What prior knowledge or expertise should I have in order to facilitate a Back to Sports meeting or event?
Only athletic trainers are eligible to facilitate a Back to Sports meeting. Other medical professionals, such as a team physician, CPR trainer, or school nurse, can volunteer to provide assistance and present sports safety content, should the athletic trainer desire.
All persons facilitating or hosting a Back to Sports meeting or event must have basic knowledge of common sports-related injuries, issues, and proper responses. The American Heart Association (AHA) will provide all sports safety messaging along with presentation materials, scripts, and talking points on key content areas, including concussions, heat and hydration, prevention of pediatric overuse injuries, and cardiac arrest and proper response.
Why should the Back to Sports program be delivered through athletic trainers?
Back to Sports allows athletic trainers to have increased visibility and positioning as the authority for sports safety in their communities. Leveraging the expertise of athletic trainers will increase awareness of their crucial role in schools and communities with parents, who may in turn become advocates for the profession. Back to Sports supports the fundamental goal of every athletic trainer to promote sports safety for their athletes.
When should I conduct a Back to Sports meeting?
Back to Sports meetings can be held anytime during the year (fall, winter, spring or summer). It is up to the meeting facilitator to determine the best time for parents and guardians, schools or programs. Mini-grant recipients must conduct a meeting during the school year in which they were awarded in order to receive the grant benefits.
How much time is required to conduct a Back to Sports meeting?
Back to Sports can be delivered through two different formats: one meeting or a series of meetings. Both formats are effective and require different amounts of time. A stand-alone Back to Sports meeting is estimated to last approximately 90 minutes. Each topic will take about 10 minutes. Topics can be organized to fit your specific needs. A minimum of three sport safety topics must be covered but additional topics can be added. Topics must include concussion awareness and cardiac arrest with CPR skills. Each meeting if presenting as a series is estimated to last 30-45 minutes and you will offer multiple meetings over time to cover a minimum of three sports safety topics including concussion awareness and cardiac arrest with CPR skills. Additional topics can be added. Each topic will take about 10 minutes. Topics can be organized to fit your specific needs. Offering a Back to Sports series keeps the meeting length workable when presenting with another pre-scheduled meeting.
How much time should I plan to prepare for the meeting or meetings?
It is recommended to allow 6-8 weeks to plan and promote your meeting. This will give you plenty of time to reserve facilities, promote your meeting, and secure materials and volunteers. It is encouraged that facilitators look for other volunteers (e.g., staff, coaches, booster club members, other parent volunteers) to help with the planning and promotion of the meeting/event
How much does it cost to conduct a Back to Sports meeting?
There are limited costs associated with hosting a Back to Sports meeting. All meeting facilitators must utilize the Back to Sports Toolkit materials available online. Facilitators that do not receive a mini-grant may incur limited costs, such as the cost to print signage for the meeting. You may want to engage support from booster clubs, parent groups, local medical groups or other volunteers as needed.
What resources are offered to help me conduct a Back to Sports meeting or event?AHA provides digital turn-key resources for any meeting facilitator (both non-grant and mini-grant recipients) to implement Back to Sports meetings. The Back to Sports Toolkit includes access to customizable invitations, promotional posters, presentation slides and video content. Required equipment includes a computer with internet access, projector, and screen.
How many Back to Sports meetings can I conduct in a year?
The mini-grant covers funding for one meeting. However, the Back to Sports digital toolkit and CPR in Schools Training KitTM can be used more than once if you decide to facilitate more than one meeting on your own. We hope you will consider using the materials for multiple meetings.
Should I target parents/students at my school or extend the invite to the broader school district and community?
The target audience for Back to Sports meetings is parents who have youth participating or considering participation in sports. We encourage you to extend your reach to parents and guardians of upper elementary and middle school students. If you work in a school setting, explore the possibility of reaching down to your feeder schools. If your school allows, consider inviting other community schools, especially if they do not have access to an athletic trainer. If you work in a clinical setting, you could focus on a school, district, youth league or broader community. These meetings blend nicely with already scheduled school events such as pre-season sport meetings.
How do I promote my meeting?
To maximize the number of adults in attendance, reach out to other groups such as parent groups, booster clubs, coaches, athletic directors, and local youth leagues administrators to help you promote your meeting(s). Recruiting the help of others to promote your meeting, will not only help increase number of attendees but will help free up your time to focus on preparing for your presentation(s). Remember, identifying an already scheduled meeting such has a pre-season sports meeting or an elementary parent meeting, will also help guarantee that you will have attendees the night of your meeting.
Here are some other tips to help spread the word about your meeting/event:
- Distribute invitation flyers – electronic or printed.
- Hang the Pre-Promotional poster.
- Work with a special group such as a parent group, coaches, athletic director, youth sport league director to promote your meeting. Get their support. Ask them for help distributing invitation flyers and encouraging attendance.
- Spread the word using social media.
- Post an announcement on your school/organization website.
- Add announcement in a school newsletters.
- If your school/organization has voicemail, send a message or reminder of upcoming meeting.
Who can I contact for more information or questions about Back to Sports?
For more information email BacktoSports@heart.org. Please note that we are no longer accepting mini-grant applications at this time.