Student pitches in with pro ball in America

March 14, 2013

Fourth-year Exercise Physiology student Mitch Forrest recently returned from Arizona following an internship with profession Major League Baseball team, the Seattle Mariners.

Mr Forrest worked with head athletic trainer Rick Griffin and exercise physiologist Dr Lisa Lewis in a variety of roles, including fitness evaluations and rehabilitation of injured players.

He said working with the team was invaluable.

“The facilities were top class, as were the training team I was working with, which included assistant trainers Matt Toth, Masahiro Takahura and Rob Nodine, who were very knowledgeable and always helped with my questions,” Mr Forrest said.

“I was able to do a variety of tasks, including assisting when players performed their shoulder, elbow and ankle strengthening programs. On three other days, I helped with team physicals, assisting Lisa Lewis in conducting a treadmill protocol to assess aerobic capacity.

“Lisa was really helpful and knowledgeable. It was great working with her.”

Mr Forrest admitted he wasn’t an expert on baseball before his trip, being ‘pretty cricket mad’, but said he is now keen to see how the Mariners would fare in the upcoming season.

He said a lot of the skills learned in Arizona had transferability to cricket and that he hoped to get into rehabilitation in a cricket setting in the future, having already worked with the junior female Western Australian state team, the Rising Fury.

“It’s a long journey. I learned heaps with the Mariners and built on knowledge gained from my studies at Murdoch, specifically my knowledge surrounding shoulder and elbow rehabilitation,” Mr Forrest said.

“Towards the end of my internship, Rick Griffin joked that I might be in the top ten of people in Australia when it comes to baseball rehabilitation knowledge.”

The internship is part of an ongoing relationship between Murdoch University and Major League Baseball developed through the work of Dr Mark Hecimovich, Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean Learning and Teaching in the School of Psychology and Exercise Science, who is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association International Council.

“This is the seventh year in which we’ve sent students for internships and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from both students and teams. We really value the opportunity for our students to get hands-on experience with a professional sports team and are keen to keep the relationship going,” Dr Hecimovich said.

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