Supporting the Sidelined Athlete

September 6, 2018 by Beth Sitzler

NATA provides resources for athletic trainers working with permanently sidelined athletes through a relationship with Sidelined USA.

Sidelined USA is a a nonprofit organization that supports athletes who have been permanently sidelined due to career-ending injury, health condition, or repeat concussion and inspires them to find a meaningful way forward. Sidelined USA supports these athletes with resources, connection and mentorship opportunities.

Sidelined USA was founded by Cade Pinalto, a teen athlete sidelined by a heart condition, and his mother, Executive Director Christine Pinalto. They identified a lack of resources available for sidelined athletes and their parents and together, they started Sidelined USA to support these athletes in making the mental shift toward acceptance and to inspire them to re-engage with the sports world through alternate avenues.

Because athletes who have been medically disqualified are at high risk for further mental health implications, providing ATs with special resources to support a healthy psychological recovery is extremely valuable. Sidelined USA serves as a knowledge base for ATs and a place to refer their MDQ athletes for specialized support.

Through Sidelined USA’s program, permanently sidelined athletes and their families are offered free coping resources, social support, and mentorship opportunities. NATA members who want to become involved can volunteer as Sidelined USA brand ambassadors and mentors to help permanently sidelined athletes make a healthy adjustment and stay involved in the sports community through alternate avenues.