Two players from Oklahoma City’s professional soccer club urged high school soccer players to work closely with athletic trainers to stay safe on the field and to take injuries seriously if they want to continue competing as adults.
In a talk sponsored by Mercy Sports Medicine, OKC Energy FC goalie Cody Laurendi and forward Jaime Siaj told students from U.S. Grant and Southeast high schools about growing up in youth athletics, fighting injuries and the importance of taking care of your health and getting help when needed.
“These kids are our future,” said Laurendi. “I was once one of these kids and I just want them to see a success story of what it looks like when you work hard and pursue your dreams.”
Laurendi is halfway through rehabilitating an on-field injury. In September 2017, he suffered a season-ending injury when he tore a ligament in his knee during a match against Reno 1868 FC. Mercy’s sports medicine team was on the field to help him and connected him with orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists to begin the healing process.
“When you have an injury, it’s so important to have access to the proper doctors and trainers,” Laurendi said.
As the official medical provider to the OKC Energy FC, Mercy is committed to keeping Energy players at the top of their game. The same comprehensive care team working to keep elite athletes healthy is equally committed to caring for all sports medicine patients - regardless of their goals.
Laurendi said his prognosis is favorable and he’s looking forward to returning to the game this summer.
“I am the perfect example of why this is so important,” said Laurendi. “Mercy has been so great to me and the quality of care I’ve received is top-notch.”
Student athletes at five Oklahoma City Public Schools have access to the same kind of medical care through the school district’s partnership with Mercy thanks, in part, to a grant from the NFL. These schools have full-time athletic trainers on site to help prevent, assess and rehabilitate injuries.
“It’s important to have someone on the field with the student athletes who are not watching the score, but watching out for their health,” said Leah Cox, Mercy athletic trainer.
Athletic trainers assess the injuries on the field, help athletes do therapeutic exercises and get players back on the road to safely doing the sport they love.
“If the Energy players had mismanaged injuries as young athletes, they would have never reached their potential and wouldn’t be where they are today,” said Cox. “We want the athletes at Oklahoma City Public Schools to know we are here to help them, we want them to succeed and get them back on the field.”
Click here for more information about Mercy Sports Medicine.