Phoenix Suns

Head Athletic Trainer

Aaron Nelson MS, ATC, AT, CES
College: Iowa State University (B.S.)
California University of Pennsylvania (M.S.)
Years in NBATA: 13
NBA.com Bio
The 2013-14 season commemorates Aaron Nelson’s 21th season with the Phoenix Suns, his 14th as the organization’s head athletic trainer. Before accepting the team’s top post in 2000, Nelson was the club’s assistant athletic trainer for seven seasons under longtime head athletic trainer Joe Proski, who is enshrined in the Suns’ Ring of Honor. 

Included in his role are the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, performance, recovery and the travel operation of the team. 

Nelson, who was named the Joe O’Toole NBA Athletic Trainer of the Year and the Trainer of the Year by the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association for 2009, is certified and licensed as an athletic trainer, performance enhancement specialist (PES) and corrective exercise specialist (CES). He is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), Arizona Athletic Trainers Association (AZATA) and National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA). In the spring of 2010, Nelson was appointed by Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, to serve on the Arizona Board of Athletic Training and currently serves as Chair for the board. In the summer of 2004, Nelson completed a two-week volunteer internship with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in the sports medicine department at the Olympic training facility in Chula Vista, Calif., working primarily with track and field and Paralympic athletes. Nelson served as the athletic trainer for the USA Basketball Men’s Select Team that helped prepare the 2007 USA Senior National Team for the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas. In the summer of 2011, Nelson participated as the athletic trainer for the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Following graduation from Iowa State University in December 1992, Nelson spent the spring 1993 semester as a graduate assistant at Arizona State University. While an undergraduate, he was a student athletic trainer for four years under NATA Hall of Famer Frank Randall. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with an emphasis in athletic training and a minor in health. Nelson, who is a member of the Advisory Board for Fusionetics, received his Master of Science degree in exercise science from California University at Pennsylvania. 


Assistant Athletic Trainer
Mike Elliott
College:  Arizona State University (B.S.)
California University of Pennsylvania (M.S.)
Years in NBATA:  10
 
Beginning his seventh season as a member of the Suns’ athletic training staff, Mike Elliott this season enters his first campaign as the club’s head strength and conditioning coach/assistant athletic trainer.  In his role, he is responsible for all aspects of player strength and conditioning and assists Suns Head Athletic Trainer Aaron Nelson with daily recognition, care and treatment of team-related medical issues.

Elliott, who joined the Suns full-time in 2003-04 as assistant athletic trainer, is a certified athletic trainer, performance enhancement specialist (PES) and corrective exercise specialist (CES) from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).  He received his Master of Science in performance enhancement and injury prevention from California University at Pennsylvania in 2005 and did his undergraduate work in exercise science at Arizona State University where he was in the athletic training program under Perry Edinger and former Suns strength coach/assistant athletic trainer and current Dallas Mavericks Head Athletic Trainer Casey Smith.

The Phoenix native is a 1997 graduate of Brophy College Preparatory.

  Assistant Athletic Trainer

Tom Maystadt
College:  Iowa State University (B.S.)
Years in NBATA:  4
 
Tom Maystadt enters his first year with the Suns organization and is responsible in assisting Head Athletic Trainer Aaron Nelson with daily recognition, care and treatment of team-related medical issues.

Maystadt joined the Suns staff after working for Physiotherapy Associates for 10 years doing outpatient Rehabilitation with the athletic population. He also worked in the capacity of directing and co-directing sports medicine clinics in the Phoenix area. Before he joined Physiotherapy Associates in 1998 he worked as Dobson High Schools Head Athletic Trainer and Chandler Unified School Districts Sports Medicine Coordinator.

He is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Arizona Athletic Trainers Association and National Academy of Sports Medicine. He is certified as a performance enhancement and corrective exercise specialist. 

A 1992 graduate of Iowa State University, Maystadt served as a student athletic trainer working with the men’s football and baseball programs.     The Carroll, Iowa native has been married to his wife Jennifer for the past 17 years and have two daughters, Grace and Lily.