July 30, 2013

SLU AT Student Experiences a Summer in the Big Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals Summer Internship
By: Kelley DeGreeff (MAT Class of 2014)


This summer I was fortunate enough to get an internship with the St. Louis Cardinals under the guidance of Greg Hauck, Chris Conroy, and Adam Olsen, all certified athletic trainers. Through June and July, I spent home games at Busch Stadium helping with pre-game responsibilities and experiencing what goes into preparing athletes to be game ready.

Each day started 6 hours before game time. Myself and the other intern, Ryne Eubanks of University of Arkansas, would prepare whirlpools, make hydration drinks, stock supplies, and make sure everything was ready for the players. Once the busy work was finished up, we were able to observe the ins and outs of day-to-day maintenance for a baseball player.

Chris Conroy ATC, AT intern Ryne Eubanks, Adam Olsen ATC, SLU AT Student Kelley DeGreeff and  Greg Hauck ATC
I don’t know if the questions I asked ever annoyed the guys, but they were troopers as I relentlessly questioned every exercise, stretch, manual technique, and modality they used. They were always willing to share why they chose what they did compared with something else, along with what the purpose of each intervention was. I was able to learn so much from watching their techniques, and to refine my own skills as I practiced on anyone who was willing to be my subject.

Getting a chance to learn in this environment surpasses all classroom learning. Yes, we need the classroom to learn principles, but seeing it used in this setting really helped me grasp why athletic trainers work so hard and so many hours to do what they do. I can now appreciate these principles in practice. Observing these athletes maintain or improve their performance over the course of 2 months is proof enough. Having the satisfaction of knowing you helped with that process is what drives me to this career.

Coming in as a woman into this man’s world was scary. However, my anxieties vanished as soon as I arrived. The athletic trainers, coaches, players, medical staff, and clubhouse guys made me feel right at home. This opportunity has helped open my eyes to the millions of things I can do and to remember that my gender is not a barrier in this profession. I am so grateful to have met such wonderful people who have shown support for me and hopefully for students to come.

Thanks to everyone who made this internship possible!

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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