Nikita Fetter, Athletic Trainer, reminds us to fall in love with the sport again

Cancelled games and postponed seasons are not enough to squelch the enthusiasm of Nikita Fetter, Athletic Trainer at Prairie Ridge Health in Columbus.

Nikita, who started at Prairie Ridge Health in 2017, provides athletic training services for high school athletes at Fall River Schools and Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam. As experts in their fields, athletic trainers focus on the prevention of injury, diagnosis and evaluation, rehabilitation and nutrition, and provide emergency care onsite.

Sports that Nikita provides services for include volleyball, football, baseball, basketball, softball, and soccer. She also sees athletes who participate in swimming, track and field, cross country, and tennis. In a typical school year, she attends games and is at the schools twice a week for office hours.

“If an athlete is hurt, I evaluate and treat them onsite as necessary,” said Nikita.

Common ailments that Nikita treats are general overuse pain, back and shoulder pain, calf tightness, hamstring tightness, and knee pain.

“Many times, overuse pain can be the cause of not doing anything in the summer and then starting back up in a sport with multiple practices a week and games,” she explained. But Nikita anticipates that this school year will be even more strenuous on the athletes due to the shortened seasons, cancelled practices and postponed games.

“When we do get into the season, the athletes are going to be putting a lot of games into a short amount of time. I’m hoping that kids are being active right now and not being sedentary sitting on the couch,” said Nikita.

So how do these young athletes become motivated?

“Get out there and enjoy nature. Walk, take the dog for a walk, hike at state park, swim with your friends. Be active and get outside,” said Nikita. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money on home exercise equipment. Use what you have at home and get creative!”

“It never hurts to throw around a ball or shoot hoops with your friends or family,” she added.  “Take the time to remember why you like the sport. Find a way to have fun.”

Nikita suggests researching YouTube classes and phone apps for workout ideas. Nikita’s favorites are Yoga by Adriene and Beach Body On Demand, a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style workout.

“Or reach out to your coach or athletic trainer to come up with a plan specified for you,” she said.

Nikita offers a few tips for high school athletes to get ready for the season:

  1. Strengthen your core. Strong core, gluts, and hips prevent injuries. You want to make sure these are strong. A lot of injuries happen because of not strengthening the core. Doing lifts one to two times a week will build muscle and strengthen your core.
  2. Practice balance – Working on balance each day can prevent injuries in the long run.
  3. Be aware of mental health – Think about what you want to see yourself accomplishing this year. Imagining yourself achieving it and doing it will help you in the long run.
  4. Focus on water intake – Especially if you play a fall sport. Electrolytes are important.
  5. Be mindful of what you are eating – It’s not about calories. Ask yourself, “Is this going to make me feel good or sluggish?”
  6. Fall in love with the sport again – Just because you are not able to play the sport right now, find a way to fall in love with the sport again. Keep enjoying the sport you are playing and hopefully soon enough you will be able to play again.

For more information about the Athletic Training Program at Prairie Ridge Health call 920-623-2200 or visit