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Behind every good team is a good athletic trainer

You see them on the sidelines at games, but do you really know all the work athletic trainers put in behind the scenes to keep athletes healthy?

DES MOINES, Iowa — Taping ankles, helping players with braces and wraps. 

Those are just some of the things you'll find members of the Drake University athletic training staff doing to get athletes ready for action.

"We're pretty busy," said Assistant Athletic Trainer Briana Cleveland. "We help to prevent injuries, care for acute and chronic injuries, be there for emergency situations during practice."

When they're not working with the athletes, there's still plenty more to be done.

"We do a lot of administrative work, paperwork, ordering inventory to make sure we have everything that we need," said Head Athletic Trainer Angie Dahl. "Scheduling to make sure there's an athletic trainer covering all of the different sports."

They also help athletes rehab injuries. During that process, athletic trainers often find themselves also becoming a source of mental and emotional support for their athletes as well.

"I think what's really great is watching them be successful and sometimes you're there at the worst point in their life when they have this terrible injury," Dahl said. "Then, you know, we're the ones that get to work with them on a daily basis and oftentimes get to see them come back and shine you know when they first get to play again after that tough time that they went through and have worked so hard to get to."

If you ask these athletic trainers what they enjoy most about what they do, they'll tell you it's the bonds they're able to form with the athletes while helping them recover.

"I really enjoy helping people and building relationships with people," Cleveland said. "So, that's something that this profession allows me to do and I really love it."