May 2013 • Volume 2 • Issue 3
Alabama’s Jeff Allen, ATC
Growing up in Marietta, Ga., Jeff Allen, ATC, was always a big Tennessee fan. “My dad grew up there, so Tennessee was always a big deal in our family,” Jeff says. So it was only natural that the summer before his senior year, he attended football camp at the University of Tennessee. “I was a below average football player,” Jeff admits, “and one night during camp that summer I got into a conversation about athletic training with Tim Kerin (Tennessee’s head athletic trainer from 1977 until his death in 1992). The next day, I tore my ACL. Tim came out on the field and he said to me, ‘Son, I think you just picked your profession.’ I can still remember him looking at me and saying that. I guess he was thinking about our talk from the previous evening, and what I’d go through with that tear. But he was right—athletic training was the only career I considered after that.”
After high school Jeff attended Georgia Southern University, graduating in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education. While at GSU, he worked as a student athletic trainer under Tom “Doc” Smith. “Doc was such an incredible mentor, and working under him really solidified that I was in the right profession,” Jeff recalls.
From Georgia Southern, Jeff went on to get a master’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Valdosta State University in Georgia, graduating in 1995. “At Valdosta,” Jeff says, “I had another great mentor--Jim Madaleno. I was a graduate assistant during my two years there and then was fortunate enough to be hired full time by the university.” Jeff stayed at Valdosta for two years as an assistant athletic trainer and head athletic trainer for the football and baseball teams.
In 1997, Jeff accepted a position as assistant athletic trainer at the University of Kentucky and stayed for three seasons. Then it was on to his first head athletic trainer position at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga for four seasons; and on to the University of Central Florida, where he worked for three seasons.
In 2007, Jeff accepted his current position as head football athletic trainer and assistant athletic trainer for sports medicine at the University of Alabama. “I am blessed and fortunate to be part of the Crimson Tide--something that’s historic in college football,” Jeff says. “There is such a passion for athletics in the state of Alabama and at this university. To be a part of a program that means so much to so many people in this state and across the country is something I don’t take for granted. It makes me want to make it the best it can be.”
Because Jeff grew up a Tennessee fan - and discovered the profession of athletic training on the soil of the University of Tennessee, perhaps you’re wondering how he feels about that legendary rivalry between Alabama and Tennessee. The truth is, he’s devoted to the Crimson Tide…but still feels some love for Tennessee as well.
Jeff says, “One of my stand-out memories is from my first season at Alabama. We played Tennessee here at home and were not expected to win, but we beat them pretty well. It was a nice victory, and it meant a lot to me to compete against Tennessee where my career started. I feel no animosity toward them, and the game we play in Tennessee every year is special to me. When I walk out on that field, I can’t help but think about the day I tore my ACL and those words that Tim Kerin said to me.”
After seven seasons in Alabama, Jeff feels remarkably blessed. “The opportunity to be a part of three national championships and work with so many great athletes including Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram…I never take it for granted,” he says. “I’ve experienced some things in my seven years in Alabama that some in our profession won’t experience in an entire career. It’s unbelievable and I’m just humbled by it every day.”
"Athletic training is a fantastic profession," Jeff says, “and one that has been so good to me. I believe we’re put on this earth to help others, and it’s an honor to serve and help others behind the scenes - and to see them improve and get better. It’s tremendously rewarding to do that every day.
“People always talk about how hard athletic trainers work, but there are so many personal rewards. One thing that is very special to me is when former students come back to say thanks and tell me how much I did for them. For example, one of our guys, Chance Warmack, was just drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the first round. The next morning, he called to share his good news and to thank me for helping him. This kind of reward is more than anything I could ever ask for. Chance and I had a great relationship and it was wonderful to hear from him.”
Jeff loves being home with his family as much as he loves his career. “I spend all of my time off with my family,” he says. “I don’t hunt or fish, and I’m a terrible golfer! I do enjoy gardening, though, especially rose bushes, and my therapy is trying to keep my plants alive." His wife, Mary, teaches in the speech pathology department at the University of Alambama, and 12-year-old daughter Makennah enjoys piano and baton twirling. A devoted family man, Jeff declares, "After a day of dealing with 130 boys at work, I’m always grateful to go home to my two girls!”
Cramer Products celebrates 95 years!
In 1918, singing the National Anthem became ingrained in sports…and so did Cramer Products, thanks to the ingenuity and perseverance of brothers Chuck and Frank Cramer!
“Chuck and Frank demonstrated extraordinary determination and creativity when they started the Cramer Chemical Company in Gardner, Kan., in the year 1918,” says Tom Rogge, Cramer’s president and chief executive officer. “It would be remarkable enough if these brothers had just started a successful, enduring company. But they secured their place in history by conceiving of the field of sports medicine and the profession of athletic training as well.”
Tom feels certain that Chuck and Frank would approve of the current state of athletic training. “The Cramer brothers were very forward thinking and open-minded businessmen,” Tom says, “and they were always in favor of changes and improvements that contributed to the health and safety of athletes. We’re certain they would be delighted with our 2008 acquisition of Active Ankle, and our 2011 acquisition of Stromgren Athletics. We think they’d love the cool vibe of our new RigidLite line of athletic training kits. And they’d undoubtedly approve of the fact that Cramer’s renowned tape and underwrap can be purchased in bright colors and animal prints!”
Tom believes the Cramers would also embrace the way that athletic training has evolved as a profession. He notes, “College athletic training programs continue to expand their offerings and revise curricula, ensuring that new graduates can excel in their first jobs. Chuck and Frank were huge proponents of athletic training education, so the high quality of education would please them very much.”
As for that other important sports-related event that took place in 1918…The Star-Spangled Banner was first played during a baseball game that year! It was the seventh inning stretch of Game 1 of the World Series, Red Sox vs. the Cubs. According to an article in the Sept. 19, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine written by Luke Cyphers and Ethan Trex, “As was common during sporting events, a military band was on hand to play, and while the fans were on their feet, the musicians fired up The Star-Spangled Banner. They weren't the only active-duty servicemen on the field, though. Red Sox third baseman Fred Thomas was playing the Series while on furlough from the Navy, where he'd been learning seamanship at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Chicago.”
The writers go on to say that when Thomas heard the opening notes of The Star Spangled Banner he faced the flag and “snapped to attention with a military salute.” The other players on the field then stood and put their right hands over their hearts, and the crowd joined in a “spontaneous sing-along, haltingly at first, then finishing with flair. The scene made such an impression that The New York Times opened its recap of the game not with a description of the action on the field but with an account of the impromptu singing: ‘First the song was taken up by a few, then others joined, and when the final notes came, a great volume of melody rolled across the field. It was at the very end that the onlookers exploded into thunderous applause and rent the air with a cheer that marked the highest point of the day's enthusiasm.’”
The Star-Spangled Banner was also played during the seventh-inning stretch of games 2 and 3 in the series. When the Series relocated to Boston for the next three games, the song was moved to the pregame ceremonies. And the rest, as they say, is history.
“We love knowing that Cramer and The Star-Spangled Banner became mainstays of sports the same year,” Tom says. “And for all of us at Cramer Products, it is an honor to carry on the legacy started by the Cramer brothers 95 years ago. We’re grateful for our many loyal customers around the world who depend on us for reliable athletic training products—both tried-and-true standards and new offerings that sometimes challenge the status quo. We listen to everything our customers tell us, and they have helped us reach this exciting milestone.”
The Annual High School Sports Medicine Summer Workshop
The Division of Sports Medicine at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va., is teaming up with Cramer Products to host the 13th annual Sports Medicine Workshop for high school students, July 6-9. During the intensive four-day workshop, participating students learn vital life-saving skills, complete their CPR certification, and choose between a basic or advanced sports medicine track. Topics include taping and wrapping skills, prevention and care of injuries, emergency first aid and rehabilitation, and sessions are conducted by certified athletic trainers who work in a variety of settings.
Terradys Bonney, a senior at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Md., attended the William & Mary workshop last summer, and plans to return again this year. “It was different than I expected,” Terradys says. “I thought it would be more about learning how to tape, but we learned so much about the health of athletes, what can occur while they’re playing, and things athletic trainers have to know to take care of athletes.”
Terradys continues, “We learned how to apply splints, how to tell what kinds of crutches are needed and how to use them properly, as well as wrapping and taping. It was wonderful being surrounded by people that share an interest in athletic training and being around students who have similar plans for their future.”
“Cramer is thrilled to once again be a part of this important educational opportunity for high school students interested in a career in athletic training,” says Ed Christman, Cramer’s vice president of marketing. “We are pleased to provide all products and supplies used during the workshop, and participants receive a Cramer Zip-Cut Tape Cutter. Students also accumulate tokens during the workshop by taking part in games and contests, which can be redeemed for tape, under wrap, and other Cramer products.” In addition, high schools receive a free case of Cramer athletic tape for each student sent to the workshop; and schools that send three or more students receive a new Cramer Tuf-Tek Pro Soft-Sided Kit for the supervising athletic trainer.
At the end of the workshop, all campers participated in a competition to demonstrate everything learned during the workshop. “It was really fun,” Terradys recalls. “I cashed in my tokens and received a lot of free tape and pre-wrap, and those things come in very handy. And that tape cutter is the best thing in the world!”
Perhaps best of all, students attending the workshop gain practical knowledge and skills they can use to help athletes at their schools. For example, when football started last fall, Terradys and another student from her school who also attended the workshop talked to the athletes about the importance of hydration. “We got a lot of information about hydration at the workshop, and we both wanted to talk to our team about everything we learned,” she says.
Click here for more information about the Sports Medicine Workshop.
Ice + Compression = Ice Right!
Every year, there are new technological and procedural advances in health care that lead to quicker or more complete healing of sports-related injuries. Yet so often, the best course of action following a soft tissue sports injury is the tried and true RICE approach-the combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Sometimes, though, it is a challenge to simultaneously apply ice especially when dealing with children. That’s why Cramer created a cold compression therapy system called Ice Right! It’s a product that easily knocks out the “I” and the “C” when using RICE.
Ice Right is a one-stop solution, perfect for helping youth right on the field. It comes with a heavy-duty, zip closure plastic bag that holds the ice and is inserted into a moisture-absorbing sleeve. That sleeve is then wrapped around the limb or joint with a self-adhering, highly stretchable, elastic bandage made of advanced thermal fabric. The bandage utilizes a hook and loop closure and provides excellent compression which helps minimize swelling in injured limbs and joints when combined with the cold therapy of the ice.
Ice Right is great for kids as well as grown-up injuries. It effectively treats sprains, strains, muscle and joint injuries as well as shin splints, tennis elbow, tendonitis and bursitis. And, it’s so easy to use! Just fill the leak-proof zipper bag with ice up to the dotted line, taking care not to overfill. Fold the bag in half while pressing as much air out as possible, and then zip the bag closed. Place the bag ice-side up in the pouch and wrap the affected area to the desired level of compression.
From little “boo-boos” to larger “ouchies,” Ice Right is just what you’ll need to handle many injuries that occur on the field, on the court and in life. It’s something that every coach, athletic trainer, and parent should have in their first-aid kit!