Bender an important part of Washington athletics
Just because prep athletes aren’t playing on a stage equal to that of college or professional athletes doesn’t mean they can’t sustain serious injuries in the course of their playing. In fact, in some ways their still-developing bodies make them more susceptible to getting hurt.
Because of that, preventing injury and recovering from them when they do occur is a top priority of any high school athletics program. In Washington, those responsibilities are largely handled by Nick Bender.
Bender, 27, is an Iowa City resident but works for JET Physical Therapy. JET has a contract with the Washington Community School District that allows Bender to work with all of Washington High School’s athletes to keep them healthy.
Bender received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training degree from the University of Iowa in 2009, then got his Master’s of Science in Health and Human Physiology in May of 2013. In July of 2013, he was hired by JET. Bender works all the Washington home events and visits the school twice a week to check in on the athletes.
“The coaches at Washington do a great job of making strength and conditioning a priority for the athletes, which goes a long way to preventing injuries. The coaches are also great about allowing the athletes the recovery time they need. The district has provided a great service to a lot of people. The coaches don’t have to worry about diagnosing injuries or devising treatments. The parents have the assurance that their child is receiving adequate care. The students benefit the most because their chances of injury and recovery time are both lessened,” Bender explained.
Bender went on to explain that outside of visits with injured athletes and diagnosing students, his duties also include checking playing surfaces, making sure emergency equipment is available and creating emergency plans.
Under Bender’s supervision, Washington High School’s student-athletes have remained free from major injuries and been able to recover from the minor ones successfully. There’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue.