Article reposted from Broken Arrow Ledger
Author: SHAWN HEIN
Broken Arrow senior Jordan Smith knows there are not many avenues for on-the-job training without leaving campus.
That’s why Smith believes spending the time she does as an athletic training student aide is so beneficial.
“We get to be hands-on,” Smith said. “If somebody gets hurt, we get to help.”
Smith is one of 17 athletic training student aides that help assist BAHS Head Athletic Trainers Daniel Steward and Taylor Coatsworth in keeping the Tiger athletes competing in 14 different sports.
Students get a well-rounded experience which includes preparing for all of the details of practices and games. Students also can assist in the treatment of student-athletes during the week as they go through rehabilitation or learning injury assessment that goes on during games.
“If they are interested in the medical field, they will know a little taste of what goes on,” Steward said.
BAHS senior Chance Holloway is in his fourth year as an athletic training student aide. Holloway has helped out with the Tiger football program every year and has spent time as a student aide with cross country, basketball, wrestling and baseball.
Holloway hopes to continue his education at Baylor University and eventually go to medical school with the goal of becoming a trauma surgeon. Holloway said getting his feet wet as a student aide has given him experience and contacts he would not otherwise have.
“It opens up a lot of doors,” Holloway said. “You get to meet doctors and other athletic trainers that have knowledge that can help you in your future.”
Smith, who would like to have a career as an athletic trainer and physical therapy, said she enjoys the role she plays in getting athletes back in the game.
“I like helping the athletes get better and get back on the field,” she said. “Being part of that, and knowing you helped them, is probably the best part of this whole thing.”
While they may not hear their names called out over the loud speaker on Friday nights, student aides often spend as much or more time at their craft as those athletes who draw those cheers.
On a given week, it’s not uncommon for student aides to put in 20-25 hours and spend six days at the athletic facility.
Coatsworth, who is in her first year at BA after spend the last four years at Jenks, got her start as a student aide when she was in high school.
“The students put in a lot of time,” Coatsworth said. “I’ve always looked at it as an unpaid job.”
Holloway said balancing his time as a student aide, combined with school and homework, along with his other part-time job at Lonestar Steakhouse can make for long days but he enjoys what he does.
“You only get out what you put in,” Holloway said. “If you work your butt off, Daniel or Taylor may not see that at the time. But, in the end, it does pay off.”