The stands were packed with students on the south side (known as the “Student Section”), parents/families in the middle and on the north side was the marching band. In front of the bleachers were the cheerleaders, half of them were doing flips on the mat or throwing each other in the air and the other half were doing what cheerleaders do, cheer. Next came us, the athletic trainers, we were set up with a water station and our tables (one of the is named Barney) in case we had to look at an injury.
After I looked around and saw everyone, our head AT called us together and we had a little huddle I guess you could say. It was one of the most inspiring little talks we had ad it went something like this…Well guys, it’s the real deal now. If you don’t enjoy tonight and what we’re going to be doing then you need to get out of the program, because, this, this is our award. It’s our award because now we get to see our athletes who we have worked on, whether it was doing rehab with them or taping them up, play. We get to see what we have worked on the past month do what they love. To be honest, that was the talk I needed because that’s the dream I have been chasing since I made the decision to do athletic training in the first place.
Around 7:00PM our boys ran out from their locker rooms and the game had began and the nerves that I had before had disappeared. Our first touchdown was scored in the first quarter and again in the second. It was pretty amazing to watch because I have never really been a fan of football but seeing my athletes play to their best abilities was worth being out in the 100deg practice weather, getting home until 9PM when we did late practices and coming home exhausted. Last night was also an eye-opener because, working for a 6A school is a lot different than the tiny 3A school I went in high school (if you’re not sure what the A’s are, don’t ask me because I’m not a 100% sure either. I just know if you’re like an 1A you practically have no students at your HS and if you’re a 6A you have way too many students at your HS).
After the game was over and our team had won, we went back to the training room and started our clean up. We had some athletes come in to get ice but the rest were advised to come back this morning for treatments. Then it was 10:30 and we were told we could go home and to have a great weekend and to be ready for tomorrow (Saturday) because we’re going to be exhausted (completely true).
My first experience as an ATS at a football game was completely amazing. I don’t regret coming into this field because I truly enjoyed every second of last night. I got to tape ankles, I got to get to know our routine for games and I got to see the athletes I helped with treatments for their injuries play. I wouldn’t trade the experience I had and the experiences to come for anything, I now know that this is what I was meant to do. 🙂