The Athletic Training Student Association (ATSA) was excited to continue our annual work with City of Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. Led by post-doctoral fellow, Hayley Root, PhD, MPH, ATC, ATSA members have volunteered to work and promote the profession of athletic training in association with Mesa’s parks. Mesa’s parks host youth flag football and soccer games in Mesa during the fall, and ATSA students set up an information table on game nights. During these events, students would engage parents and athletes in conversations about injury prevention and safe sports practices, and provide informational flyers. The flyers had information regarding concussions, hydration, proper warmups, and stretching.
In addition to the football and soccer league events, ATSA also provided training to Mesa parks coaches. Along with Dr. Root, students presented to roughly 60-80 soccer and basketball coaches with information on concussions and dynamic warmups. Presentations were focused on recognizing a concussion with various signs and symptoms, when to notify parents, and when to refer. With the dynamic warmup education, coaches were provided with examples of stretches and exercises to perform prior to practice. Dr. Root developed an additional training session for basketball coaches for a warmup session, in which Dr. Root and ATSA members participated on the court with the coaches and showed various exercises and drills to perform with their teams. The coaches were really interested, asking questions, and there was some great feedback. In next year’s efforts, we hope to continue working with Mesa parks, having an increased presence and increasing the knowledge and awareness of the various coaches and parents. The ATSA wants to sincerely thank Dr. Root for her leadership and guidance with the Mesa parks programs.