Not only do Athletic Trainers save lives, but they also help to win Super Bowls

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March is Athletic Training month and the theme this year is “Athletic Trainers Save Lives”. It is a time to recognize athletic trainers and highlight the many roles athletic trainers play in the care of athletes.

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New York Giants Medical Staff Enjoying Super Bowl Victory

Byron Hanson noted that “we had a great run. There were so many great plays along the way. Winning the Super Bowl is a culmination of all of hard work you put in for the season and is an indescribable feeling. It’s an honor we don’t take for granted."

By Steve Kennelly & Eric Nussbaum

The Athletic Trainers Society of New Jersey recently visited with the athletic training staff of the New York Giants to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the Giant’s Super Bowl run through an athletic trainers perspective.
The Giants Athletic Training staff is led by Ronnie Barnes who is the Head Athletic Trainer and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs. He is a member of the National Athletic Training Hall of Fame and he oversees the medical staff and healthcare of the Giants. Barnes has been with the Giants for 31 years and will be receiving his fourth super bowl ring in May. He notes that he “is extremely fortunate to work for the NY Giants organization and to work with such a great staff.”
Barnes is assisted by Steve Kennelly, Assistant Head Athletic Trainer, Byron Hansen, Coordinator of Rehabilitation, Leigh Weiss, Assistant Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist, Mike Dunne, part time athletic trainer/physical therapist, and Justin Maher, intern athletic trainer, from Montclair State University. This group of athletic trainers provides the day to day care for athletes of the New York Giants.
Working as an athletic trainer for a professional team requires a lot of time, dedication and frequently some personal sacrifices. Their typical day starts at 6am and usually ends at 5-6pm, 7 days a week for 6 months. It’s a very tough season for someone who doesn’t love what they do. A few minutes spent with any of the Giants athletic training staff quickly reveals that they are very knowledgeable, professional and really enjoy what they do. Each plays a vital role in keeping the Giants players healthy and functioning at a world championship level.
All members of the staff noted that to win the Super Bowl, they felt that you needed to have great leadership, coaching, players’ health and a little bit of luck. Whether by chance or design, the Giants organization seems to have put together all these pieces to make a successful Super Bowl champion.
Byron Hansen noted that “we had a great run. There were so many great plays along the way. Winning the Super Bowl is the culmination of all the hard work you put in for the season and is an indescribable feeling. It’s an honor we don’t take for granted.”
Leigh Weiss noted that “being part of a great staff and organization made the journey very special. When the final whistle blew, I took a couple of steps onto the field and then headed to the stands to share it with my parents and sister. It was special to be able to share it with them.”
When the scoreboard hit 00:00, Kennelly noted that “it was a feeling of pure happiness and elation. I celebrated with the staff for a couple of seconds before sprinting to the corner of the end zone to share it with my family. The confetti was coming down and the kids were in heaven running around gathering it, throwing it and enjoying the moment with me. We didn’t want it to end.”
We asked Steve Kennelly, assistant athletic trainer of the New York Giants to keep a journal of his activities during Super Bowl week. His entries provide a neat look into an athletic trainer’s perspective of the journey.
To read the entries of his journal and to see Super Bowl week photos from an athletic trainer's perspective visit:

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