Sports medicine and ‘magical tape’ lead trainer to the fulfillment of her kinesio tape Olympics dream
After more than 20 years in the sports medicine industry, I am still excited about the ability to impact my athletes and clients. My dream has been to go to the Olympics for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I recall staying up late to watch athletes from all over the world compete in their respective sports. I did not understand the rules for each competition; I just marveled at how they could accomplish what seemed to be impossible, eventually learning the movement science that led to my kinesio tape Olympics dream.
Dissecting athletic movement
I began to study how people moved as early as second grade. “It is rude to stare” was something I heard often. The problem was trying to turn off my analytical brain, as I worked so hard to dissect every part of any movement that caught my attention.
As a biology major and student athlete at Clark Atlanta University, I had the opportunity to observe the city of Atlanta prepare for the 1996 Olympic Games. The entire city was like an Olympic showcase — the logos were everywhere, contests on every radio and TV station, and people were even more friendly than usual. My friends and I swapped money with tourists from all over the world. The most exciting part was the front-row finish line seats that I got to the track and field events. I got to see some of my favorite athletes in the world.
Kinesio tape Olympics dream: sports medicine inspiration
Inspired by a feature story on the jobs that were behind the Olympic team, I decided on my future career in sports medicine. Two years later I found myself as a graduate student at Life University, one of the biggest chiropractic schools in the country. As an athlete I always dreamed I would be competing in the Olympics, but my dream found new life as an athletic trainer.
Ten years into my career after working at the high school and Division I athletics levels, and the WNBA and as a business owner, I found myself at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. During my internship, I got the chance to work with several sports teams, including Paralympic swimming and the Modern Pentathlon. It was during this trip that I was introduced to the art of kinesiology tape that would lead to my kinesio tape Olympics dream.
‘If I can tape it, I will!’
The staff clinicians applied what seemed like magical tape to knees, ankles, shoulders and so many other places. I spent every day studying the purpose and technique of the application of the special tape.
It wasn’t the first time I had seen it, but it was one of those things that was used in clinics and not on the field. My motto over the years has been, “If I can tape it, I will!” I could not wait to use it on my athletes back home. Anytime I got a roll of kinesiology tape or even a sample I would find some way to use it.
It is now 2021; I find myself as a medical provider with Team USA. I have worked with USATF youth, recreational and professional runners for the last 10 years. Kinesiology tape has been with me the entire time. The ease of use and self-application enables athletes to use it even when I am not with them. The adhesive is much stronger and more reliable when they need it most.
ERIN E. HASSLER, DAT, MS, ATC, LAT, PES, works with #DocOnDeck consulting services out of the Sportz Factory in Houston, Texas, working in sports business consulting, as a seminar and workshop presenter, a sports analyst and commentator, and a keynote speaker. She writes for KT Tape and can be contacted at sportzfactory.com/docondeck.