Mighty Strong: Developing a Student-Run Strength and Conditioning Program for the Adaptive Athlete
Across the spectrum of human performance, physical therapists and trainers have the opportunity to work with athletes of various abilities, skills, and ages. Through working with a local sled hockey team, students at the University of Pittsburgh realized adaptive athletes are an underserved population for strength and conditioning services. Individuals with physical disabilities often have limited access to organized strength and conditioning programs, as these programs require exercise modifications, specialized set-ups, and trainers that have an in-depth knowledge of the athletesÕ capabilities. Mighty Strong is a student-run program that presents a unique opportunity to break down barriers and help solve these problems. Mighty Strong fosters clinical reasoning and decision making in the student volunteer coaches. Physical therapist students design, adapt,and implement strength and conditioning programs for athletes with various abilities. This panel will explore the origin and creation of Mighty Strong and its impact on physical performance, presenting a sustainable framework for others to follow in creating student-run programs for adaptive athletes.