Platteville, Wis.- In January of 2019 the University of Wisconsin-Platteville opened its doors to a state-of-the-art addition of Williams Fieldhouse. Inside the new addition are multi-purpose courts, a walking track, and a vary spacious weight and cardiovascular area. Right off the weight room though, is one the most important thing for the approximately 450 student-athletes, the new athletic training room.
Head Athletic Trainer Ryanne Breckenridge and her staff made the move from the old out-dated athletic training room located in the northwest basement of Williams Fieldhouse to their new location over semester break. "We were extremely excited. It took a few days to move, but once we got everything moved over, we couldn't wait to use it," Breckenridge said.
"It's the first thing I show our recruits in Williams Fieldhouse," Head Softball Coach, and former softball player Becca Lowe said. "Student-athletes and their parents love to know that they will be cared for, and when they see the athletic training room and meet the staff, they know that will be the case. Everyone has been in awe of the athletic training room."
"I was able to see the Kohl Center's athletic training room when we played there in 2017; it is similar in where it has a large space for treatment and rehabilitation along with areas for heat and ice baths," said Rachel Emendorfer, a senior on the women's basketball team. "We have the same set-up, resources and visual appeal that the Kohl Center had." "Our new athletic training room is very comparable to the Kohl Center's athletic training room," said Carter Voelker, a senior on the men's basketball team.
Compared to the old athletic training room, the new UW-Platteville athletic training room offers quadruple the space, which allows for the athletic trainers to be more efficient in treating and helping athletes in rehab and preventive care. Breckenridge worked closely with the architects on the design of the space. "We went back and forth a few times, but the athletic training room is almost exactly how I envisioned it," Breckenridge said.
"It was hard to find room at a table to receive treatment without getting in someone's way," Lowe said of the former facility. "It was tough with the limited space to have a direct conversation and receive physical therapy with our athletic trainers without feeling crowded. This new set-up provides athletes with more tables and more room for equipment without feeling like you are in someone else's way."
"The new athletic training room is way more efficient in terms of servicing the student-athletes," Women's Soccer Coach Emily Ryan said. Ryan was a member of the soccer team graduating in 2013 and returned as head coach in 2017.
The athletic training room has eight treatment tables and four taping tables, a private evaluation room, a hydro therapy room with a hot and ice tubs, and in-house restroom for hydration and drug testing. The athletic training room also offers office space that accommodates the four athletic trainers and space for the student first aiders.
"This is a huge selling point to recruits and parents of recruits. They can see that they will be taken care of off the field," Football Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Ryan Munz said. "A strong sports medicine program is vital to the success of landing and retaining top talent, to be able to show off the new athletic training room is an easy sell to recruits and their parents."
The new set up is literally night and day from the old set up. The old athletic training room had very limited natural light. The new athletic training room just doesn't have more space but it has three large windows that allows plenty of natural light in during the day and offers a view of the outdoor track.
"The new set up allows for a better student-athlete experience when it comes to rehab and recovery. It is a welcoming environment that is set up with the student-athlete in mind," Munz said. "It also has privacy rooms which is a huge plus over the old athletic training room, more space and more privacy allows for better experiences."
"My student-athletes have loved the new athletic training room," Lowe said. "Our sports medicine staff puts in countless hours to provide treatment for our athletes, so this athletic training room gives them the opportunity to treat our athletes more efficiently."
"The players are enjoying the larger space that creates better rehab opportunities," Munz said. "You can definitely see more guys using the resources available to them, such as the hydro therapy room". Munz played four years on the football team and has been on the football staff since 2007.
"We have always had good compliance with student-athletes attending rehab, but we have definitely seen an increase in the use of the new athletic training room in terms of preventative and pre- and post-practice care." Breckenridge said.
The privacy rooms are utilized for examinations by Breckenridge and her staff along with the two team doctors that work closely with UW-Platteville's sports medicine staff. "Having the privacy rooms allows us to do examinations in privacy," Breckenridge said. "It also allows us to have on-campus exams by Dr. (Jeff) White and Dr. (Josh) Lindsey and we don't have to worry about any uncomfortable situations in the athletic training room. It is a huge advantage when student-athletes can be seen in house rather than making an appointment and sending them off campus to a doctor's office."
The Sports Medicine Department currently consist of four certified athletic trainers, two team doctors and Rosemeyer Jones Chiropractic Practice. The four athletic trainers also oversee and train the student first aiders that are interested in a career in sports medicine. Breckenridge is assisted by Michael Martin, Kristin Sitte and Nate Steblay.
Along with being certified athletic trainers, they also have training in various areas that are vital for the care of the student-athletes. Breckenridge has been published on her studies with head trauma and concussions, along with being an American Red Cross certified professional rescuer instructor. Martin has a strong background in strength and conditioning and works closely with teams on weight training and conditioning. Sitte has also done research on concussion and brain trauma as an assistant at the Medical College of Wisconsin. And, Steblay completed her M1 Graston training, which is a newer therapy in sports medicine that is done on soft tissue to help prevent injuries and speed up recovery time when injured.
"With more room and state of the art equipment, our athletes have been ensured recovery in the best way possible," Lowe said.
Written by: Jason Piddington, Public Relations Writer-Athletics, Communications, 608-342-7645, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Courtesy of: Andy McNeill, UW-Platteville Campus Photography, Communications, 608-342-1195, email@example.com