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Jayla Boyd and her mom, Robin, were at an FC Dayton women’s soccer game when they saw a few athletic trainers on the field with the team. Since Jayla had expressed an interest in pursuing a career in athletic training, they decide to approach them to talk more about athletic training and what a career path might look like.

During their conversation, the athletic trainers, Jamie Broz, MEd, ATC and Karly Morrell, MS, AT, ATC, talked to Jayla, a competitive soccer player, about their careers, but also shared their roles with the Center for the Female Athlete at Dayton Children’s. The Center for the Female Athlete works with female athletes, ages 11-18, on injury prevention and tools to support their emotional, nutritional and physical health on and off the field.

Jayla was immediately interested in learning more about the program. Jayla plays soccer competitively in Beavercreek and seven of her teammates had torn their ACLs within the last year. She didn’t want to be next.

She enrolled in the Center for the Female Athlete to get preventative care and injury prevention tools, but she soon learned that the program took a comprehensive, whole-body approach with additional support from nutritional and behavioral health.

“The team looks at the athlete as a young woman and the changes they’re going through,” said Robin. “The Center for the Female Athlete helps them continue to grow with their bodies, in their sport, in their mental health and physical health.”

Before Jayla’s fall soccer season started, she met with each member of the team to get her body ready. This included looking at her iron levels to see how they were affecting her energy and stretching exercises to prevent injury and allow her to be more effective on the field.

Even with the pre-season preparations, Jayla sprained her ankle during a high school soccer game. However, because of all the work she’d be doing with the Center for the Female Athlete, they had a baseline to work from and her mom believes she recovered “10 times faster than she would have without the center.”

Now, after graduating from Beavercreek High School, Jayla is getting ready to start her freshman year of college where she will be playing soccer for Northern Michigan University.

But before she goes, she will have one last appointment with the Center for the Female Athlete team to prepare for her season, get suggestions for diet and nutrition and receive the support she’s come to expect from the all-female team at the center.

To learn more about the Center for the Female Athlete, families can visit Athletes can also schedule a free 30-minute consult with one of the center’s athletic trainers to learn more about the program and see if they are a good fit. To book a consult, click here.