Those attending St. Peter High School sporting events already this fall season have probably noticed the Saints’ student-athletes have a new athletic trainer working with them.
Allison Kanaman began working with the fall sports teams in early August after taking over for Melissa Solberg, who served as the Saints’ athletic trainer the previous two years before moving to the Twin Cities for a new position there.
The following is a Q&A profile of the Saints’ new athletic trainer:
Educational background and previous experience
I graduated from Shiocton High School in May 2010 and began college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in September 2010.
At UW-Stevens Point I pursued a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Athletic Training and minors in Strength and Conditioning and Psychology. Through the three-year intensive athletic training program, I have completed over 1,200 clinical hours and had the opportunity to work with multiple high school and collegiate teams. In my last year of the athletic training program, I primarily worked with Women’s Soccer and Wrestling, giving me a tremendous amount of experience with these sports.
During my senior year in the athletic training program, the research I conducted, along with three other classmates titled, “The Correlation Between FMS Scores and Athletic Injuries in Collegiate Athletes” was recognized at the prestigious Posters in Rotunda at the state capitol in Madison, WI. This opportunity allowed my group members and I to explain to legislators, state leaders and other supporters of undergraduate research of the importance of identifying and correcting biomechanical deficits to prevent injuries and decrease healthcare costs. Our research was also presented to professors, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and other educators at UW-Stevens Point.
Where is your hometown?
I am from Shiocton, Wis., a very small town, about 40 minutes west of Green Bay. I am a huge Packers and Badgers fan. Go Pack, go!
What motivated you to pursue a career in athletic training?
I decided to pursue a career in athletic training for a few different reasons. My first reason is my love of sports. I come from a very sports-oriented family, and couldn’t see myself in a career that didn’t involve sports.
During my junior year of high school I began helping out in my school’s nurse’s office, because we did not have an athletic trainer. During my time caring for other students with various medical needs and injuries, I decided I wanted to also pursue something in the medical field. Once I entered college I decided on the major of athletic training because of my love of sports, my interest in the medical field, information from my cousin who just became a certified athletic trainer and provide help to high schools who didn’t have athletic trainers, such as mine.
As I progressed through the athletic training program I took an interest in kinesiology and human biomechanics. After learning the information in these classes as well as the education I gained from my research, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Exercise Science. By pursuing this degree I will learn more about human movement and proper exercise prescription for optimal performance both for preventative purposes and rehabilitation after injury.
You’ve been on the job for a few weeks now, how are things going for you with your new position here at SPHS?
Thus far I have really enjoyed my time with SPHS. The coaches, athletes and other school staff have been great and have made the transition from student to professional extremely easy. I cannot thank everyone enough for all the help they have given me. Above all, the athletes have been great and fun to work with and I’m excited to continue to work with them.
How many athletic trainers/ Gustavus students will be working with you?
Throughout the year I will have 11 Gustavus athletic training students working with me. The students will be of junior and senior level and will be helping with in all aspects of the career of athletic training. This is a great way for them to gain experience with high school athletes, as well as critique and perfect the skills they have learned. My student, Cassie, has been a huge help and I can’t wait to have the other students join me.