By: Hannah Daily (MAT Class of 2020) and Justin Durham (MAT Class of 2020)
This summer we have had the opportunity to experience professional baseball with the Gateway Grizzlies and preceptor, Geof Manzo, MS, ATC. The Grizzlies are an independent baseball team in the Frontier League located in Sauget, IL.
Since day one, everyone within the Grizzlies organization has created a fun and immersive atmosphere on and off the field. Getting to know Geof and the players has been a good insight to the world of athletic training in the professional setting, which is much different from a traditional setting in a high school or university. Every day brings something new and exciting for us as we get to help the athletes feel better and get back out on the field. From new stretching techniques to dynamic warm ups on the field before games, we have already learned a lot from Geof within the first few weeks of our rotation.
Our typical day starts around 12:30pm and usually ends around 11:00pm. We have about two hours of treatments and rehabs before we head out to warm-up the pitchers. After the pitchers are done, hitters take batting practice and soon after we head back to the club house where we can do any final stretching or anything else the players may need. The rest of the day we are busy with the game and clean up. We get a lot of experience using soft tissue mobilization and cupping techniques along with rehab programs for upper and lower body. We have also had the opportunity to experience a new technique for getting the hips in proper alignment if the athlete feels like their motion is restricted.
We have already learned so much from Geof and are looking forward to the continued hands-on experience with the athletes. Even though it has only been a couple of weeks, it has been a great experience so far and we are excited for the rest of the summer with Geof and the Grizzlies.
Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.