Sway Success Story: Aledo ISD

Sway Medical
July 16, 2021

Overview

About Aledo ISD

Aledo ISD
School District
Aledo, Texas

Athletes Baselined Annually: 900
Athletic Trainers: 4
Schools with Sports: 3

Football State Championships: 1998 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2013 | 2014 | 2016 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

In Aledo Texas, winning State Championships is not only a goal, but an expectation. Consistently winning requires athletes to stay healthy throughout the season, and returning to play as quickly as possible after an injury occurs. This is where Troy Little, Head Athletic Trainer at Aledo ISD, and his staff excel. When looking for a new tool to help them win, they turned to Sway.

Troy Little
Title
Head Athletic Trainer
Education History
Shawnee High School
East Central University
Degrees
Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science
Licensed Athletic Trainer in the State of Texas

The Problem

Aledo ISD was specifically looking for a way to improve their processes throughout Baseline Testing, Sideline Evaluations, and the Return-to-Play. In addition to the issue that their current solution did not include objective balance measures, Aledo ISD’s existing tool presented a few pain points:

  1. Baseline Testing was time consuming, cumbersome, and required a computer lab.
  2. The existing tool did not have a solution for Sideline Evaluations.
  3. There was not a way to digitally or remotely monitor the athlete’s concussion symptoms throughout Return-to-Play.

Switching to Sway

Aledo ISD uses Sway for balance and cognitive testing as well as for tracking concussion symptoms throughout the entire injury cycle. Troy and his team switched to Sway in 2017 and since then have been able to baseline athletes in a fraction of the time. They can also easily perform sideline assessments and make an educated Return-to-Play decision.

Implementation

Baseline Testing

"The baseline testing by far is my favorite thing. It is so easy. We test our entire school in one day."

Troy Little

3x
Larger Groups
Before:
10 athletes / group
After:
30 athletes / group

Prior to Sway, Troy had to utilize computer labs for baseline testing, resulting in a maximum group size of 10 athletes. With Sway, he now baselines 30+ athletes in a single group.

2x
Faster Test
Before:
45 minute test
After:
20 minute test

Aledo ISD’s existing tool took 45 minutes per test. With Sway, athletes complete their baseline assessments in 20 minutes, less than half that time of the previous tool.

6x
Faster Baselining

With larger baseline groups and a faster test, Troy and his team are now able to baseline all of their student athletes 6 times faster than they had been with their previous tool.

When to baseline

Troy and the Aledo ISD team strategically plan their baseline testing during the off season of each sport to ensure they do not interrupt practice during the season.

Spring Summer Fall
  • • Football
  • • Volleyball
  • • Incoming 7th Graders
  • • New Students to the District
  • • Basektball
  • • Soccer
  • • Wrestling
  • • Softball
  • • Baseball
  • • Dance
  • • Cheer

Athletes baseline testing on Sway

Coach Involvement

Troy utilizes the coaching staffs to assist in administering the baseline sessions to make sure athletes stay focused on their assessments. Due to Sway’s simplicity and ease of use, many of the Aledo ISD coaches are comfortable administering baseline sessions on their own without the athletic trainer’s aid.

"Coaches like Sway as well because it’s not taking up 3 or 4 days out of their preparation for season. The ease of use is really game-changing for us."

Troy Little

Sideline Evaluations

The Process

Prior to Sway, Troy and his team did not have a solution for easily gathering objective cognitive and balance measures from their athletes during a game. With Sway, Troy takes his athletes to a private area, performs a quick screening of concussion symptoms, balance, and cognition. He can immediately utilize objective data to make a decision on whether or not an athlete is safe to Return-to-Play.

"We can look at the data compared to their baseline right there on our phones and not have to worry about finding a computer lab. Its data driven, not just subjective."

Troy Little

Team Doc

In the case of a suspected injury, Troy works closely with his team doctor to ensure that they are aligned on the interpretation of the test results and their Return to Play decision.

Aligning Around Sway

In addition to working with the Team Doctor, Troy and his athletic training staff utilize the Sway Reports to communicate with the athletes, coaches, and the athlete’s parents to ensure everyone has a comprehensive understanding of the athlete’s current state and the reasoning behind the decisions being made.

Return-to-Learn & Return-to-Play

Remote Tracking

Throughout the Return-to-Learn and Return-to-Play processes, Troy and his team utilize Sway’s remote testing capabilities to proactively track concussion symptoms as well as balance and cognition. Troy can have his athletes take a symptom check in the morning before starting daily activities, and then again later in the day after some mental exertion.

"I’ll generate codes for the athletes to take the concussion symptoms after an injury, especially if we have a break coming up where the athlete won’t be at school for 3 or 4 days."

Troy Little

Documentation

The Sway platform documents all test and concussion symptoms history, which allows Troy and his team to easily track and review the status of each individual with an injury without the burden of additional paperwork. The ability to chart and easily evaluate where is athlete is through the mobile app allows them to access that data anywhere, at any time.

Summary

With Sway, Troy and his team have become more effective at providing care for their athlete’s across the entire injury lifecycle. Aledo ISD has streamlined the Baseline Testing, Sideline Evaluation, and Return-to-Play processes and have also leveraged Sway to create alignment with parents, coaches, players, and team doctors.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Overview

About Aledo ISD

Aledo ISD
School District
Aledo, Texas

Athletes Baselined Annually: 900
Athletic Trainers: 4
Schools with Sports: 3

Football State Championships: 1998 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2013 | 2014 | 2016 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

In Aledo Texas, winning State Championships is not only a goal, but an expectation. Consistently winning requires athletes to stay healthy throughout the season, and returning to play as quickly as possible after an injury occurs. This is where Troy Little, Head Athletic Trainer at Aledo ISD, and his staff excel. When looking for a new tool to help them win, they turned to Sway.

Troy Little
Title
Head Athletic Trainer
Education History
Shawnee High School
East Central University
Degrees
Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science
Licensed Athletic Trainer in the State of Texas

The Problem

Aledo ISD was specifically looking for a way to improve their processes throughout Baseline Testing, Sideline Evaluations, and the Return-to-Play. In addition to the issue that their current solution did not include objective balance measures, Aledo ISD’s existing tool presented a few pain points:

  1. Baseline Testing was time consuming, cumbersome, and required a computer lab.
  2. The existing tool did not have a solution for Sideline Evaluations.
  3. There was not a way to digitally or remotely monitor the athlete’s concussion symptoms throughout Return-to-Play.

Switching to Sway

Aledo ISD uses Sway for balance and cognitive testing as well as for tracking concussion symptoms throughout the entire injury cycle. Troy and his team switched to Sway in 2017 and since then have been able to baseline athletes in a fraction of the time. They can also easily perform sideline assessments and make an educated Return-to-Play decision.

Implementation

Baseline Testing

"The baseline testing by far is my favorite thing. It is so easy. We test our entire school in one day."

Troy Little

3x
Larger Groups
Before:
10 athletes / group
After:
30 athletes / group

Prior to Sway, Troy had to utilize computer labs for baseline testing, resulting in a maximum group size of 10 athletes. With Sway, he now baselines 30+ athletes in a single group.

2x
Faster Test
Before:
45 minute test
After:
20 minute test

Aledo ISD’s existing tool took 45 minutes per test. With Sway, athletes complete their baseline assessments in 20 minutes, less than half that time of the previous tool.

6x
Faster Baselining

With larger baseline groups and a faster test, Troy and his team are now able to baseline all of their student athletes 6 times faster than they had been with their previous tool.

When to baseline

Troy and the Aledo ISD team strategically plan their baseline testing during the off season of each sport to ensure they do not interrupt practice during the season.

Spring Summer Fall
  • • Football
  • • Volleyball
  • • Incoming 7th Graders
  • • New Students to the District
  • • Basektball
  • • Soccer
  • • Wrestling
  • • Softball
  • • Baseball
  • • Dance
  • • Cheer

Athletes baseline testing on Sway

Coach Involvement

Troy utilizes the coaching staffs to assist in administering the baseline sessions to make sure athletes stay focused on their assessments. Due to Sway’s simplicity and ease of use, many of the Aledo ISD coaches are comfortable administering baseline sessions on their own without the athletic trainer’s aid.

"Coaches like Sway as well because it’s not taking up 3 or 4 days out of their preparation for season. The ease of use is really game-changing for us."

Troy Little

Sideline Evaluations

The Process

Prior to Sway, Troy and his team did not have a solution for easily gathering objective cognitive and balance measures from their athletes during a game. With Sway, Troy takes his athletes to a private area, performs a quick screening of concussion symptoms, balance, and cognition. He can immediately utilize objective data to make a decision on whether or not an athlete is safe to Return-to-Play.

"We can look at the data compared to their baseline right there on our phones and not have to worry about finding a computer lab. Its data driven, not just subjective."

Troy Little

Team Doc

In the case of a suspected injury, Troy works closely with his team doctor to ensure that they are aligned on the interpretation of the test results and their Return to Play decision.

Aligning Around Sway

In addition to working with the Team Doctor, Troy and his athletic training staff utilize the Sway Reports to communicate with the athletes, coaches, and the athlete’s parents to ensure everyone has a comprehensive understanding of the athlete’s current state and the reasoning behind the decisions being made.

Return-to-Learn & Return-to-Play

Remote Tracking

Throughout the Return-to-Learn and Return-to-Play processes, Troy and his team utilize Sway’s remote testing capabilities to proactively track concussion symptoms as well as balance and cognition. Troy can have his athletes take a symptom check in the morning before starting daily activities, and then again later in the day after some mental exertion.

"I’ll generate codes for the athletes to take the concussion symptoms after an injury, especially if we have a break coming up where the athlete won’t be at school for 3 or 4 days."

Troy Little

Documentation

The Sway platform documents all test and concussion symptoms history, which allows Troy and his team to easily track and review the status of each individual with an injury without the burden of additional paperwork. The ability to chart and easily evaluate where is athlete is through the mobile app allows them to access that data anywhere, at any time.

Summary

With Sway, Troy and his team have become more effective at providing care for their athlete’s across the entire injury lifecycle. Aledo ISD has streamlined the Baseline Testing, Sideline Evaluation, and Return-to-Play processes and have also leveraged Sway to create alignment with parents, coaches, players, and team doctors.