Student athlete visits can go beyond checking the boxes on a sports physical form–this is the perfect time to ask the right questions to ensure you’re offering comprehensive care that can benefit them in every area of their life. To make sure every session is as productive as possible, we’ve compiled a tip sheet you can use when talking to student athletes.
Student Athlete Checklist and Conversations
- Talk about the why behind the check-up.
- It’s one thing to ensure the student athlete has an up-to-date physical and that they are in good health–it’s another to break down the necessity of the check-up. Why? This can empower them to understand the need for ongoing care for better overall health.
- If they need a physical exam, talk about the importance of the exam and what they can expect.
- Discuss the different sports they play and how this affects their ongoing care.
- This can help you determine what—if any—precautions or assistance a student athlete may need to play at their highest level.
- A conversation about injuries can also unearth lingering issues, both physical and mental, a student athlete may be experiencing.
- Use this to segue into a conversation about injury prevention and staying healthy in and off-season.
- Specific injury prevention techniques may be useful here, including proper conditioning and rest.
- Emphasize the importance of listening to their bodies and prioritizing longevity over “powering through.”
- What do they hope to achieve in their sport and in their life?
- This can open the door to a conversation about optimizing their athletic performance.
- Discuss setting realistic goals, finding a balance between intense training and sustainability, and caring for their bodies long-term.
- This subject creates an opportunity to discuss the value of establishing and maintaining relationships with healthcare providers.
- You can also emphasize the confidence that accompanies a healthy dynamic between a student athlete and their healthcare provider. In the case of injury, having trust that their treatment and recovery will be exceptional is essential.
- One area of their life affects the others, and vice versa.
- For example, their daily posture will influence optimal movement and healthy weight bearing.
Creating Better Student Athletes as a Healthcare Provider
One thing that’s crucial to talk to patients–especially student athletes–is injury prevention. When talking to patients, try offering a more holistic view of how injury prevention won’t just benefit them now but in the long run, too. In other words, discussing longevity (for their sport and for their health) is key. Offer helpful conversation starters like: