Athletic Trainers: The Minds Behind The “Ship”

BY Kinslie Washington


Have you ever wondered how sports run so smoothly, how all the players are wrapped and ready to go, or how players recover so fast and efficiently? Behind all sports there are the trainers. These aren’t just people who run water out to the players or give out towels, these are people that spend more than half their week out on the field, show up at practice before and stay after the players.

I was able to sit down with football trainers Adelyn Smith (12) and Cooper Galiger (12) and understand all that they do for the sport and how it helps the head trainers–adults who get paid–with their jobs.

“Once we get to practice the trainers split up and do different jobs to make sure we’re ready for practice,” said Smith. “Like, a few of us will do field setup and others will wrap and get players ready for practice.”  

DeVonte Wagoner (10) bangaged by Adelyn Smith (12)

The trainers get to the practice to set up before the players start and will stay after to clean up. They make sure all of the injured players are helped and, once they know all of them are okay and gone, they can finally leave. Everyday they spend roughly 2-3 hours at practice, and on game days the traveling and the actual game can total roughly 12 hours.

Braden Phipps (12), Michael Catterson (Head Trainer)

Few trainers have enough time to get a job outside of school and if they do they are never at home; they will either go straight from school to practice to work, or only work weekends but all day long. But taking care of the team is something that all the trainers love to do and want to continue doing it when they go to college, and perhaps even as a career.

“It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but being in the sport, I have fallen in love with the medical part behind it and love getting to know all of the players and other trainers,” said Smith.

Cooper Galiger (12), bringing the Cal out to practice


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