Seniors practice working in sports medicine with athletic trainer

Mara Farese

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Amidst after-school sports, the training room fills up with athletes looking for treatment, protection from previous injuries, or a quick diagnosis. Americ Alvarado, the Redwood athletic trainer, supports student athletes with injury prevention and treats activity-induced injuries. Alvarado currently mentors two seniors, Austin Lamar and Avery Lieberman through an internship. Whether it’s through visiting teams or helping individuals, these two seniors devote three to five hours of their afterschool time to helping athletes and exploring the field of sports medicine. 

Both Lieberman and Lamar discovered the opportunity through the internship coordinator at Redwood, Mr. Davidson. 

“They are the extra eyes, ears and hands to make sure everything goes smoothly here… My work is to get them involved in as many injuries, as many situations so that they can have an interest in sports medicine moving forward,” Alvarado said.

Lieberman started interning with Alvarado during the spring season last year. 

“Most of the time, people will come in asking for taping or icing and then we will go and walk around the campus and say hi to the coaches,” Lieberman said. “So now I’m taping wrists and fingers and have a little more responsibility with that, but in general the interns follow [Alvarado] and do what he says.”

Avery Lieberman uses athletic tape to wrap the wrist of a student athlete.

Lamar alternates days with Lieberman, dividing up the after-school hours of the week. 

“I just like working with all the athletes and talking to them. Whenever someone comes in with a certain injury [Alvarado] will always talk me through what is going on physically in that person wherever they’re injured. I really enjoy learning more about what specifically is going on with their injury,” Lamar said.

According to Alvarado, the internship is offered to incite student interest in sports medicine.

“I feel like it’s an opportunity for me to spark interest in this demographic of students. Somebody saw some interest in me [when I was younger]. They gave me the internship and took me under their wing,” Alvarado said. “I thought that was great and I feel like I could return the favor and show some fun in this profession.”

Because both interns are seniors, they are using this opportunity to help determine what they want their future to look like.

“I’ve had a couple situations where I needed to step in and do [something]. I realized that I can do it, which reconfirmed that I can become a doctor. [These interventions] made me think a lot about what kind of field I’m interested in, so [for me it’s] definitely Orthopedics,” Lieberman said. 

This sports medicine internship offers real life experience for short hours on the school campus, a valuable resource for students interested in medicine. 

“It’s been very informative in my choosing of career paths. I’m trying to start fairly early on figuring out what I’m going to do in the future. This has definitely helped me explore more options instead of just thinking about one,” Lamar said. 

The two interns will continue to work with Alvarado throughout the fall season, working behind the scenes of Redwood’s athletic program.

“I get to be involved in different sports games. Just having that perspective of being on the sidelines but not playing is so cool. I’ve met so many people that I never thought I would’ve met,” Lieberman said. “I learn something new every day about something that I love which is such a unique opportunity.”