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Kate Anagnostis keeps athletes ready for the season . . . year round

Sports

Kate Anagnostis keeps athletes ready for the season . . . year round

“I am into the game,” Kate Anagnostis says, “but I’m not only watching the ball –
I’m watching the action behind the ball as well. After the play goes up
field, I’m looking back to see if someone is down or even limping a little.”

Anagnostis has been athletic trainer at Mt. Ararat High School for 12
years. She goes to nearly every home game. Mt. Ararat athletic director Colin
Roy summed up her skills by saying, “She’s a mentor for the wellness of
kids. They trust her. (They say) if I go see Kate I'll be back
on the field sooner."

A recent patient added, "She’s the best!”

While
many athletic trainers use traditional forms of tape therapy, Kate
has developed her own niche: a unique three-part approach to
athletic rehabilitation. She has learned to use Kinesio Tape – a Japanese
therapeutic method that uses a patented synthetic tape applied strategically
to the skin. She adds in her own understanding of the human body, which
she practices as a currently licensed massage therapist. And finally,
she follows and adheres to current athletic training scholarship.
The combination makes her a strong asset to the Mt. Ararat athletic department.

Kinesio Tape is a synthetic material that allows muscles to heal more quickly and supports joints while
still allowing important bodily fluids to pass underneath the tape. Most
notably, athletes such as Lance Armstrong, David Beckham and 2008 Olympic
champion beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh have used Kinesio Tape
successfully.

Anagnostis became interested in Kinesio Tape during her visit to
the 2004 Athens Olympics, where she was part of the international massage
team.

There were a lot of athletes in the village walking around with it on
and I wanted to know more about it,” she said. “There are a few people in
this area who know how to use it, but it’s not very common.”

Anagnostis graduated from Ithaca College 28 years ago with an athletic trainer’s degree
and, shortly thereafter, received national certification. Since then, the
field has evolved in many ways. And Kate stays on top of it. 

"Medical
research has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, we’ve been able to
study the body in far greater detail through the use of very precise scans
and detailed research,” she said. “When I in school, there was one  way
of taping an ankle. Now, we tape one way for high ankle strain, and another
for low ankle.  These days, there are at least five ways of looking at a
problem. Back then, we were taught one or two methods.”  

The hardest
part of the job is the assessment and reassessment of injuries. She doesn’t
second-guess herself often, but with a limited budget, time and facilities,
her instincts have to be right on.  

"When an injury happens on the field, I
follow my 'ABCs,'” Anagnostis says, referring to the First Aid standard protocol:
"Airway, Breathing and Circulation. We’ve been very lucky here over the
years. The scariest injuries are head injuries and we’re very careful in
those cases. As an athletic trainer, I do act like a First Aid provider in
the initial assessment.”

“Her vast background of skills helps us keep our
athletes on the field,” Kelly LaFountain, girls basketball and field hockey coach said. “We’re very fortunate to have her services.”

Despite
her success and international skills, Kate has no aspirations to leave Mt.
Ararat.

“I’m very happy doing what I do,” she said.  “How many people can say
that about their work?”

Photo:
Mt. Ararat athletic trainer Kate Anagnostis helps an injured player to the bench with coach Kelly LaFountain during a game this fall.

Photo:
Mt. Ararat athletic rainer Kate Anagnostis assesses an basketball player's knee in the week prior to games starting. She keeps afternoon hours in the training room on practice days in addition to coming to games and tournaments.