Keane’s director of sports medicine deals with mental and physical health

Every student-athlete wants to be No. 1 when the whistle blows.

“When I started athletic training, it was a knee injury and an ankle injury,” says Denis Uczak. “It’s more than that.”

In Wujciak’s 20-year career, this year may have been the most roles she has ever taken on.

“We are their parents away from home, their nutritionists, their counselors, whatever they need at any given time,” says Wjciak.

As director of sports medicine at Keene University, she can still wrap around her ankle and treat ACL injuries.

“Mental health is huge in our region, especially because of COVID we lost the season and lost some of our participation,” says Wujciak. “We have more to deal with than ever before.”

Besides, there is a transition from one level to the next.

“Many of our college athletes struggle, coming into preseason unprepared for the differences between high school and college sports,” says Wujciak. “Some have left, some have been very hurt, so we’re getting through it.”

Then add homework, work and daily life during the school year. Everything can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to get into a championship.

“I know student-athletes so well that it doesn’t seem like they’re going to be okay today,” says Wujciak. “What happened, then he said two hours later – you were right, Dennis, I’m not fine. This is what’s happening.”

So ice and band-aids may not be enough to solve problems on the field.

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