Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2007

By Katie Scarvey
Salisbury Post
It’s near the end of school ó crunch time for the students in Dr. Jim Sabo’s Introduction to Sports Medicine class at North Rowan High School.
They’ve been learning how to tape and wrap this year as part of the curriculum, and now they’re demonstrating to their teacher ó the only nationally certified athletic trainer teaching in the Rowan-Salisbury school system ó that they know what they’re doing.
They’ve also done an innovative video project designed to help others learn how to tape and wrap properly.
Three years ago, Sabo says, students put a manual together that included step-by-step instructions for different taping jobs. Each student was assigned a particular wrap or tape job and had to take photographs and create detailed instructions for the process.
Now, Sabo and his students are taking that project a step further.
North Rowan student Justin Snider has created a Web page that will include instructional video footage shot by Sabo’s sports medicine students.
Sabo, who used to teach sports medicine at Catawba College, teaches anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and physical science at North Rowan. He believes the project will be beneficial to the whole county, with Rowan-Salisbury coaches being able to access the site to learn how to tape and wrap their athletes more safely and effectively.
During the last weeks of school, Sabo’s sports medicine students are being tested on a variety of common taping and wrapping jobs ó the ankle, the knee, the hamstring, the elbow, among others.
The ankle wrap is particularly important, Sabo says, since the ankle is commonly injured. Sabo is a particularly picky when it comes to ankle wraps.
“If it’s done right, it can really help,” he says. If it’s done poorly, it can make matters worse.
Katie Swisher is wrapping Travis Honeycutt’s ankle ó her fourth attempt.
Sabo looks it over approvingly. It’s smooth, without wrinkles ó a good sign. “One more good one and you’re checked off,” Sabo tells her, referring to a checklist that must be completed before the end of the semester.
He tells the same to Gerald Knox, who’s done a figure 8 shin wrap on Alec Crowell. One more and Sabo will sign off on that as well.
Students have to demonstrate that they can do a particular taping task consistently.
“The more you practice, the better you do,” Sabo says. “They need to do two or three good ones in a row.
“In any taping, certain techniques apply. You’ve got to support the part of the anatomy that’s injured correctly.
“You can have a beautiful tape job that’s not right, that doesn’t support the injured part,” he warns.
He doesn’t want to see holes or areas where there is only one layer of tape.
On Monday, Billy Veal was doing a longitudinal arch wrap on the foot of Taylor Edds.
Neither student wants to pursue an athletic training career, but both see the practical advantage of having the skills.
“I play baseball, so it helps” says Veal, a junior. “I can tape another athlete or myself.”
Edds, a sophomore, says that knowing how to tape and wrap could help her down the road when she has kids.
Sabo says that while most of his students won’t pursue a training career, some might end up being coaches, whether it’s for Little League or middle school sports, and he knows the skills he’s teaching can come in handy.
Students might start out taking 15 minutes to complete a wrap job. As they acquire experience, that time might drop to four or five minutes. If they continue at the college level, Sabo says, they’ll need to reduce the time further, since college athletic trainers often have to tape dozens of athletes before a game.
One of his sports medicine classes might go through 500 rolls of tape in a semester as students master various taping tasks, Sabo says.
Besides, taping, Sabo’s sports medicine students learn how to design and equip training rooms.
They also learn about nutrition, weight training and conditioning.
To get the the instructional videos, go to
Click on the STAFF tab. In the STAFF LINKS box, click on Sabo, Science/Sports Medicine link; go to Sports Medicine and then click on Wraps and Tape Jobs.
Students can also find online practie quizzes for the Physical Science EOC teston thePhysical Science page.
nnnContact Katie Scarvey at 704-797-4270 or