The lifeline on the sideline
October 11, 2022
Hearing the sound of tape ripping, the filling of the ice bags, and the constant pressure to prove that they are more than just “water girls” is what the Wando Athletic training department experiences every day. By providing emotional and physical support for athletes, these trainers help keep Wando athletics afloat.
The Wando Sports Medicine Program has been a help for all the sports happening throughout the year, especially football.
Coach Rocco has been coaching Wando football for six years. Rocco started his coaching career in 1999 and eventually in 2016 he joined the Wando Coaching staff as a volunteer coach. A few years later, he became the head football coach and a Physical Education and Health Teacher.
“Sports medicine is a gigantic help. Not only do they check out the weather for us, then they are also out here everyday providing water for the guys. Before practice they are taping and treating guys that have minor to major injuries, trying to get the back out to the field as fast as possible. They are a great resource for nutrition and conditioning and all those kinds of things. So they pretty much help out in every phase of what we do. Vitally important,” Rocco said.
AJ Gathers, a Senior Running Back, has been playing football since the third grade. While playing football for the majority of his life, he experienced many bumps and bruises.
“My 8th grade year and 9th grade year I had serious ankle problems and I was in there all the time, literally every single day I was in there, Miss. Parker and Josh and Coach R and all the girls that were there they helped me build it up and it got stronger and it helped me a lot more. As the season went on I didn’t have any more recurring injuries,” Gathers said.
While Rocco and Gathers have plenty of nice things to say about the Athletic Trainers and Staff, some people feel that their hard work is overlooked.
Katie Lesinsk is a Senior and a third year Athletic Trainer at Wando. During her Sophomore year one of Lesinski’s friends convinced her to join the program and she never looked back.
“It goes kind of unseen, you don’t realize, because it doesn’t really look like we’re doing anything. We literally just look like water girls, but that’s what we’re doing on Friday nights. There’s a lot under the radar” Lesinski said.
“I think that unless you’re really involved in Wando Athletics you don’t really see it or think of it,” Lesiski said.
While working in the Sports Medicine Program, she experienced first hand the psychological impacts sports injuries have on athletes. After her Sophomore year Lesinski decided that this was what she wanted to do for a career.
“ I’ve always wanted to be a therapist…since middle school, and being here and a part of this program opened the door for sports psychology,” Lesinski said. It’s that time period where you’re out of the game and out of the sport that you love and you’re so devoted to, that psychological impact of that is so so big”.
Lesinski did not know that joining this program would change her career path.
“I feel like you’ve had an experience where you’ve had to be in the training room pretty consistently. You really form a connection with these athletes, which I feel like is a special connection that you have, just because it’s different than a teammate kind of thing. I see them at their most vulnerable time, and seeing that made me realize what I want to do,” Lesinski said.