SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
By: Erika Cook (SLU MAT Class of 2016)
My field experience this summer is at Vanderbilt University. I spend most of my time with the football team, but occasionally I will get the chance to work with both basketball teams and women’s swimming. Vandy has 15 varsity sports that are all in their non-competitive seasons except baseball, who is playing in the College World Series. Go Commodores!
Vandy has two Athletic Training rooms at Memorial Gym; one of them is temporary while a new AT Room is being built at the McGuin center across the street Memorial Gym. My preceptor is Sara Melby ATC, she primarily works with women’s soccer. She got her undergraduate degree at University of North Dakota, and she completed her graduate degree at Marshall University.
During the summer, all the ATs take on all the sports together, so I interact with many other ATs other than Sara. So far I’ve worked with seven different AT’s plus Sara; one of those seven is Miya Sullivan ATC who worked at SLU until last August. The other seven ATs I work with also cover lacrosse, men’s basketball, women’s track and cross country, and women’s swimming and diving in addition to covering football. They are all very friendly, and they have all taught me something new in the three weeks that I have been there.
For the football team, the month of June is fairly routine. Workouts consist of lifting and conditioning, and the guys have 7on7 twice a week. We are present at conditioning workouts or any other workouts outside to make sure the they stay hydrated and be on the lookout for any heat illnesses. The football athletes are only lifting and running, and fortunately there have not been many injuries. The primary rehab experience has been taking care of tight hamstrings or hip flexors working to prevent any muscle strains. In the month of July, things will start to pick up, so there will be more and more things to do before and after practices and workouts. I’m looking forward to the rest of this summer because I will get to see what it is like to be an AT in the Southeastern Conference.
Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have a required field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.