Sports Medicine Conference Brings New Knowledge, Professional Contacts to ESS Students
It's not every day that you get to meet your idol. But one Colby-Sawyer student majoring in Exercise and Sport Sciences (ESS) did just that recently. And that was just a highlight in an especially productive field trip into the professional world.
In mid-November, 14 ESS students, along with ESS Professors Jean Eckrich and Melisa Mena, traveled to Providence, R.I., to attend The New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine Conference. The sessions covered areas such as strength and conditioning, exercise for individuals with various diseases, injury prevention and rehabilitation, and psychological factors that can affect exercise regimes.
New Ideas for Treating Patients
John Bosse '08, an ESS major who specializes in Exercise Science, attended the conference because he wanted to meet new people in the field and see hands-on presentations that would offer him new information.
In one session on resistance training for cardiac rehab patients, Bosse learned about modifications to standard exercises that can prevent patients from falling or from engaging in excessive ranges of motion. In another session on core training, he learned a great deal about diagnosis and treatment of overuse injuries.
The presenter emphasized the importance of considering all possible sources of pain in overuse injuries. He explained how many injuries had very little relation to the specific site, but rather to other joints above and below the injured area, Bosse explains.
He also stressed the importance of asking personal training clients where they felt exercises, because without this knowledge, the trainer would not always know if the client was overcompensating with the wrong muscles. This overcompensation often results in overuse injuries that are better treated not by strengthening the overused muscle, but by finding the weaker ones that had been compensated for and strengthening them.
In addition to acquiring knowledge he can put to use quickly, Bosse also saw his summer internship supervisor, Donald Christie Jr. M.D.,CSCS, who made him feel more comfortable amid all the professionals at the conference. Bosse interned with Dr. Christie, a sports physician at Fitness World in Lewiston, Maine, where Bosse set up training programs for clients.
The highlight of the trip for Bosse was seeing Colby-Sawyer alumnus, Trevor Dorian '05, now a graduate student at Springfield College. Dorian will begin working as a strength and conditioning coach in the Dodger baseball team's farm system in March 2007.
Making the Connection
A senior ESS major who specializes in Athletic Training, Andrew Snow '07 says it was important for him to attend the conference because he needs to make connections in his field outside of Colby-Sawyer.
I enjoy learning about topics from people who have different perspectives based on their field, as compared to learning only from ATCs [certified athletic trainers] he says. The presentation on core training tied in well with my class on therapeutic rehabilitation. The lessons in the session strayed far from the usual concepts addressed with core training and really focused on what is relevant to performance and rehabilitation.
Snow found several presentations compelling and relevant to his interests. I found the presentation on metabolic systems in athletics good because of my interest in exercise physiology and running, he says. The session on power training was very useful in learning about the concepts of developing power, and how it differs from developing strength.
The best session for Snow was the motivational speech by 1964 Olympic 10,000-meter gold medalist and runner Billy Mills, whom Snow, also an avid runner, has always admired. The presentation inspired me as an athlete and as a person, rather than just as a sports medicine practitioner, he says. He's always been an idol of mine.
I found that interacting with the presenters was generally very informational, Snow adds. Many of the speakers were experts in their field of study and had very thorough answers to my questions.
There was just one sour note for Snow. I e-mailed one of the presenters, who never e-mailed me back with answers to my questions, he says. In that case, he was not helpful, but frustrating instead.
Despite that minor disappointment, the conference was not just a great opportunity but a lot of fun. ESS Department Chair and Professor Eckrich describes it as a wonderful opportunity for students to interact with other students across the region. Our students were able to attend sessions that provided additional insights and perspectives on topics that they have in their classes here.