There is one thing an athlete may fear more than his/her opponent: an injury.
Whenever an athlete goes down on the pitch, the mound, or on the all-familiar parquet floor, there is always the sound of collective gasps, as spectators often speculate if the injury is serious or if the athlete can still be nursed back to his or her full health.
The UAAP is not spared from these unfortunate occasions. According to Lady Booters Captain Patricia Tuazon, three or four of the twenty-strong line-up of the Booters go down with serious injuries, most of which are incurred during trainings.
Every practice, training, drill and game is an opportunity not just to bring glory to the University but also an exposure to physical pain that may change the course of an athlete’s life forever.
Are Lasallian athletes who are injured in good hands?
The workings of injury treatment at DLSU are, from an athlete’s point of view, topnotch, although there is still room for improvement.
For instance, incurring the same injuries is not always shouldered by insurance. This makes things complicated for injury-prone players.
Rick*, who incurred injuries through a sport that requires the repetitive tension of a muscle group, stresses that the long treatment process that comes after incurring the same injuries may not be shouldered by the University anymore.
It just does help that DLSU has its own physical therapists, three full-time physical therapists. Further bolstering the ranks of these medical personnel are three more volunteers from different medical institutions.
“The rehabilitation program is really good and well organized, and we have our own physical therapist and okay talaga yung equipment [the equipment is really okay],” Jane explains, after sustaining a minor injury a year ago, which inhibited her to train for a couple of weeks.
The rehabilitation center, more commonly known as the gym situated right next to the Office of Sports Development (OSD), is well endowed with sufficient injury treatment equipment.
Moreover, Lasallian student athletes are insured P 100,000 for deemed pertinent injuries incurred in-game. The Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), for example, is an athlete’s nightmare but is a common theme to athletes.
Frequent cases of ACL injuries plague a plethora of Lasallian student athletes, more than broken ankles and scraped knees do.
However, when illnesses are the issue, these cases are not covered by insurance.
Not every program is perfect though. A significant ambiguity regarding the provisions and scope of injury treatment has been a hindrance to the proper mending of varying injuries.
Lady Tennister Mara Sotto cites an instance wherein one of their teammates was accidentally cut in the hand and was immediately brought to a sanitarium, and the University did not pay for the expenses which she incurred because they immediately took her to a sanitarium without consulting. A debatable rationale and quite often leads some athletes to question the efficiency of provisions with injury treatment.
The reason behind the University’s rejection of shouldering the expense was they were told that the injured athlete must be brought to the University’s physical therapist first, and the therapist will recommend the actions that must be done. The therapist will also refer the doctor who will treat the injured athlete.
She then compared this situation with one of her own when she suffered a thigh injury. Sotto went straight to the physical therapists without telling her coach, the therapist gave her the number of the doctor, and the expenses were shouldered by the University.
Management for the treatment of injured athletes has always been multifaceted depending on the severity of a particular injury. Pulled hamstrings, for instance are not as severe as torn ligaments, but the complacent treatment of a minor injury can pose problems in the long run for highly engaged student athletes.
In reality, much of the so-called bouncing back of certain athletes has much to do with their mental drive. It mostly depends whether the person is able to overcome the fear of being injured again. This is particularly difficult for athletes sustaining major and repetitive stress injuries.
OSD Director Edwin Reyes clarifies that on the psychological aspect of injury treatment, six of the twelve councilors of the Office of Counseling and Career Services (OCCS) handle the various varsity teams, while Dr. Naira Orbeta of Philppine Center for Sports Medicine is responsible for the mental toughness of the student athletes.
“Our treatment and rehabilitation program is not only comprehensive, but also aggressive. Why? Because we have a schedule to follow,” says Reyes. A fine point since pacing on the regular season is much quicker with regard to training of the student athletes to reach their crest performance.
Mending fractured bones and sprained ankles need attention because they could end an athlete’s career. The reality of getting injured still remains for our athletes.
Injury treatment is overall on good-fronts but it still needs much improvement when it comes to process, and evaluation of which expenses should be shouldered.
For now though, our players are in, pretty much, good hands.