My (American) Football Experience in the United States
By: Jaime Pomar (Clinical Exchange Student - UCJC, Madrid)
I came to the USA and Saint Louis University for clinical experience as a part of the Masters of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in Sport program at the University Camilo Jose Cela. I decided to set out on this adventure when I enrolled in the Masters last year because he knew the options I had to come here and I could not refuse that opportunity. I have been getting Athletic Training experience at Webster Groves High School in an agreement with Saint Louis University under the tutelage of Anthony Breitbach ATC (SLU) and Sean Wright ATC (WGHS).
An Athletic Trainer could compare in Spain as a sports physiotherapist and who have similar skills and knowledge of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, taping techniques and test valuation among others.
My day to day routine was to be attending the High School students but more specifically the football (not soccer) team players because they were still on holiday but the football team conducted their preseason training and workouts. Our work began looking after players in the athletic training room for who need a specific stretching or warming up and to perform preventive tapping. After preparing the coolers and bottles with water and ice and went to training camp to observe and take care for the players because the weather conditions were extreme with averages of 35 Celsius degrees (95 Fahrenheit) but with the humidity, the wind chill exceeded 40 degrees (105 Fahrenheit). I have had the opportunity to interact with two students from the SLU with whom I have been working with Sean. We talked about the similarities and differences, and we could learn from each other on how to make different tapping and ways of working.
I also took the trip to visit different cities and learn more about American culture and traditions and to live closely the world of football in his homeland. I was with the Athletic Trainer of the Green Bay Packers (professional football team) and visited all the facilities and knew how they worked. I also did the same with the professional baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals. And I have witnessed a preseason NFL Tennessee Titans game on my visit to Nashville.
In short it has been a great experience that I will remember the rest of my life and allowed me to compare my professional skills in the country that someday, I hope to return to implement them.
Personally thanks to Alvaro García-Romero (University Camilo Jose Cela), Dr. Anthony Breitbach and Dr. Timothy Howell (University of St Louis), Sean Wright (Webster Groves High School) and SLU students Morgan Jasperson and Alex Hubbs for this wonderful experience and the opportunity to make this trip.
See you soon USA!!!