Iowa State University sports training student Mikaela Hoffman cleans the nose area of wrestler Don Bosco during a match Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. (Jim Slozarek / The Gazette)
Iowa State University sports training student Micaela Hoffman cleans blood from wrestler Don Bosco during a match between the Lisbon Lions and the Don at the 2022 Double Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, February. 16, 2022. ISU graduate student, sports coach Nick Hiller cleans the blood from the mat. (Jim Slozarek / The Gazette)
Carpet assignments for Iowa State University students and staff on athletic training ahead of the 2022 Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, February 17, 2022. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)
Iowa State University graduate student of athletic training Nick Hiller demonstrates recording technique for athletic training students during the 2022 Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, February 17, 2022. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)
Director of the Sports Training Program at the University of Iowa Mary Mayer talks to some of her students and staff before the 2022 Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, February 17, 2022. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)
On Thursday, February 17, 2022, on Thursday, February 17, 2022, at the Wells Fargo Arena in 2022, compartments with medical devices were collected on the table to help wrestlers. (Jim Slozarek / The Gazette)
Iowa State University sports training student Gabi Lord inserts a plug into the wrestler’s nose during the 2022 Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, February 17, 2022. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)
DES MOINES – It’s like a French major’s trip to France, but for students involved in sports training.
It’s a struggle-dive 101 through an annual trip to the Well.
“We’ve been looking forward to this for the past six weeks,” Iowa State University graduate student Jasmine Mumford, 24, Jasmine Mumford, told The Gazette this week as she drove to the state wrestling tournament at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
“It’s really my honor and joy to train in Iowa,” said Nick Hiller, a 22-year-old graduate student, about his efforts to help coordinate a team of promising coaches with staff – at least in part. Iowa schools are fighting each other on eight mats at any given time.
“Because I was involved in sports training, I was able to help with the state tournament for the last three years,” Giller said. “And I just enjoyed it and had a great experience.”
Various sources say that the first wrestling tournament at Iowa High School took place in 1921 – and for half of this century, more than one ISU supported sports training.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary of participation in one of the state’s largest high school events, the Iowa state sports training program this weekend sent 30 to 35 students to Des Moines – plus three of the 15 certified athletic coaches.
Although students are supervised by certified teachers, they perform most of their duties alone, according to Mary Mayer, clinical associate professor of kinesiology who manages the ISU sports training program.
“They have the coursework they took, but before each session we have a 5-10 minute discussion about their mat, supplies and how to deal with some situations,” Meer said. “It’s an accelerated course.”
Assignments for the mat
Students include both undergraduates and alumni who sit either on a mat or in a gym equipped with ice, sports tape, gauze, braces and always important nose plugs.
“The blood is probably the biggest,” Meyer said of the ordinary things they see. “You have to make sure you can monitor this and determine if the child can come back. Sometimes the match is stopped several times. “
Common joint injuries that ISU coaches see in tournaments include shoulder and knee, Meyer said. In the past, they had to ride on board from time to time – just to be safe.
“As for injuries, you have football, wrestling, football, gymnastics and hockey, which are the most at risk of catastrophic injuries that could potentially become an emergency,” she said. “So you really have to be ready to act.”
As of Friday afternoon, the ISU training team was asking standard questions and examining minor injuries – including several who came for a post-mortem checkup and one person with a rib injury.
If anything happens during the tournament and emotions run high, Mayer said, ISU coaches are ready to coordinate with local doctors or nearby hospitals.
“They are always nervous when the tournament starts,” Mayer said, adding that they feel more comfortable with their skills and training after the first or second time they will be needed on the mat. “It’s such a good practical experience – to be in the moment.”
Iowa has one coach for students on each mat and then a certified coach between four pairs of mats. They must decide whether the injury is extraordinary or whether the wrestler can continue to compete.
“It helps their critical thinking skills,” Meyer said.
When Iowa first recruited student athletics coaches to the tournament in 1972, Frank Randall was the chief athletic coach – and one of the few athletic coaches on campus who now offers a professional master’s degree in athletic training.
Undergraduate students enter the 3 + 2 program, which provides three years of undergraduate training and two years of master’s degree in sports training. Students take courses on how to assess and prevent injuries, handle emergencies, and support rehabilitation.
Randall, according to ISU Deputy Director of Athletics for Sports Medicine Mark Coberley, has always looked for ways in which athletics coaches can serve the general public.
“And he created news programs where Iowa provided sports coaches for various activities,” Koberley said.
Today, students like Hiller play a big role in the behind-the-scenes coordination that takes place weeks and even months before the state wrestling tournament.
This planning includes enrolling student coaches for nearly 60 hours of work; identification and collection of materials; distribution of workers to different jobs; and emergency preparedness.
Students involved in ISU sports training do not need to specialize in one sport to earn a degree, but rather receive education in different sports at different levels. And coaches working in tournaments don’t have to have wrestling experience.
But many students show interest when they return. Even this year, Meyer said, some signed up to help for just one day, but asked to return for further action.
However, graduate student Mumford said she had seen some students shy away from the intensity of the tournament.
“Some of them do it once and they say,‘ Yeah, it really pissed me off, I don’t want to do it again, ’” she said. “And then we have those who say, ‘Yeah, sign up for me every session, every minute.’
Vanessa Miller talks about higher education for The Gazette.
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