Last weekend I had the pleasure of working a really fun and “rockin” tennis camp at one of our local colleges. They had 65 coed high school juniors and seniors, about 15 college coaches and scouts from schools all over. Being a weekend, the camp’s schedule enticed me because it worked out well with my husband’s schedule and because the planned 2.5 hour lunch breaks each day would be a great time for me to knit on a pair of socks I’ve been hoping to start for a while now.
From the beginning, the director told me that this would be the #1 hydration camp in the country and he requested (12) 10 gallon coolers. In my opinion this would be a bit of water-overkill, but the director was adamant that they never have dehydration issues and this is what they needed. He told me that a strong male would be able to handle this but I figured I could borrow a utility cart and manage this much faster (and dryer!) than just one strong male and after a quick call to the college athletic training room, I was all set up. It’s great to have connections! The only problem was that I was ignorant to the fact that 3 of the 12 courts were up 2 steep flights of stairs! Luckily when I arrived at camp, there was a coach ready to help me. Phew! After all was set up, I made sure the director didn’t need help with anything else and proceeded to enjoy some very high level tennis.
This camp was awesome! They played rock n roll music the entire time which really made the day fun. I checked the coolers several times throughout the morning because many of the players used large thermoses which have the potential to empty a cooler pretty quickly but by lunch, I’d only replaced about 5 gallons of water. I came back from lunch early and iced down all of the coolers got situated and checked my weather apps. There were clouds overhead but they seemed to be moving quickly. 50% chance of rain.
But then, just like that...
The sky opened up. Thunder! Lightening! Downpour! We had to move the entire operation including 90 gal of water inside. The plan (not my plan, but the plan) was to have the kids sit and drink in the bleachers until the coolers were empty in order to prevent any dehydration. I did the kids (and myself) a favor and secretly dumped the (3) 10gal coolers on the upper courts and brought the rest inside and set up a nice hydration station. Then came the end of camp and the kids got in the bleachers but to mine and the director’s dismay, not a single cooler was touched. I suppose you can lead a horse to water…….
The waters stayed full from Saturday night into Sunday and I am happy to report that by the end of the Sunday, I saw just one player who was not feeling well, but that could have been due to the fact that he ate 7 burgers at lunch. Aside from that I had administered one Band-Aid. And best of all, the director said I was the greatest athletic trainer in the nation and he invited me back next year. I wonder what he would have thought if he got to see me in action with an actual injury!
Camps like this can be either a ton of work (like Saturday) or simply hanging out like Sunday. I was fortunate that not only were my athletes all healthy, they were passionately trying to impress the college coaches and were not going come off the courts unless absolutely necessary. The Band-Aid I put on was to cover some stitches on a finger and I think that if the injury were anywhere else, I would not have seen that patient.
Throughout the summer I’ve heard things like “the athletic trainer will be able to read a whole book during our camp” or “there are only 12 kids!” Many times they feel this should be an excuse for not having to pay going rate. In these situations it’s important that we educate these directors about our education. I compare us to firefighters, where, yes, we may not seem to be doing much until we’re doing everything and when that happens, they are really glad we are present. My answer to the “small camp” directors: ATs still need to earn appropriate salaries regardless of numbers. Everyone, I hope you’re still helping to fight the “salary fight” and educating clients.
Fall schedules are rolling in and business is starting to really pick up here! I’m so excited to announce that we’ve hired 3 new employees and are planning on adding 1 more onto our team. Our employees help with administrative duties and also work at 1 school on a daily basis throughout the year. For our contractors, we are putting together the per diem puzzle as schedules come in. The goal is to provide schools with as much consistent care as possible while providing the ATs with consistent work close to their homes. Knowing that many ATs are STILL waiting to hear about employment positions, we are hoping to get an influx of contractors seeking work within the next week or two as there is a lot of contract work to be had.
I’m finally taking a family vacation! Yes, the timing is a little funky, but our trusty manager Meghan and our employees will be manning or rather wommaning and steering the ship while I’m away.
That’s all for now!
Hey everyone: check out this month’s Training and Conditioning Magazine! I was asked to write an article about being a contract AT. T & C titled it "Gracious Guest" I hope you enjoy it! If you don't subscribe to T&C, you can read the article online here