Erin Whapham of Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania joins the Penn State Hazleton Athletics Department as the new head Athletic Trainer. Whapham, who assumed the role on November 9, is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University where she earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Athletic Training. Erin worked as a graduate assistant at Warren Hills High School in New Jersey for a year before taking a position with St. Luke’s Health Network where she assisted several high schools and worked a variety of sporting events such as lacrosse, ice hockey and gymnastics.
Ryan Ehrie, Director of Athletics at the Hazleton Campus said, “We excited to have Erin as part of our staff. She passionate about her job, enthusiastic and eager to work with our student-athletes and coaching staff.”
As the head athletic trainer, Whapham plans to educate and keep student-athletes healthy. “I encourage athletes to take care of their bodies, sleep, eat well, and hydrate, “ Whapham said. “Many athletes don’t realize how much nutrition effects their performance. If you fuel your body correctly, you’ll be able to perform better.”
Another often overlooked area of wellness and performance Erin feels she can have an impact is that of stretching and flexibility. “Poor flexibility leads to an increased chance of injury, especially muscle strains. I hope to bring awareness and educate them (the athletes) so they can perform at their best.”
Whapham is very passionate about working with injured athletes on their rehab programs in order to get them back to competitive status. “I’m a problem solver”, says Whapham, “so I like to find solutions to speed up the healing process.” Erin will monitor student-athletes’ progress as they heal and advance their exercise programs to mimic movements they’ll do in practice or in games. “It’s important for injured players to remain part of the team so rehabbing players at practices will allow them to stay current with any plays or drills their teammates are doing, while motivating them to get back in the game.”