July 15, 2013

SLU AT Student Has Summer Internship With Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers’ Summer Internship
By Andrea Auclair- MAT Class of 2014

This summer, I interned with the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.  Under the guidance of Flyers’ head athletic trainer, Jimmy McCrossin, I spent a week learning the ins and outs of athletic training at the professional hockey level while helping to provide athletic training services for the Flyers’ annual prospect camp at the Wells Fargo Center and Flyers Skate Zone.

Philadelphia Flyers Athletic Trainer Jimmy McCrossin ATC with SLU AT Student Andrea Auclair.
Everyday started at 7am as I walked into an ice-cold hockey rink from a humid ninety-degree morning. There was never a slow moment to the morning as players and coaches came into our makeshift athletic training room, while the main facility was under renovation, to get help with medical issues ranging from the daily aches and pains of hockey to the more serious post-operative rehabilitation.

Each day brought a new experience to be learned from. Whether it was preparticipation medical evaluations or helping with a rehabilitation protocol for an athlete one day out of a meniscal repair, there was always something new for me to learn. One of the best parts of interning with the Flyers’ athletic training staff, comprised of head athletic trainer, Jimmy, assistant athletic trainer Sal Raffa, and minor league affiliate Phantom’s head athletic trainer Greg Lowden, was the ability to constantly learn. Whether it was in the fitness center prescribing rehab exercises, in the athletic training room using therapeutic modalities, or sitting on the Flyers’ bench, each moment was filled with questions from me as well as explanations from athletic training staff on all facets of hockey and athletic training.

One of my favorite experiences with the Flyers was not on the ice, but rather out in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, where the Flyers held their annual “Trial on the Isle” for prospects. The day was comprised of athletes going for a mile and a half run on the beach followed by running back as teams of four carrying a thirty foot rope in which two athletes wore blacked out goggles and the other two wore earplugs. Every two blocks along the way, a different physical or mental challenge was given to the teams in order to test their bodies, minds, and more importantly their ability to work as a team. The day concluded with a round robin volleyball tournament where members of the community took on Flyers’ players.

Although I am a Blackhawks fan, I will forever hold a place in my heart for the Philadelphia Flyers’ organization. From the athletes to the coaching staff, I couldn’t be more grateful to work with a fantastic group of guys. An even larger thank you goes out Jimmy, Sal, and Greg who taught me so much in a small amount of time that I will use in my career as an athletic training student and future athletic trainer.

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have a required internship in the summer between their two professional years in the program.  This blog post details a student's reflection on their internship experience.

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