AS THE TITLE SUGGESTS, "EQUIPMENT MANAGER'S POINT OF VIEW" POST WILL BE BLOG POST, WHICH I HAVENT DONE IN A WHILE - SORRY, TO GIVE A BETTER PERSPECTIVE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYING AN ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT MANAGER AT EVERY COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT (ABLE AND WILLING TO BECOME A.E.M.A. CERTIFIED).
ITS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT WHEN FIELDING 'CONTACT SPORT' TEAMS LIKE FOOTBALL, LACROSSE, BASEBALL, OR ANY OTHER SPORT REQUIRING PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AND/OR CARRYING A 'STICK'.
I'LL START OFF WITH SOME BACKGROUND . . .
WHAT IS THE A.E.M.A. ? ? ?
"The Athletic Equipment Managers Association (AEMA) was started in 1974 with a handful of equipment managers concerned with the manner in which sport participants were equipped. These initial few have grown into a national organization of over 900 members, including male and female Equipment Managers from High Schools to Colleges and Universities to the Professional Sports.The purpose of the AEMA is to promote, advance, and improve the Equipment Managers Profession in all of its many phases. One goal is to work as a group to bring about equipment improvements for the greater safety of all participants in sports and recreation. Members of the AEMA enjoy the opportunity to meet fellow equipment managers at convention, share ideas, and learn more efficient techniques to help improve their work place.In 1991, the AEMA pursued the development of its members by initiating a certification program. The educational focus was targeted towards the five major domains equipment managers identified routinely in their jobs."
AS STATED FROM THEIR WEBSITE: www.equipmentmanagers.org
WHY, WITH ALL THE INCREASED INTEREST IN THE ADVANCEMENT OF PROTECTIVE ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT (FOOTBALL HELMETS); IS THE A.E.M.A. STILL UNDER THE PUBLIC'S RADAR?
THINK ABOUT IT. . . MEDIA OUTLETS *COUGH * ESPN *COUGH * ARE CHOMPING AT THE BITS TO GET THE NEXT BIG FOOTBALL EQUIPMENT ADVANCEMENT OR STUDY RESULT OR EVEN LAWSUIT. THEY INTERVIEW FORMER AND CURRENT PLAYERS, COACHES, COACHES THAT USED TO BE PLAYERS, SOME TRAINERS, NEURO-DOCS, PARENTS, AND ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE REMOTELY CONNECTED TO THE SPORT OR SOMEONE AFFECTED BY A 'RESULTING' INJURY, BUT NEVER AN EQUIPMENT MANAGER, EXCEPT IN THOSE REGIONAL OR SCHOOL-BASED 'BEHIND THE SCENES' ARTICLES OR VIDEOS - WHICH I LOVE! AND SHARE THEM HERE WHENEVER I FIND THEM.
I'M NOT SAYING THE MEDIA AND OTHERS HAVEN'T DONE GOOD IN SPREADING THE WORD ON THE REAL 'DANGERS' FROM INADEQUATE PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT, BUT IT NEEDS TO CONTINUE AND INCREASE - GO DEEPER - ACTUALLY TALK TO THOSE PEOPLE THAT FIT, MAINTAIN, REPAIR AND HANDLE THE PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DAILY.
IT SHOULD BE KINDA LIKE WHAT THE FOOD NETWORK HAS DONE FOR FOOD AND EATING IN AMERICA, SINCE ITS INCEPTION. THEY EDUCATED PEOPLE ABOUT NEW AND DIFFERENT FOODS, NEW FOOD CULTURES, NEW FLAVORS; WHILE INSTRUCTING THEM HOW TO COOK THOSE NEW THINGS; DEFINING THE DIFFERENT AND VARIED COOKING 'EQUIPMENT'; LEADING TO LEGITIMIZING THE CULINARY PROFESSION. THEY BROUGHT CHEFS OUT OF THE KITCHEN, LOOKED AT CHEFS' VARIED BACKGROUNDS AS INFLUENCE, FOLLOWED FOODS TO THEIR ORIGINS, EXPLORED AND PROBABLY AIDED THE ADVANCES IN FOOD MODIFICATION. THEY HAVE CHANGED A CULTURE!
SEEDS ARE PLANTED AND SLOWLY TAKING ROOT TO CHANGE SPORTS CULTURE. THIS ISN'T NEW, SPORTS HAVE CONSTANTLY CHANGED AND EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS.
ONE WAY, IS TO HELP LEGITIMIZE THE NEED FOR A CERTIFIED ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT MANAGER AT ALL LEVELS FOR ALL CONTACT SPORTS. FIRST, BY ERASING THE OLD NOTION OF THE 'EQUIPMENT GUY' WHO OFTEN TIMES WAS A KID HELPER WITH NO REAL KNOWLEDGE OR AN OLD PART TIME GUY THAT DOES THE LAUNDRY; IF THERE WAS EVEN THAT, SOMETIMES IT WAS THE SECOND DUTY OF A COACH OR TRAINER.
NOW THIS MAY SEEM LIKE "DUH" BUT AT MY LEVEL, NCAA DIII, IT IS NO GUARANTEE THAT THE SCHOOL LET ALONE THE FOOTBALL TEAM WILL HAVE AN EQUIPMENT MANAGER LET ALONE A CERTIFIED AND EDUCATED EQUIPMENT MANAGER.
ANOTHER IS FOR ESPN TO RECOGNIZE THEM MORE, EXPOSURE IS THE QUICKEST CHANGER. FOR INSTANCE WHEN THE GAME COMMENTATORS START TALKING EQUIPMENT, MAYBE THEY COULD REFER TO A CERTIFIED ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT MANAGER, ON STAFF OR ON CALL, AS A PROFESSIONAL REFERENCE. THEY HAVE A FOOTBALL RULES OFFICIAL IN THE BOOTH, THEY REFER TO WHEN THERE IS A QUESTION. WHY NOT ONE OF US?
THINK ABOUT IT . . .