Athletic trainers are compassionate, highly qualified health care professionals. The work they do day in and day out is meaningful and has tremendous effects on the success of athletes and teams.

Athletic trainers do not get nearly enough credit for the profound impact they have on the lives and careers of athletes. The nature of the job is more "behind the scenes." However, they are the reason that we can perform at our fullest potential each and every day at practice and on game days.

Athletic trainers enable us to be the absolute best athletes we can be. This takes place in a variety of forms, ranging from injury prevention, assessment after we have been injured, to rehab and treatment of injuries. Whenever something is bothering us, or even if we are sick, we can go to our athletic trainer, who then assesses the situation and determines the next best course of action.

Besides attending every practice, ATs travel with teams during the season to each competition or game. On top of that, they are always around for treatment for injury prevention, rehab or recovery. In addition, anytime we have a doctor's appointment, our AT is there.

Our AT, Polly, is hands down the best AT in the world. For starters, she's an amazing person with the best laugh. She is always smiling and has a pretty great sense of humor. Polly has cultivated the training room into a safe place. She gets to the rink before any of us and stays well after practice, usually past when we have all left for the day. She also puts up with over 40 female athletes, which is not always an easy task to face.

(Photo Credit to @miamioh_skating)

We have a crazy schedule with practices that sometimes start at 6:00 am and others that end around 5:30 pm. Our season is also pretty much year-round. Our competition season begins in November and sometimes goes through April. We start in July and go through May with limited breaks. We also travel from coast to coast within the nation as well as across the world.

You can imagine the amount of injuries, illnesses and other various things that can happen in that amount of time. Polly is the most patient person in the world and always helps us get back on our feet (literally and figuratively) as fast as possible so we can continue to do what we love. Polly also goes above and beyond what is in her job description. She makes herself available to our team 24/7. She genuinely cares about our *entire* well-being, even if it is something other than physical health.

Every time we are on the ice, Polly is there, ready to step in when needed. The nature of our sport is pretty dangerous: 16 women skating full-speed with knives attached to our boots can make for a lot of potential disasters. All it takes is someone being out of place by a few inches, or off time by a second. That being said, we are very well taken care of when things do happen.

Thank you for being there for us 24/7. Thank you for taping us every day, for literally and figuratively mending our wounds. Thank you for healing us as quickly as possible. Thank you for filling up our waters, every single day, with the *perfect* ice to water ratio. Thank you for making rehab tolerable, and for working with us through our pain. Thank you for putting up with us and our shenanigans. Thank you for helping us be the best athletes we can be.

We recognize and appreciate the commitment of all the athletic trainers around the world each and every day. Here at Miami University, our Sports Medicine Team is outstanding. I may be biased, but I know my team and I would agree that we are blessed with the best. Thank you Polly, for everything that you are, and everything that you do for us. You are amazing.