August 29, 2013

Welcome Katie Leible ATC to the SLU AT Program!

The Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program welcomes Katie Leible, MA, ATC to our staff for the fall of 2013.  In a partnership with SLU Intercollegiate Athletics, Katie will be providing athletic training services for Billiken Field Hockey and will also be serving as a lab assistant in program courses.

She is a licensed athletic trainer, a native of Manchester, MO and is a 2011 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.  Most recently, she served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Lindenwood University, in St. Charles, MO where she graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching in 2013.

August 27, 2013

New Program partners SLU AT Program, Physicians and Saint Louis University Hospital to Provide Sports Medicine Care for St. Louis Catholic Schools

Jason Merrill

ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis University and Saint Louis University Hospital have engaged in a three-year pilot program with the Archdiocese of St. Louis, St. Mary’s High School and Bishop DuBourg High School to provide on-site sports medicine care for their student athletes, offering athletic training services at games and practices. The pilot program is provided to the schools as a community service at no cost to them.
Bridget Quirk MAT, ATC
Such partnerships are rare in area high school athletics. Should the collaboration succeed in improving the care of injured student athletes, the goal is to expand the pilot program to other areas in the St. Louis region.

“Saint Louis University (SLU) is a natural fit to provide this care to the city’s Catholic schools,” says Anthony Breitbach, PhD, director of the athletic training program at SLU’s Doisy College of Health Sciences. “We’re excited to help keep their student athletes healthy and on the field.”

To launch the program, Bridget Quirk, MAT, ATC was hired by the SLU AT Program, funded by Saint Louis University Hospital, to provide on-site training and education at the two schools. A recent graduate of Doisy College’s athletic training program at SLU, she will be working with student athletes in all the high schools’ sports ranging from boys’ football and soccer to girls’ softball and volleyball.

“I’m excited to provide comprehensive sports medicine to St. Mary’s, Bishop DuBourg and their athletes so they can get back to the field better, faster, stronger,” says Quirk.

For more severe injuries, SLUCare orthopaedic surgeons and sports medicine physicians Scott Kaar, MD, and Adnan Cutuk, MD, will be available through the partnership to offer their expertise with accelerated access to care in their orthopaedic sports medicine clinics.  Drs. Kaar and Cutuk will also be on the sidelines for Bishop DuBourg and St. Mary’s home football games.

“The efforts of all partners will make a difference in health care and education in our community,” says Robert Oliveri, Ed.D, associate superintendent for secondary education with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “The inclusion of Saint Louis University Hospital and Saint Louis University bring high quality medical support to the process, enriching the project and health care for our students.”


Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-licensed bed quaternary/tertiary referral center located in the heart of the city of St. Louis. Approximately 75 percent of patients are drawn from a 150-mile radius. Through affiliation as the teaching hospital for Saint Louis University, the hospital provides patients and their families with an environment of medical innovation. Working in this endeavor are the hospital’s medical staff partners, SLUCare, the physicians of Saint Louis University. The hospital admits more than 17,000 patients annually, performs more than 200 organ transplants a year and is a Level I Trauma Center that treats more than 2,000 major trauma cases a year. For more information, please

Nationally accredited and with more than 500 physicians, SLUCare is the medical practice group of Saint Louis University School of Medicine. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level.

Long a leader in educating health professionals, Saint Louis University offered its first degree in an allied health profession in 1929. Today the Doisy College of Health Sciences offers degrees in physical therapy, athletic training education, clinical laboratory science, nutrition and dietetics, health informatics and information management, health sciences, medical imaging and radiation therapeutics, occupational science and occupational therapy, and physician assistant education. The college's unique curriculum prepares students to work with health professionals from all disciplines to ensure the best possible patient care.

August 23, 2013

SLU AT Student's Summer Perfecting the Athlete: Integration of Performance, Athletic Training, Nutrition and Mindset.

Athletes’ Performance-Phoenix Summer Internship
By: Cat Costello (MAT Class of 2014)

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to be the athletic training intern at Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, AZ.  World-renowned pioneer in human performance, Mark Verstegen, founded athletes’ Performance, who also happened to work out of the AZ facility! It is one of the leaders in integrated performance training, nutrition, and physical therapy, for elite and professional athletes. AP serves as a refuge for various athletes from high school students to Olympic track athletes, professionals and even astronauts.

SLU AT student Cat Costello with Ashley Rice ATC
Throughout my 12 weeks, I worked under the guidance of Ashley Rice, MS ATC, as well as a physical therapist and soft tissue specialist within the performance physical therapy department. Ashley, an Indiana native, completed her undergrad at Franklin College and continued on to her receive her Masters from AT Still University in Arizona. While working toward her masters she helped part time at AP until a full-time position opened when she finished school.

My responsibilities ranged from attaining and communicating the heat index throughout the day, (this is a vital task when the temperature can reach 115 degrees at times)! I also worked on evaluating and treating acute injuries and heat illnesses, managing department paperwork, aiding with intern tasks in other departments, helped with a new movement screen innovation, and even treating my own patients!
One of the most valuable lessons that I learned this summer was how to work with various health professionals with the common goal of providing the athlete with the best care possible. I partnered with the nutrition team, performance coaches, culinary staff, and mindset team members to ensure that each athlete had their individual needs met.  Each branch the facility opened up into the large training room floor to emphasize the need to integrate the professions and keep communication lines open. There are both formal and informal discussions that go on between various staff members regarding athletes and patients to ensure that the correspondence was kept up.     

I gained a great amount of hands on experience and was able to practice on any other intern or staff member that was willing to be worked on…which were many! The performance physical therapy department at Athletes’ Performance places great emphasis on movement impairment syndromes as potential sources of injury. Therefore, they seek to examine the entire body and how it moves in each patient in order to address any and all impairments. I was able to gain a “bigger picture” perspective on both injuries and movement quality which will greatly improve my patient outcomes in the future. 
The number of amazing athletes and the determination that come through AP’s door daily truly made me want to give the best I have to each patient. The company as a whole creates an environment that is bubbling with energy and develops world-class athletes. I cannot thank the entire staff at Athletes’ Performance enough for the amazing opportunity to learn and grow from them as a student. I had a life-changing summer at Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, and cannot wait to put what I have learned into action.  

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.

August 15, 2013

SLU AT Student Spends the Summer with the Sixers

Sixers Basketball Camp Summer Internship
By: Abby Breseman (MAT Class of 2014)

Since 1985, the Philadelphia 76ers organization has helped more than 80,000 campers from 40 states and 30 countries improve their basketball skills at the Sixers Overnight Basketball Camp. During the month of July I had the amazing opportunity to intern as an Athletic Training Student while 800+ campers, ages 9-17, worked to improve their skill level. The camp is held at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, PA, a beautiful suburb of Philadelphia. The Military Academy aspect may sound intimidating, but the campus was the perfect setting to host 200+ campers a week. There are 12 basketball courts on campus and plenty of housing for all the campers and staff. 

Mary Stein ATC with SLU AT student Abby Breseman
I really enjoyed getting to know the Sixers Camp staff. There were a total of 14 summer interns, 5 athletic training and 9 sports management, along with the camp coaches that consisted of college players and coaches from all over the United States and Europe. Todd Landrey, Executive Director of Sixers Camps, and Paul Beckles, manager of Sixers Camps, do a great job of providing a safe, fun, and instructional environment for the campers to develop their skill sets as basketball players. While interning at Sixers Camps, I spent most of my time working alongside the other four athletic training student interns and the head athletic trainer, Mary Stein ATC. During the school year, Mary works full time as an athletic trainer for Cabrini College, located right across the road from Sixers Camps. At Cabrini, she works primarily with the women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer and volleyball programs. Mary was a great role model and teacher throughout my time at Sixers Camp. She understood that the 14-hour days were long and dealing with 200+ campers can be stressful at times, but she made sure our work environment was educational and fun everyday.  

Our days began at 7:30AM with setting up ice and water at each of the basketball courts. Once we were finished, we would grab a bite to eat in the Mess Hall and then head to the athletic training room to begin our morning treatments for the athletes. Our morning treatments usually consisted of taping blisters and explaining to the campers that their stomach probably hurts because they decided it would be a good idea to skip breakfast. After dealing with the morning madness, each of the interns was stationed at a set of courts throughout the day for coverage of game play. We needed to be prepared for anything and ready to help an athlete if they were injured on the court. The campers finished up their last games around 9:30PM and headed back to their rooms. Our day wasn’t over however, until we made sure all the ice and water coolers were collected and took care of any injuries that had occurred later in the day. 

The vast array of injuries we treated helped to expand my skill set as an athletic training student. We saw everything from a tibial plateau fracture with a tibial tubercle avulsion fracture, to the common lateral ankle sprain. We also had the opportunity to accompany the campers to the ER for X-rays if we suspected a broken bone. Each day was a new and different experience and I look forward to utilizing the knowledge gained at Sixers Camps at my clinical rotation this coming year and throughout my future career as an athletic trainer. 

My time at Sixers Camps was a truly unique and rewarding experience. I am so grateful to the Sixers Camp staff and head AT, Mary Stein ATC, for giving me this opportunity and helping to make the internship the best it could be. 

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.

August 02, 2013

SLU AT Student Returns Home to Wisconsin for a Great Football Experience

Racine Raiders Summer Internship
By: Claire Botting (MAT Class of 2014)

This summer I had the chance to do my internship in my hometown of Racine, WI to work with the Racine Raiders, a semi-professional football team with a history deeply rooted in tradition and excellence. The organization first started in 1953 and since then they have won 8 national championships, including their last one in 2012. The Raiders rely greatly on the Racine community as the non- profit organization is entirely run by volunteers including players and coaches. Players come from all over southeastern Wisconsin and the Chicago area to play for the defending national champs. The team consists of mostly athletes with D I, II, III college or high school experience while a few have played on NFL practice squads.  It’s a very diverse group as their ages range from 19-44 years old. Some are rookies while others have played for 15 years.  I grew up going to Raider games so I was excited to get the opportunity to be on the sidelines instead of in the stands.

SLU AT student Claire Botting with Mike Houte ATC and Christian Venegas ATC
I had the privilege to work under the guidance of Christian Venegas ATC and Mike Houte ATC both athletic trainers who are contracted out through Doctors of Physical Therapy, a PT clinic located in nearby Kenosha. Christian has been working with the Raiders for four years, while Mike joined the medical staff last season.  Mike also splits his time between the Starting Nine Baseball Academy in Racine where he works with high school athletes to improve their strength and conditioning.  Both showed great interest and enthusiasm in helping me develop and improve my skills as an athletic trainer. They encouraged me to ask questions, but also to get out of my comfort zone by teaching me new ways to approach evaluations and new techniques to improve my taping.

Practices were only held twice a week, with games played Saturday evenings. A typical practice started with arriving an hour early to tape and answer any questions the athletes had. The Raiders do not have an athletic training facility, so we did all our work in their locker room. This summer I learned to be creative and how to work with the bare essentials because all we had were a training table and a kit.  When the pre-practice routine was finished we would head over to the field. If we weren’t busy treating the players or doing evaluations, we were practicing special tests or going over my competencies. Game days were a lot of fun but also a lot of hard work. We would arrive 3 hours before the 7pm kick-off to begin taping. There are 60 players on the team and almost everyone gets taped. Every game day I would tape between 20-30 ankles so I was definitely able to get my practice in this summer. I also got to work alongside team physician Dr. Sean Tracy of the Wisconsin Bone and Joint who accompanied us at every game.

Besides working with the Raiders I also got to spend some time in the Doctors of Physical Therapy clinic with Dr. Dave Graziano PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, FAAOMPT who specializes in manual therapy. I spent my days observing evaluations and then leading patients through their rehab exercises with Mike and Christian. I’m glad I got this opportunity to get some experience in the clinic because it gave me the chance to work with patients I don’t usually get to work with.

I am so thankful I got to spend my summer with the Raiders. The entire Raider family made me feel so welcome and I appreciate them giving me an opportunity to learn and grow as an athletic trainer.  This was an incredible experience and I got to meet and work with some amazing people along the way who I am going to miss.

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.

August 01, 2013

SLU AT Student Has a Fantastic Summer at Washington University

Washington University Summer Internship
By: Mary Rhatigan (MAT Class of 2014)

This summer I had the opportunity to work with some great people at Washington University Saint Louis covering athletic training for the Bear’s summer sports camps. I have always loved working with kids and this summer was a fantastic learning experience not only for practicing my athletic training skills but also for expanding my scope of practice to an entirely new range of ages.
After clinical rotations in both a high school and SLU, It was great to have a brief change of pace and see what it is like working with such a different age group. Throughout the weeks I worked with volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer and football for 6-18 year olds. Some of the residential camps were really busy with a huge number of athletes playing the sport they love from morning til night. For the most part everyone stayed relatively healthy and we were able to manage things smoothly thanks to the wonderful staff and facilities at Wash U.

Rick Larsen ATC with SLU AT student Mary Rhatigan
Along with working with the different camps, I got the chance to help out with a few Wash U athletes’ rehabilitation programs. Head Athletic Trainer Rick Larsen ATC was excited to tell me I would probably have the opportunity to be exposed to some of their rehab cases and he did not disappoint. I was very impressed with their system for organizing the rehab charts and at how easy it was for the athletes to take on the responsibility of dedicated work to get healthy.

Overall this summer was great. I worked in a beautiful facility with a wonderful staff and not only learned a ton but also made some good friends. I wish them the best with their transition into a brand new Athletic Training Room next year.

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.

SLU AT Student Gets a Varied Experience at Nutriformance and Athletic Republic

Nutriformance Summer Internship
By: A.J. Vandervorste (MAT Class of 2014)

This summer, I had the privilege of interning at Nutriformance, a small business and gym located in Frontenac, Missouri, owned by Dale and Ellie Huff. Nutriformance employs a highly energetic, enthusiastic fitness team comprised of personal trainers, registered dieticians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, licensed massage therapists, and sports performance coaches. Members of the fitness team genuinely cared for each of their clients, and were completely dedicated to helping people attain and surpass their fitness goals.

Over the course of the summer, I was under the guidance of my clinical instructor, Heidi Frey, MA, ATC, CSCS. Heidi would generate my schedule for the week, which included shadowing personal training sessions, group hybrid classes, and observing speed, agility, and functional strength classes up at the sports performance floor, Athletic Republic. Toward the end of the week, Heidi and I would review my experiences and discuss any questions I may have had. She was extremely insightful and provided me with countless amounts of information from her vast knowledge of various fields in health and exercise.

During the last few weeks of the summer, I was able to use what I had learned to contribute to the Athletic Republic training sessions as an assistant to the speed, agility, and functional strength coaches. I would lead the dynamic warm-ups for the athletes before class began, then instruct the clients during their workouts if I or one of the coaches saw a flaw in their performance. During larger group speed sessions, the athletes would complete the different phases of their running progressions on the treadmill, and come to me to complete various active recovery exercises I would lead them through.

I am very thankful to have gotten the opportunity to learn from such a unique fitness team. I am especially thankful for Heidi’s willingness to impart her wisdom on my growing knowledge of various health professions. The enthusiasm she and the rest of the employees at Nutriformance display shows through the excitement and interest of their clients.

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.

SLU AT Student Has a Wide Variety of Experiences in the Windy City

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush Summer Internship
By Michelle Cybulski (MAT Class of 2014)

This summer I had the opportunity to work for Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.  I was mentored by Dr. Bernie Bach Jr., MD and physician extender, John Bojchuk, MS, ATC/L.

Dr. Bernie Bach, SLU AT student Michelle Cybulski and John Bojchuk ATC/L
Dr. Bach was one of the first orthopedic sports medicine surgeons in Chicago and in 1986 he pioneered the sports medicine program for Midwest Orthopedics at Rush.   Today it is one of the nation’s most well respected programs and is currently nationally ranked in the top 10 hospitals for orthopedics by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals.  Dr. Bach and his clinical assistant, John Bojchuk, have worked together for over 25 years, with John being one of the first athletic trainers to work as a physician extender.  John has also served as an athletic trainer for the NBA’s Chicago Pre-Draft Camps for nine seasons, as an Athletic Trainer for the Chicago Breeze professional women’s volleyball team, and as the Head Athletic Trainer for the University of Illinois-Chicago Men’s Basketball team.

Rush University Medical Center
Everyday in the clinic was busy and exciting, seeing between 40 and 50 patients a day.  My ability to take thorough patient histories, perform physical examinations, and report my findings to the attending physician improved daily.  I learned how to use the KT-1000 knee ligament arthrometer and performed over a hundred KT measurements on my own.  I assisted in the preparation of injections and aspirations.  I learned how to review MRIs, x-rays, bone scans, and CT scans.  I observed over 90 hours of surgery during which I performed exams under anesthesia, learned how to assist in patient prepping and positioning, and post-op dressing and brace fitting.  John also taught me about the behind-the-scenes work of a physician extender.  Tasks such as returning patient phone calls and emails everyday to answer all kinds of questions, sorting through stacks of medical files for worker’s comp cases, reviewing physical therapy notes and patient prescription renewals, organizing surgical work-up orders to make sure patients had all their lab work and paper work before surgery, reviewing EMDAT dictations, and advocating for patients when their insurance companies were making it difficult to receive the treatment they needed.

Dr. Ryan Cole (sports medicine fellow), John Bojchuk, Michelle Cybulski, Dr. Bach, Dr. Anil Gupta (sports medicine fellow), Dr. Brandon Erickson (resident)
My preceptor, John, also provided me with the opportunity to spend time working in every sub-speciality within the orthopaedics department: sports medicine, knee, and shoulder; hip; elbow, wrist, and hand; spine, neck, and back; foot and ankle; adult and pediatric non-operative sports medicine; and joint replacement and reconstruction of the hip and knee.  I spent a week working in the on-site AthletiCo Physical and Occupational Therapy clinic and participated in Rush’s ACL reconstruction return-to-play testing analyzed with Dartfish software.  I spent time working in the casting room with the orthopedic technicians learning the proper ways to apply casts and splints and how to remove sutures, staples, and casts.  He also arranged for me to have the opportunity to spend time at Industrial Rehab Allies where I experienced work hardening and conditioning for industrial athletes.  I learned about proper lifting techniques and ergonomics and how Functional Capacity Evaluations are performed and analyzed for worker’s compensation patients.

AthletiCo Physical and Occupational Therapy at Midwest Orthopaedics

Industrial Rehab Allies
One of the many benefits of working at Rush, a large teaching hospital, was being surrounded by other students, residents, and fellows from every part of the country, each with a different background and level of expertise.  Everyone was constantly teaching and learning from one another.  Each and every person I met took value in adding to my education.  In this way we would work together to provide the best possible care for every patient.   One of the greatest lessons I learned was to always to be student and always be a teacher.  Dr. Bach and John are both avid educators and they made sure we learned something everyday.  They also led by example when it came to one of the most important lessons I learned, Rule #13: Do the Right Thing.  I was invited to attend weekly presentations by the fellows and attending physicians and also attended their journal club.  Another benefit of working at Rush was the volume of patients we would see.  During my 11 weeks I had access to over 1,500 patient visits under the many subspecialties of orthopedics.  I witnessed every type of pathology I had read about in class and more.  I had the opportunity to see very common sports injuries as well as many extreme and rare cases, one of which I was able to participate in creating a case study report that is in the process of being submitted for publication.

SLU AT student Michelle Cybulski with Herm Schneider ATC, Head Athletic Trainer of the Chicago White Sox
An extra perk of working with the team physicians for the Chicago White Sox was being able to accompany the medical staff at one of the home game series!  I was able to sit in on evaluations of the players and tour their awesome facility at U.S. Cellular Field. 

White Sox AT Room at US Cellular Field
This was everything I could have hoped for and more in a clinical experience.  I was able to form friendships and connections with so many wonderful people, I look forward to running into them again soon in the world of sport medicine.  I’m so grateful for this incredible opportunity to have been a part of the Rush team.

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.

SLU AT Students Get a Great Baseball Experience with the Grizzlies

Gateway Grizzlies Summer Internship
By: Angelo Bongiorno and John Runde (MAT Class of 2014)

The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team located in Sauget, Illinois, a suburb of Saint Louis.  The Grizzlies are a member of the West Division of the Frontier League. The head athletic trainer for the Grizzlies is Geof Manzo, MS ATC. Geof has worked with the team for several years and is a veteran preceptor for multiple athletic training programs. He was great to work with and helped us to expand our knowledge in the field of Athletic Training.  We would arrive around 1pm on game days and stay until about an hour after the game had ended.  Geof also gave us the opportunity to travel with the team to away games a few times during the season when playing the River City Rascals, a team based out of O’Fallon, Missouri.  This was a great experience and allowed for even more time to practice our skills and work with the Athletes in a different setting. 

SLU AT student John Runde, Geof Manzo MS, ATC and SLU AT student Angelo Bongiorno.
While working with the Grizzles most of our time was spent in the athletic training room, on the field, and in the dugout.  The athletic training room was fairly small and compact containing only 3 tables to work with the athletes, the home and away locker rooms, a workout facility for in-house rehabilitation, as well as two offices for the coaches.  Although small, everything was very organized and easy to use. The Gateway Grizzlies provided a great facility to learn and practice multiple therapeutic modalities.  We were able to practice modalities such as electrical stimulation, Combo, hot packs, ice, massage and stretching.

A typical day with the Grizzlies began as soon as we arrived around 1pm.  The first thing we were assigned to do was to fold towels and prepare the opposing teams athletic training room before they arrived.  We would then begin treatments and rehab with players who needed it until around 3:30. At this time we would help with stretching and warm-ups for the pitchers, followed by the position players around 4.  It was then time to head to batting practice until about 5:15 where we then would head back to the athletic training room for last minute treatments until 6:30. We then would head to the game, sitting in the dugout with the team.  After the game we would return to the athletic training room waiting for anyone to come in for treatment and treat anyone who needed it.  After the opposing team had left, we would then clean their athletic training room.  This was our final task for the night before we were dismissed. 

Overall, we were able to learn and gain much experience during our summer internship.  We are thankful to have had the experience to work with such great staff and team and for everything we have learned from them.   

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.

SLU AT Student Spends a Summer With the Salukis

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Summer Internship
By: Blake Hudspeth (MAT Class of 2014)

This summer I had the privilege of working with an NCAA Division I FCS football team at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale under the guidance of Head Athletic Trainer Lee Land ATC and graduate assistant Destry Sperfslage ATC. Lee has been a part of the SIU-C Sports Medicine staff since 2001 and was recently promoted to Assistant Athletic Director in charge of Sports Medicine in 2011. With this promotion, Lee is constantly remaining busy with various meetings and other responsibilities throughout the day. Because of this, most of my time was spent working with Destry and the football team. Destry is a certified athletic trainer, having received his undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa. This is his second year working with the SIU-C football team as graduate assistant on Lee’s staff.

SLU AT Student Blake Hudspeth with Destry Sperfslage ATC
A typical day for me would all depend on the schedules of the rest of Lee’s athletic training staff. Some days I would arrive at the athletic training room at 5:30 am, and other days I would arrive around 3:00 pm. I would make sure to arrive early enough to help tape and stretch the athletes prior to their daily workouts. While the football team was lifting weights, Destry and I would move around the weight room observing the various Olympic-style lifts that strength and conditioning coach Clete McLeod and his staff had scheduled for the team on that day. This was a great learning experience for me, as I was able to learn proper form and technique from Clete and his staff.

Along with the work in the fitness center, the team also did conditioning drills on their game field in Saluki Stadium. Depending on which day of workouts it was, they would do tempo runs, snake runs, 5-10-5 shuttles, and other various cone drills. The linemen would also run bleachers while the skills players were doing more endurance-type conditioning. It was often 90-plus degrees outside at this time, so it was important for Destry and myself to help the players stay hydrated and stretched to avoid muscle cramps and strains.

After the strength and conditioning workouts some of the players would come to the athletic training room with various injuries that they have been dealing with. I was able to learn various rehab protocols from Lee and Destry involving the ankle, knee, back, and shoulder problems that were bothering the players. I was also able to use therapeutic modalities in the athletic training room, depending on the player and their type of injury. Whenever we did have down time, I would take advantage of Lee and Destry’s knowledge and experience in this great profession to ask them questions about rehab protocols, injuries, and various “what would you do” situations.

I am very grateful that Lee allowed me to come aboard his athletic training staff for a couple months so that I could advance my knowledge in athletic training. Lee, Destry, and everyone else at SIU-C made me feel right at home from the very beginning. I feel that I took full advantage of this opportunity and couldn't have had a better group of staff, coaches, and players to work with.   

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.