I cannot believe it has already been a week since I arrived here in Copenhagen. It has been an unbelievable experience and honestly, it still doesn’t feel real. As I am constantly telling friends and family about my many excursions and adventures, they often arise with the question: “do you even go to class?” Fun fact: YES! Isn’t that what STUDYING abroad entails?
The course I am taking is called Sports Medicine: Performance and Fatigue. It has been such an amazing class and I have loved every minute of it. I hope to attend graduate school after undergraduate to become a strength and conditioning coach, so this class really grabbed my attention when deciding what course I wanted to take.
The goals of this course include learning how to rehabilitate and prevent sports injuries, as well as how to design exercise programs for different patients/athletes/clients/etc. This class has been mainly hands-on and rarely any lecture, which I am very fond of. It involves physically moving limbs and joints to put we are learning into practice.
On Thursday, we went to Sankt Jørgens Sø for the first two hours of class. Here we ran around the lake to facilitate our learning of the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. We were also split into pairs of two to come up with a warm-up for certain joints of the body that our professor assigned to us on the walk to the lake. There would be breaks in-between running bouts where we would discuss questions and ideas to further understand what exactly our bodies were doing.
After our running portion, we had a break for lunch and then met at our professor’s workplace, Elite Fysioterapi. At his gym, we split into groups of three and performed different lifting exercises. I was in the squatting group and we performed warm-up sets, high rep-low load sets, and then low rep-high load sets. We then discussed the differences we felt in the sets and how our muscles and neuromuscular components were working and feeling during the exercise. It was really neat to actually think about these things and see them as they were happening. This truly furthered my understanding of the concepts and will also help me better understand how to create efficient and successful strength and conditioning programs.
On Friday, we ventured to FC København’s (Football Club Copenhagen) training facility in Frederiksberg to tour the facility and meet with one of their physiotherapists, Alex. It was an extraordinary experience to get a behind-the-scenes look into one of the most elite soccer organizations in Europe.
Alex gave us a tour and then we sat down to learn about the rehabilitation process of FC København players. He gave us some tips on how they determine whether a player is ready to return to the pitch, as well as information about formulating a plan for the player.
My teacher, Martin Prassé, is a well-renowned physiotherapist who has worked for the Danish American Football Federation, Danish Cricket Federation, Danish Soccer Association, and now works with Elite Fysioterapi and has his own practice, as well. Alongside these jobs, he has many certifications. He is extremely knowledgeable in many regards and has helped make the transition to learning while abroad much easier. His enthusiasm for sports medicine and fitness makes the course engaging and he wants us not only to learn but understand the concepts we are learning. Through his teaching methods, we are able to put what we learn and understand into practice.
Coming up, we have visits from an orthopedic surgeon, a 10x Danish Champion in the 100m hurdle, a physiotherapist, and a strength and conditioning coach to help further our understanding of a variety of topics. I look forward to all of these guests, especially the strength and conditioning coach as this is my area of interest, but I am also excited to hear what all of them have to say!