MINOT, N.D. - This month, athletic trainers get recognized for their hard work helping athletes recover from injury and get them back playing the game they love.
Most people know athletic trainers as people who tape ankles, while that is true, their job is so much more than that.
"Our athletic trainers, they are vital in everything that we do to get them back on the field. Whether it's the treatment, whether it's the care, even the prevention. Their whole role is to make sure the guys are taken care of, and then to get them back on the field as soon as they can, but also not before they are 100 percent," said Mike Aldrich, Minot State University Head Football Coach.
Athletic training is a hands-on job, one where you never know what the next day will bring.
"Our biggest thing is injury prevention, which is something I don't think people really look at a whole lot. Making sure the athletes are okay to participate in their sport, making sure the environment is safe. And then when they get hurt, we have to have a plan in place so that we can manage that injury or if it's a big emergency, what's our emergency action plan. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best," said Robyn Gust, Trinity Health athletic trainer.
The athlete and the athletic trainer build strong relationships through countless hours of rehab.
"I will see an athlete, at the time that may be one of the worst days of their lives, at the time of injury. And then I'll see them again when they take that court for the first time back. And the whole crowd cheers for them because they are able to come back and do what they love on the court," said Gust.
Aldrich says that the athletic trainers do a great job, not only caring for the athlete, but also building that trust and getting the kids to believe in what they do.