In addition to overseeing the medical aspect, I'm also a chaperone and handle administrative responsibilities. It's a team effort and we all have to wear multiple hats."

If you haven't heard of the World University Games you're not alone, even though the U.S, has participated since 1967. "It's almost a secret," Leroy says. "You don't hear much about the World University Games in the United States because it is overshadowed by the U.S. Olympics. It is similar to the Olympics, but not sponsored by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Some of the students participating from this country are sponsored by their colleges or by private donations, and some national governing sports organizations such as USA swimming, water polo, and volleyball will send teams over. It varies from year to year."

This past summer, Leroy was at the 27th Summer Games held in Kanzan, Russia. Nearly 12,000 athletes participated. The 28th annual Winter Games took place in December in Trentino, Italy, with 2,688 athletes participating. "I laughed hearing about some the problems during the Winter Olympics in Sochi because we had similar problems with water, bathrooms, and doors not opening at our Summer Games in Kanzan," Leroy says.

As with the Olympics, the host cities put on elaborate opening and closing ceremonies, and spend millions of dollars developing stadiums, dormitories, and other facilities for the event. For example for the 2011 Summer Games in China, a village was built that included 25 10-story dormitories; a track stadium that seats 40,000; a basketball arena that holds 17,000 spectators; and a new swimming facility. After the Games, the village was turned into a technology university.

One of Leroy's responsibilities is to deal with the host country's medical system, which has proven to be enlightening. "Every system is different," he notes. "For the Games in Serbia in 2009, Serbia did not have an MRI machine prior to the Games, but they brought one in and put it in their military hospital. It was a bunker, with doors on rollers. There was an old-style gurney with a half-inch piece of foam for padding, and the IV pole was a half-inch pipe." The medical team for the Games also includes Dr. Larry Rink with the University of Indiana is the FISU medical director for the World University Summer and Winter Games, and Dr. Ron Olson of Duke University is the lead physician for the Team USA delegation.

The students participating in the World University Games enjoy the activity of trading pins that is also a mainstay tradition at the Olympics. But the students also have a good time exchanging uniforms with athletes from other countries. "The U.S. gear is always very popular!" Leroy says.

Leroy has the dates of the next World University Games down on his calendar and looks forward to the Winter Games in February 2015 in Granada, Spain, and the Summer Games in July 2015 in Gwangju, Korea. "Because of these Games," says Leroy, "I have traveled to some amazing places. It is a great experience educationally and culturally and I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity."

To learn more about the World University Games, visit or

Taping Workshop in Guadalajara a Success!

The 23 workshop attendees included sports medicine doctors, surgeons, coaches, nurses, physical therapists, strengths and conditioning coaches, and paramedics--all sorts of people involved with sports in Mexico, according to Maritza Castro, ATC.

A two-day sports medicine workshop that focused on foot, ankle, and leg taping, took place in Guadalajara, Mexico over the Thanksgiving weekend last year. The workshop was led by Maritza Castro, ATC, a minor league athletic trainer for the San Diego Padres at their complex in the Dominican Republic. "There's not a lot of knowledge about sports medicine education in Mexico," Maritza says. "I was teaching classes at the university and the PT coordinator asked me to conduct a taping workshop."  Cramer's Latin America representative, Jaime Salas, got involved and provided the tape.

The 23 workshop attendees included sports medicine doctors, surgeons, coaches, nurses, physical therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, and paramedics--all sorts of people involved with sports in Mexico, according to Maritza. "It is clear that there is definite interest in Mexico from health care providers in learning these techniques," she says. "Most of them didn't know how to tape but had heard so much about it." Topics covered included the history, principals and philosophy of taping; application techniques, and materials.

"We tried to make the instruction very dynamic, practical and interactive so it wouldn’t be boring," Maritza says. "It was very important to hold their interest and I was pleased that they participated and asked questions. We discussed injuries that are frequently seen in sports, and covered basics like how to tear tape and why you would angle the tape in a certain way. Then I demonstrated the taping techniques. Everyone had a partner and they practiced taping one another. Then we went around and looked at how everyone did. At the end we gave away some Cramer products as prizes for those who did the best work."

Maritza emphasizes that the workshop did not offer any kind of certification. "Our main purpose was to give them the scientific principals behind taping, why we tape and how to do it the right way," she explains. "We wanted the participants to learn, use, and apply because if they're going to use tape they must do it the right way. It was also important to promote sports medicine. I wanted the workshop to be educational and have the participants feeling happy afterwards."

Maritza's goals were achieved. Participants said the workshop was very educational and one of the best they had attended.

"Now they want a second workshop!" says Martiza. "They want to learn about taping techniques for other areas of the body. We are planning something for the end of the summer."


March 1, 1956 issue of The First Aider

From the March 1, 1956 issue:

Your training room is used every day of every athletic season of the school year. For that reason, equipping it should be no casual matter.

In my humble opinion this athletic first aid station should come first in your plans and thoughts. It is the key to the three important factors: Emergency treatments, prevention and care!

For many years the training room has been the step-child of the athletic program. It’s time we modernized our thinking and our training room. Let’s don’t wait for some severe injury to focus attention on injury care. You will be criticized, even if you are not guilty.

Ask, now, for a program of improvement. If you win—you gain in efficiency. If you lose—you establish an alibi and place the blame where it belongs.



Spend more of the warm-up time on the grass and less on the track. After the grass warm-up, overstretch the back. Make this back stretch a mandatory part of the warm-up. You will have fewer tendon pulls in the backs of the legs.

Some boys are negligent, when taking warm-up drills. They think the warm-up and overstretching is “for the birds” and a waste of energy. These boys should be watched more carefully, as they, most likely, will be the ones getting the pulls.

We suggest that tennis shoes be worn except during actual running practice and races. Never permit walking on concrete floors or cement curbs when wearing spikes.

Teach your athletes to “run through” at the end of a race. Don’t have some “helper” out there to catch them. This practice causes many serious accidents and pile-ups.

Keep the legs warm in early season practice—even if you must have your athletes wear long drawers under their warm-up suits.

In our opinion, overheating the low-back, hips and legs of your runners should be your most important objective!

Ortho Gel™ and Novaderm™:

Unlike foam padding, Novaderm and Ortho Gel won’t take on that sweaty athlete odor! The glycerin-based padding absorbs the excess moisture, and because the products are bacteriostatic, bacteria does not grow and odors are controlled.

Are you putting the power of glycerine technology to work for your athletes? Cramer’s bacteriostatic Ortho Gel™, used for padding and cushion,  and Novaderm™, used for wound care, provide moist protection, comfort, faster healing, scar reduction, odor control, and decreased pain, and also prevent the spread of infection. These effective, versatile products are important additions to your kit!

Both Ortho Geland Novadermare made from glycerin technology. Glycerin mimics the skin and fat cells, but isn’t water-based so it absorbs extra moisture. The skin underneath stays moist, the skin doesn’t become over-saturated, and tissue is never damaged. With the moist nature of glycerin, the products stay pliable and never dry out—even when left in a supply closet or exposed to extreme temperatures. And when applied to a painful, shallow wound, Novaderm™ and Ortho Gel™ seal off the exposed nerve and instantly reduce pain. The products can also be chilled to provide effective cryotherapy.

The gel used in Ortho Gel and Novaderm is bacteriostatic—it inhibits the growth of bacteria on the product and underneath on the skin itself. This helps control the spread of MRSA and other infections. Because the products are so pliable, they can easily be cut to mold to curved or bony areas of the body, such as shoulders, knees, ankles, or toes. Immediately following application, athletes can immediately return to play with no pain from the wound or from rubbing. 

Ortho Gel™ and Novaderm™ never break down, so padding and protection are always in place. And since there are no adhesives, Ortho Gel™ and Novaderm™ don't stick to the skin or damage the skin or a wounded area. They can usually be left in place for several days, reducing the need for frequent dressing changes. The products are mildly adhesive when applied, but lose stickiness when in contact with a moist they only adhere to dry, healthy, intact tissue. When it’s time to remove the product, it comes off easily and without trauma to skin, wounds, scabs, or hair.

And here’s more good news…unlike foam padding, Novaderm™ and Ortho Gel™ won’t take on that sweaty athlete odor! The glycerin-based padding absorbs the excess moisture, and because the products are bacteriostatic, bacteria does not grow and odors are controlled. 

For padding and cushion, Ortho Gel™ comes in 12” x 12” sheets and thicknesses of ¼”, 1/8”and 3/8” and is excellent for protecting the skin under splints, braces, and other equipment.  Novaderm comes in 4” x 4” sheets as a sterile dressing for wounds, blisters, scrapes, and abrasions. It locks out infection and allows wounds to heal from the "inside-out," minimizing scab and scar tissue formation.

Pate Cagle, ATC, head athletic trainer at the College of Mount Saint Joseph in Cincinnati, says he has used Ortho Gel™ for many years and likes its versatility. “It comes in various thicknesses, and adheres to the body so application is easy and it stays in place,” Pate says. “We can quickly cut the sheets to any shape to use on any body part. It’s simple to use and we generally get multiple days of use out of one application unless it’s a weight bearing area that gets smashed. I have used the product for years and have always found it useful in virtually any sport.”

Pate continues, “Ortho Gel™ has great shock absorbing qualities so impact is spread out over an area. I would have to use twice as much of a foam pad to get that kind of padding and shock absorption. It works well for padding hands because it’s not bulky. It’s thin enough to apply under shin guards and it stays in place and dissipates blows. If someone had a sore on the AT joint in their shoulder you could apply it there and get the same results. Because the application is easy and the thickness is less than a normal padding product, there are many uses for Ortho Gel. It would be hard to find a place on the body where I couldn’t find a use for it!”