Performance Wellness: Elevating Health Care in Theme Parks Through Athletic Training

Performance Wellness: Elevating Health Care in Theme Parks Through Athletic Training

The session will outline the unique services and educational impact the athletic trainer can have as a health care provider in a theme park. As opposed to other performing arts setting, the athletic trainer in a theme park interacts with a range of performers. This includes dancers of various styles, singers, juggers, costume characters and technicians. With many of the performers at the onset of their careers and most without health insurance outside of workers’ compensation coverage, the athletic trainer has a tremendous impact through patient education on preventative and self-care measures.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design preventative and self-care exercise programs to enhance the performers health care.
  • Identify and implement various components for a comprehensive health care program in the theme park setting.
  • Identify the unique challenges to health care due to the broad variety of performers in the theme park setting.

How is this session relevant to a variety of settings?
Many elements of the program can be utilized in occupational, private and emerging practices. For example, designing preventative and self-care exercise programs, implementing comprehensive health care programs, and addressing unique challenges, highlight skills and knowledge that can be applied across different athletic training scenarios. The emphasis on patient education will demonstrate a transferable focus on preventative and self-care measures that can be beneficial in various athletic training contexts.


Domain 4: Therapeutic Intervention 

1.0 Category A

In order to earn your CEUs, you must watch the session video in its entirety and complete the assessment.

Steven Cole, LAT, ATC

Steven Cole earned his undergraduate degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown and his master’s degree from the University of Virginia. He has more than 40 years of health care and athletic administration experience, with more than 35 years of experience at the collegiate level. Prior to taking over the day-to-day operation of the College of William & Mary’s Athletics Department as the Associate Athletic Director in 2008, he led the college’s sports medicine program for 26 years as the Director of Sports Medicine. He has also served as the affiliated clinical site coordinator for Riverside Family Medicine Residency in Newport News, Virginia, and as a clinical instructor for the post-professional Athletic Training Program at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

As the principal agent for Cole Consultant Services, Inc., Cole works with numerous athletic programs, medical practices, and industrial corporations. He is approved by the Board of Certification (BOC) as a provider of continuing education programs for athletic trainers. For more than 35 years, he has conducted workshops on sports medicine topics for high school students, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, EMS personnel, and physicians. Notably, he co-developed the SMART (Sideline Management Assessment Response Techniques) workshop for primary care physicians to enhance their sports medicine skills and increase their confidence and competence as sideline physicians at sporting events. Cole has written clinical skills curricula for primary care physicians and published several articles relevant to athletic health care and the administration of health care programs. He is an annual workshop presenter at various meetings for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM). In addition, he is one of the authors of a book on the assessment of athletic training practical skills. Cole is also a nationally recognized expert on preparing athletic training students for their national certification boards with the ACES Preparatory workshop, managing athletic injury insurance programs, and teaching on-field injury management skills to primary care physicians. Cole has coordinated the Performing Arts Sports Medicine program for Busch Entertainment Corporation in Williamsburg, Virginia for nearly 30 years.

COPA Con 2024 Presentation:
Performance Wellness: Elevating Health Care in Theme Parks Through Athletic Training

John Knaul, ATC

John Knaul joined the staff of the Division of Sports Medicine at William and Mary in 2000 after a stint as Assistant Athletic Trainer at Lafayette College. Prior to that, he was an Assistant Athletic Trainer at Elmira College.

Knaul works primarily with men's & women's swimming and lacrosse. He also handles inventory, supply and purchasing for the athletic training facilities. Knaul has also served as an instructor in the SMART (Sideline Management Assessment Response Techniques) Workshop for physicians. He currently serves on the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers Association annual symposium planning committee as the Exhibit Coordinator. Knaul received his bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Alfred University in 1997, before garnering his master's in education from Elmira College in 1999. 

He is originally from Auburn, in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate N.Y. Knaul resides in Williamsburg with his wife Katie, who is a teacher for Williamsburg-James City County Schools, and their daughters, Finley and Natalie.

COPA Con 2024 Presentation:
Performance Wellness: Elevating Health Care in Theme Parks Through Athletic Training

This content will not be available until 04/26/2024 at 1:00 PM (CDT)