‘Training’ students for future


photo by Nicole Nowicki

Senior Zoe Palm, a student athletic trainer intern, and Senior Drake Morton are all smiles at the last home football game on Oct. 18.

Hannah Stanley, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Madeleine Bresnahan and Caitlin Tarnowski are two well-known names among MHS athletes as their goal is to help those with injuries recover.  As the school’s athletic trainers, they strive to meet everyone with a smile whether that person is walking into their office with a sore shoulder, a broken ankle, or time for a friendly conversation. Because they greet people in such a manner, some students’ interests have been piqued about the athletic training profession.

As a result, Bresnahan and Tranowski offer students of all grade levels the opportunity to ‘get their feet wet’ within the profession by taking on trainer internships as high school students– something similar to the trainers’ high school experiences at Grayslake Central High School.

“The opportunities athletic training has brought to me is broadening my horizon with actually having this be a career choice in the future,” senior Zoe Palm said. “I can genuinely see myself majoring in this and loving it still after college.”

Creating such a chance for students not only benefits the trainers but the trainees as well. Individuals who come in for their sports-related injury need a trainer’s attention, and the student trainers allow additional focus to be applied to those athletes.

“It’s super beneficial,” Bresnahan said. “They help with filling water; we teach them how to tape wrists. They do first-aid stuff– band aids, cover blood– we teach them all of that.”

Actions like these need to be done in order for the program to function properly, and the student trainers help this to occur.

“I do whatever they need me to do if they need me to do it,” senior Damia Ali said. “I help set up for games, and I stay and watch. Then after, I help clean up.”

Not all student trainers are required to do all these actions– set up, watch and clean up– if their schedules do not align with some game schedules. There is an understanding between the trainers and trainees about the busyness of a high school student’s schedule; they just need to communicate with the trainers.

“It’s as much as they want to put into it. We just ask that they give us a schedule beforehand,” Bresnahan said.

The type of experience a student wishes to have will determine his or her commitment level.

“I genuinely just like the whole vibe and atmosphere of being on the field. In front of you there’s a live game and behind you [are] all of the supporters,” Ali said about the Friday night football game experience. “I personally think it’s a super cool experience.”

By giving what some of the student trainers have considered to be an enjoyable experience, the athletic trainers often leave them wishing for more.

Palm said, “This is my first year doing athletic training, and I truly wish I had started earlier because I didn’t realize how much I’d love hanging out with [Bresnahan] and [Tarnowski] and just learning the tricks to helping out athletes, including myself.”