Jan 29, 2015
Live From Las Vegas

Check back here to read T&C Associate Editor Dennis Read’s insights from the floor of the NATA 64th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Dennis will be there beginning Tuesday and with highlighted sessions to attend in hand will spend the next three full days at the convention taking in the sights and sounds and reporting them back in this blog space.

Thursday, June 27, 8:53 p.m. (PDT)

Well, it’s time to wrap things up from Las Vegas and attendance at the sessions was strong to the very end. I closed the trip by listening to a discussion of hiring and setting a successful culture followed by some poster presentations on research into work-life balance issues.

With such strong attendance, I think it’s a safe bet the NATA will bring the convention back to Vegas soon. But next year we’re in the heartland as we head to Indianapolis. Hope we see you there.

Thursday, June 27, 10:48 a.m. (PDT)

The finish line of the NATA Convention is in sight with the final full day of sessions underway. Listened to an interesting discussion on doing the right thing even when it upsets people. The take away was the importance of communication, especially when your message will not be well received.

The show room floor still has some buzz as attendees have just a few hours left to see the vast array of products and services on display. Then it will be time to pack everything up and get ready for Indianapolis in 2014.

Wednesday, June 26, 9:19 p.m. (PDT)

Another long, but good, day is in the books, at least for some of us here in Vegas. I saw plenty of athletic trainers out enjoying all that the city has to offer. After RGIII left, the focus turned to athletic training with the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony followed by the keynote address from Merrill Hoge.

A special mention must be made of Ron Courson, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine at the University of Georgia, who spoke in a sessions on sudden cardiac death just minutes before he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The other members of the Class of 2013 are R.T. Floyd, University of West Alabama; Robert Kersey, Cal State Fullerton; Ralph Reiff, St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis; and Charlie Thompson, Princeton University. Congratulations to them all and we hope they enjoyed all the well-deserved praise they received today.

Wednesday, June 26, 2:58 p.m. (PDT)
Back on the show room floor with more notes from the second full day at the NATA Convention. The floor is a little quieter with the departure of Robert Griffin III. He spent a couple of hours taking pictures with fans following his appearance at the HydroWorx booth to hand out the first Excellence in Aquatics award. As promised, here are some of the details on the award.

The award is designed to recognize sports medicine professionals who, despite all odds, garnered superior rehabilitation results through innovative, and sometimes unconventional, methods and relied on aquatics as a medium to help achieve exceptional results. The winner was Eric Sugarman and the Minnesota Vikings Athletic Training Staff for the rehabilitation of Adrian Peterson. One of the top running backs in the NFL, Peterson suffered and ACL tear in late December 2011, and set a goal of returning from surgery for the start of the 2012 season.


Eric Sugarman of Minnesota Vikings speaks to the crowd at the NATA 64th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas after winning the Excellence in Aquatics award from Hydroworx. The award was presented by Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

To meet such an aggressive schedule, Peterson was walking on the underwater treadmill facility just three weeks after surgery. Sugarman and his staff had Peterson use the HydroWorx pool throughout the early stages to strengthen the leg and learn the walk/jog/run progression. The results were remarkable. Peterson was not only in the starting line up on Week, he posted a career-high 2,097 yards en route to winning MVP honors for the 2012 season,

The three other finalists for the award were: Carson-Newman College Football for facilitating the rapid return from a fractured fibula, Duke basketball sports medicine team for managing potential season-ending injuries to key players, and Nova Southeastern University’s Dustin Gatens for the rehabilitation of basketball player Brian Cahill.

Click here for more details about the award and all four finalists.

Wednesday, June 26, 11:50 a.m. (PDT)

Just a quick update while waiting for the start of a session on preventing sudden cardiac death. Robert Griffin III is a big hit on the showroom floor drawing huge crowds as he announced the winner of the first Excellence in Aquatic Therapy award given by Hydroworx. The award went to Eric Sugarman and the Minnesota Vikings Athletic Training Staff for the rehabilitation of Adrian Peterson. We’ll update with more details later this afternoon and maybe even have some pictures.

Wednesday, June 26, 7:57 a.m. (PDT)
Ready to head out to Mandalay Bay for another full day at the NATA Convention. Highlights of the day include the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the keynote address from former NFL running back Merrill Hoge at 3:45 p.m.
Tuesday, June 25, 8:40 p.m. (PDT)

Back in the hotel after an enjoyable and exciting day at the NATA Convention. The day started with a press conference announcing the consensus statement on sudden death in high school athletes. This document will be an important addition to athletic training and high school athletics in general. Without going into too much detail, the document offers best practices in four main areas, sudden cardiac death, heat illness, head injury, and sickle cell, which account for 90 percent of sudden death in athletes. We’ll have a lot more on this in future issues of T&C and on the web site.A very interesting factoid from the press conference. There are 15,000 registered attendees at this convention, shattering the previous record of a little more than 10,000. And it showed on the Expo floor, with a steady stream of athletic trainers stopping by the booth throughout the day.

My day ended with an interesting session on professional standards in athletic training and the efforts of the NATA Board of Certification to enforce the high standards of the profession. The most intriguing aspect was the challenges presented by social media. The biggest question: How can athletic trainers navigate the minefield of potential problems presented by social media when it’s the main way athletes communicate today?

Ultimately the answer boiled down to sound advice that applies to many issues: adopt thoughtful policies so that expectations are clear. The role of state governing and licensing boards was also noted and they seem to be a good place to start with questions of what to do and not do.

Tomorrow at 11 a.m., Robert Griffin III stops by the Hydroworx booth, just down the aisle from ours, to hand out an award for hydrotherapy excellence. Then it’s more on the sudden death consensus statement and plenty of time visiting with athletic trainers at our booth. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 25, 8:37 A.M. (PDT)

On site for the first full day of the 2013 NATA Convention. Educational sessions are just getting underway after clear blue skies greeted everyone this morning following a very windy Monday. I’ll be attending the NATA Press Conference later this morning where an inter-association task force on preventing sudden death in high school athletics will be issuing a consensus statement believed to be the first scientific document addressing the causes of sudden death in this population.

For those of you at the show, check out the cover of today’s convention newspaper. There’s a neat story there about NATA District Two Director Michael Goldenberger, who jumped off the 108-story Stratosphere Tower after getting $3,000 in pledges for the NATA Political Action Committee. And be sure to stop by our T&C booth, No. 1740. We have copies of our current edition on hand, and many have special prize stickers inside. Also, don’t forgot to either start or extend your subscription while you’re here.

Monday, June 24, 2:45 p.m. (PDT)

Just back at the hotel after setting up the T&C booth for the 2013 NATA Convention. Lots of activity in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center with athletic trainers flooding the halls during registration. Signs around the building are thanking attendees for making this the biggest NATA Convention ever. Based on my three previous NATA trips, that doesn’t seem to be wishful thinking. There is a lot more buzz around the convention than I saw a year ago in St. Louis.

Things get underway in earnest tomorrow with the beginning of sessions and the opening of the trade show. Feel free to stop by and say hi. We’re in Booth 1740 near the center of the show hall.

Monday, June 24, 6:40 a.m. (PDT)
Half of the T&C contingent is here in Las Vegas for the NATA Convention. We arrived to the bright lights of Vegas late Sunday night and will be setting up our booth on the show floor throughout the afternoon. We saw several athletic trainers on our flight, so hopefully attendance will be high.

If you’ll be at the show, feel free to e-mail Dennis at [email protected] with your own notes on any educational sessions you attend, your stories from the convention floor, or advice on where to go and what to see. If you aren’t attending this year, follow this live blog to see what you’re missing from the show.

We also want to invite convention attendees to come visit the T&C booth in the exhibit hall (booth #1740), where you can pick up your free show packet. It contains our May/June issue with the usual mix of articles, plus a special guide to products on display at the convention.

Remember to look through your packet for tickets–there are hundreds of opportunities to instantly win a prize from one of our participating advertisers. This is also a great time to renew your free T&C subscription.

Here’s where and when to find T&C at the show:
Booth #1740
Tuesday, June 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (restricted to certified and associate NATA members)
Wednesday, June 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open to all registrants)
Thursday, June 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (open to all registrants)

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