Our sports medicine program is focused on the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries for all of our Middle School, JV, and Varsity student-athletes. As healthcare professionals, our four full-time, licensed, and nationally certified athletic trainers work directly with physicians and other specialists to optimize medical care. Staff members are available during normal school hours and after school, and are present at all home events and practices.
- Evaluation and Assessment
- Treatment and Rehabilitation
- Nutrition Program
Our Sports Medicine team believes in the importance of providing quality and comprehensive medical care on-site. This allows us to better prevent and manage injuries, minimize the initial impact of injuries, and decrease the probability of re-injury. Our policies and procedures for injury prevention and management include:
- Venue-specific emergency action plans
- Automatic external defibrillators accessible to each venue
- A concussion management/return to play protocol that includes ImPACT baseline testing
- A heat acclimatization policy
- Hydration and body composition evaluations to determine safe minimal weights
In addition, each student-athlete is required every year to obtain a physical examination, preferably by their primary care physician, clearing them to participate in athletics. Each family is asked to update their personal and emergency contact information, health history, and provide the school with any special medical instructions.
Our protocols dictate that our student-athletes and coaches report injuries as soon as they occur, allowing our athletic trainers to begin evaluating those injuries immediately. After an initial evaluation, our athletic trainers work to determine and communicate appropriate treatment, make decisions on playing status, and coordinate possible referrals to physicians or other medical specialists. Evaluations are specific to the injured area and include taking a thorough history of the injury, recording signs and symptoms, and performing specific tests and measures. In the case of a joint injury, these specific tests evaluate strength, range of motion, joint stability, and function. Our concussion evaluation involves the use of the SCAT3, a vestibular oculomotor screen, and a King Devick assessment. All evaluations are documented, and our staff devises a plan for treatment based on assessment results.
First aid kits, injury ice, and water are present at all practice and competition venues to allow for immediate and on-site care of student-athletes. Athletic training rooms are also equipped with air splints, vacuum splints, spine boards, crutches, and boots to care for the immediate care of a variety of injuries. Coaches and athletic trainers travel with pertinent medical information for all their athletes in case of emergencies.
Treatment and rehabilitation programs are individualized to specific injuries and specific student-athletes. These programs are carried out under the supervision of the athletic trainers. Athletic trainers monitor each athlete’s progress on a daily basis allowing them to advance as able. Rehabilitation programs focus on obtaining full range of motion, strength, balance, kinesthetic awareness, and functional training specific to the athlete’s sport. The primary goals of all programs are to insure a safe return to play and to minimize the chance of re-injury. Athletes must meet the goals of their rehabilitation program, pass their functional testing, and be cleared by the athletic trainer/physician before they return to play.
Continuing education is essential to our staff to remain up to date in the field of sports medicine. Our athletic trainers regularly attend local, regional, and national sports medicine conferences, workshops, and symposiums. In turn, our staff members serve as a teaching resource for student-athletes, coaches, parents, and the school community as a whole, providing education on injury prevention and care and teaching First Aid/CPR/AED certification courses. Country Day is also a clinical site for the University of North Carolina-Charlotte athletic training education program, and our athletic trainers serve as instructors for two UNCC students each semester. Our own students have the opportunity to get involved in athletic training through an Anatomy and Physiology for Sports Medicine elective course, participating in an independent study with our athletic trainers, or working under the supervision of our staff as a student trainer.
The 2,600 square foot O’Leary Sports Medicine Center, located on the lower level of the Bruton Smith Athletic Center, allows our staff to administer comprehensive, individualized care for our student-athletes. The space features taping and treatment tables; whirlpools; hydrocollators; ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and iontophoresis, and Game Ready cold compression units; a paraffin bath; and a range of exercise machines for rehabilitation activities. It also includes equipment for producing custom orthotics and a separate “hydration room” at the BSAC entrance that houses an ice machine and shelf space for coolers. The Bissell Campus includes another training room designed specifically to serve the Middle School campus.
Our athletic department is dedicated to our students' health and athletic performance, and our focus with the nutrition program is to provide education about properly fueling our athletes for school day learning, after school practice, and all competition. Several Country Day staff members as well as Carolina Panthers’ nutritionist, Jennifer Brunelli, work closely with all participants to provide food packages, education, and resources for our athletes, coaches, and families.
Dr. James E. Fleischli, MD
Team Physician (OrthoCarolina)
(704) 323-3200 | E-mail