STLOUISRAMS.COM: What are you doing now that the season is over?
LOMAX: Once we finish the season we immediately begin doing post-surgical rehabs and the process of getting these players back to where they were before the injury/surgery occurred. In addition to that, I serve as the internship coordinator for our department so I start sifting through about 200 applicants each year and begin the interview process. We typically select six athletic training interns for training camp in August.
Also around this time of the year, we are involved with preparing for the draft. We gather as much medical information as possible on college football players who are fortunate enough to play football at the next level. This information is used to help Les (Snead) and Coach Fisher make informed decisions as it relates to the health side of things.
STLOUISRAMS.COM: Explain the exercise Mason Brodine demonstrated in your rehab challenge video.
LOMAX: The exercise I had Mason perform was a single leg rotational ball toss on a slide board. This exercise is a great functional rehab movement in which the player has to show tremendous stability and mobility. While performing this exercise the player completes eccentric loaded single leg squats while rotating over the fixed knee as the opposite leg slides down the slide board. This helps maintain good ankle dorsiflexion and helps to focus strengthening the lateral rotators of the hip, quadriceps and hamstrings.
STLOUISRAMS.COM: On gamedays, what is your role as an athletic trainer for the St. Louis Rams?
LOMAX: Gamedays are the best part of my job. Seeing players you have been working with after an injury and performing at the top of their game again is extremely rewarding. My role can be very hectic depending on how we are doing with injuries that day. One of my jobs is to go into the locker room with the player and assist the doctors in getting x-rays, sutures, taping, bracing, etc.
In some cases we know that the player will not be returning to the game and I begin working with the player to help accelerate the healing process by using therapeutic modalities to minimize pain and swelling. In other cases, after we perform a full assessment and check x-rays, we will decide if the player can return. My job is to get this player back on the field as soon as possible, so I will tape, brace, pad, and do whatever it takes to help protect this player’s injury and allow them to play at a high level in the current game.
STLOUISRAMS.COM: Why is National Athletic Training Month important to you?
LOMAX: I think National Athletic Training Month is a chance for all athletic trainers to bring awareness to their jobs. The importance of this profession cannot be understated when it comes to the health and well-being of athletes on all levels. A lot of what people think athletic trainers do is “train” the athletes. The term “trainer” gets thrown around a lot and that’s not really accurate. Our job has multi-levels which centers on sports injuries and keeping the coaching staff abreast and informed. As you can imagine there is a ton that athletic trainers do which require many hours of work, however the work is significant, meaningful and rewarding.
James Lomax has served as an assistant athletic trainer for over a decade for the Rams after completing two years as a full-season intern with the team from 2003-05. Lomax was one of the athletic trainers for NFL Europe’s Frankfurt Galaxy, which earned a World Bowl berth in 2004. He earned his undergraduate degree in athletic training in 2000 at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., and completed his master’s degree in teaching in 2003 at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. Lomax grew up in High Ridge, Mo., attending Northwest High School of House Springs, Mo. James and his wife, Sarah, have two daughters, Lucy and Ellie.