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Sweetwater Sports Medicine 

The Sweetwater ISD Athletic trainer helps to prevent and treat injuries for all of the student athletes of SISD. Recognized by the American Medical Association as allied health professionals, the SISD athletic trainer specializes in the prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. The SISD Athletic trainer is often one of the first health care providers on the scene when injuries occur, and therefore is able to recognize, evaluate, and assess injuries and provide immediate care when needed. The SISD athletic trainer also is heavily involved in the rehabilitation and reconditioning of injuries.

The SISD Athletic trainer helps to prevent injuries by educating athletes on proper mechanics and technique to prevent injury. Injury prevention also includes advising on proper use of equipment and applying protective or injury-preventative such as tape, bandages, or braces. During the school year the athletic training room will open at 7:00a.m. Injured athletes should come in at this time for evaluation and rehabilitation.

Sweetwater ISD currently employs one Athletic trainer. Shelby Smith is licensed by the state of Texas and certified by the Board of Certification. The Athletic trainer is here to provide prevention, evaluation, treatment and care of any athletic injuries. Every attempt will be made by the Athletic trainer to be in attendance for all high school athletic events. However, there are times when the Athletic trainer may not be available due to overlapping events on the schedule.
  • In the unfortunate event that your athlete needs referral to a physician, the Athletic trainer or coach will contact you. As the parent, you have the ability to take your child to whomever you choose. You are not obligated to continue treatment with the physician that might be on site for an event. When your athlete is seen by a doctor for an injury/illness the athlete is to bring a note from that doctor stating their participation level for practices and games. This note should be given to the athletic training staff at the high school or coach at the middle school. Once the note is received, it will be followed. If you as a parent decide to get a second opinion regarding your child’s health condition, you may do so. SISD staff asks that if you seek a second opinion, there must be documentation stating clearance for original injury. 

    It is important to remember the Athletic trainer has the athletes health in mind. The Athletic trainer will not make a decision to allow the athlete to play if she feels it will jeopardize the health of the athlete.

  • The athletic training room is located in the field house on the north side of the Mustang Bowl. The athletic training room will open daily Monday through Friday at 7:00a.m. Any athlete who has a new or existing injury is expected to be there at that time to be evaluated by the Athletic trainer. After the initial evaluation, the athlete may need to perform rehabilitation and get modality treatment to improve the condition of their injury. All rules of the athletic training room are posted outside all doors for students/parents/and SISD staff to see. These rules must be adhered to in order to receive treatment for injuries.
  • Sweetwater ISD does provide a secondary insurance policy that covers students involved in interscholastic athletics. The insurance provided will act as a secondary insurance. In order to use this policy the athlete or parent must meet with the Athletic trainer in order to receive a claim form. Injuries that occur outside of Sweetwater ISD athletics or that are not supervised by an SISD staff member will not be covered by this policy.
  • The UIL requires all athletes their first, third, and fifth years of athletics have a pre-participation physical exam to practice and play. Sweetwater ISD with the help of local medical professionals hosts a physical day for any athletes, band, or dance members who need a physical. If the student does not get their physical on this day, they will be expected to get the exam on their own. However, ALL athletes and parents must fill out the Rank One participation packets EVERY year before they are allowed to participate.
The Sweetwater Sports Medicine Program will provide the opportunity for the study and application of the components of sports medicine. This program is designed to educate students interested in fields such as athletic training, physical therapy, medicine, fitness, nutrition, and other sports medicine fields. Students will have the opportunity to work with student athletes to combine classroom instruction with practical experiences. This allows students to maintain and improve their knowledge and skill in the area of athletic training, while preparing them for higher levels of education. Sports medicine student assistants will actively participate in delivering a high standard of care to our student athletes. In order for a student to be accepted into the program the student must complete the application, turn in reference letters, and complete the interview process. If interested in becoming a student trainer, you can pick up an application from Coach Smith in the Athletic training room. 
Shelby Smith has been a resident and the Athletic trainer at Sweetwater ISD since January 2021. Before arriving in Sweetwater, Shelby served as the Athletic trainer for Montrose Area School District in Pennsylvania. Shelby received her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology degree from Tarleton State University in 2015 and Masters of Science in Athletic Training from Tarleton State University in 2018. As a state licensed and nationally certified Athletic trainer, Shelby is in charge of all facets of athletic health care at Sweetwater ISD. Shelby is married to Adam Smith who works for Clearway Energy. Shelby and Adam enjoy spending time with their two dogs, being outdoors, being active, and traveling when time allows.
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Recognizing Concussion 

Concussions do not always involve a loss of consciousness.  ANY traumatic blow to the head or to another part of the body (which causes a whiplash effect to the head) should be considered as a mechanism of concussion injury. While headache is the most common symptom of concussion, all people will experience concussions differently.  Therefore, all of the potential signs and symptoms of concussion should be considered.  A symptom checklist can assist the evaluator in making a more objective return to play decision.

*If a player sustains any signs or symptoms of concussion, he/she must be pulled from play.  Only a physician trained in concussion management may clear the athlete to return to play once a concussion was discovered via the athletic trainer’s evaluation*

Concussion Signs and Symptoms


Loss of orientation

Balance problems

Memory problems

“Bell rung” 


Dazed or Confused



Numbness or tingling

Double vision


Poor concentration

Easily distracted

Personality changes

“Glassy Eyed”

Excessive sleep

Ringing in the ears



Feeling “in a fog”

Seeing “stars”

Feeling “slowed down”

Sensitivity to light



Inappropriate emotions 

change in personality

Sensitivity to noise


sleep disturbance

Loss of consciousness

Vacant stare 


Returning to Play:

  • Athlete must be evaluated and have written clearance by a licensed physician to begin the return to play protocol. 

  • Athlete must be symptom free for 24 hours without pain medication in order to begin the gradual return to play protocol. 

  • The athlete must remain symptom free in order to move on to the next stage, and may only move one stage per 24 hours. 

  • **If the athlete displays symptoms at any time during the gradual return to play they will return to Stage 1***

  • ***The Sweetwater High School Athletic Training Staff and Physician will make the final determination regarding the return to play***

  • ***Gradual Return to Play protocol must be implemented by the Athletic Trainer***

  • Return to Play form must be completed and submitted to the Athletic Trainer.

Gradual Return to Play 

Stage 1: Low levels of physical activity   (i.e. symptoms do not come back during or after the activity). This includes walking, light jogging, light stationary biking, and light weightlifting (low weight-moderate reps, no bench, no squats)

Stage 2:Moderate levels of physical activity with body/head movement. This includes moderate jogging, brief running, moderate intensity on the stationary cycle, moderate intensity weightlifting (reduced time and intensity from typical routine).

Stage 3:Heavy non-contact physical activity. This includes sprinting/running, high intensity stationary cycling; complete the regular lifting routine, non-contact sports specific drills (agility-with 3 planes of movement)

Stage 4:Non-Contact Sports Specific practice

Stage 5:Full contact in a controlled drill or practice.

Stage 6:Return to competition

Concussion Management Team:

Once a concussion has been diagnosed by either the Athletic trainer or physician. The Athletic

trainer will then communicate with the school nurse as well as the counselor. The school nurse

will then communicate with the athletes' teachers, if modifications need to be implemented in the


Shelby Smith

Head Athletic Trainer


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