February 22, 2020

SLU AT Students Enjoy Immersive and Collaborative Clinical Learning Experience with the XFL's St. Louis BattleHawks

SLU AT Clinical Site Spotlight - St. Louis BattleHawks 
By: Hannah Daily, Claire Ditman and Courtney Nall (SLU MAT Class of 2020)

The St. Louis BattleHawks is a professional football team in the XFL, a league that just got its start in 2020. The league consists of eight teams throughout the United States and St. Louis was lucky enough to be chosen to have a team. At the BattleHawks we help many different Certified Athletic Trainers, including Greg McMillen ATC and Chris Hauler ATC who both have NCAA Division I and professional football experience. We also collaborate interprofessionally alongside many others from strength and conditioning staff to the coaches and team doctors. All these positions play a vital role in the experience we are getting at the BattleHawks. We are gaining great knowledge of how to work with and among with these positions in a fast paced professional setting, while also developing the professionalism that is necessary at this level. Even if we do not choose to pursue the professional route after graduation, the skills and knowledge we have gained will greatly benefit us at all levels.

A typical day with the BattleHawks consists of a wide variety of things starting around 6:30am until the end of treatments late in the afternoon around 5:00pm. The players will go through their lift times early in the day with the strength and conditioning staff, then have a walk through and will also have practice that day. We get to help out with the treatments and rehabs that go on throughout the day, in between practice and team meetings. This has been a great experience because we have the opportunity to learn new techniques from six different certified athletic trainers, including SLU AT alum Jesse Schmitt MAT, ATC. While at practice, we all grab our water bottles and towels so we can split up to help cover either offense or defense. Our main focus is to make sure the players stay hydrated and to look out for anybody that may have gotten injured during the allotted practice time.

We are learning new things everyday that can be applied currently to our other clinical sites as well as our future athletic training professional practice. We are grateful that we are able to be a part of this process. All of the staff with the BattleHawks provides a fun and professional experience that has been really great to be a part of. We all work together to make each day run smoothly while supporting the new league in the best way possible.

This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Athletic Training students featuring their clinical site and their preceptors. The number, quality and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU AT Program.

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