August 15, 2014 | By Jake Weber
This summer athletic training student Morgan Benham, '17, found that her definition of an "exciting play" in baseball has changed radically. "Our right fielder was making a play which eventually took him into the wall and onto the ground. The head coach sprinted past, waving me onto the field, and a few of the players yelled my name," she recalls. "All I could think was 'Primary survey and secondary survey … just do this!'”
Working as an intern with the Battle Creek Bombers in the summer collegiate Northwoods League, Benham sharpened her skills as she helped the players sharpen theirs. Under the direction of the Bombers' certified athletic trainer, Benham and another Albion intern, Ryan Kern, '16, were in the training room and at batting practice, evaluating injuries, taping wrists and ankles, and carrying ice. Lots of ice.
"I did my first injury evaluation of a player in the Bombers' training room, which was a great experience," she says. "The players think of me as a 'certified,' and in order to gain their trust, I learned to fill that role and refer back to my certified when necessary."
It proved to be a lot more hands-on than Benham had expected, and she loved her place with the team. "I was nervous that I would just be in the shadows and observing. Within two days, the players were coming to me and asking for treatment and to get their ankles or wrists taped," Benham says, "I interacted with many, if not all, aspects of athletic training."
She was actually frustrated most by her inability to work harder. "The hardest part has been having to tell a player that I don't know what their injury is and that we have to wait for my certified's opinion. Whether it is because I have not learned the special tests for the injury or I do not know the anatomy well enough, it is frustrating to not be able to give them an answer when they want or need one," she explains.
"But it has also made me even more excited for the upcoming semester and the next three years of learning at Albion."
With a career aspiration to work with a major league team, Benham say there is "no doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have also enjoyed the athletes that I am working with," she says. "They have given me a lot of opportunities for learning and growing as an athletic training student."
And the outcome for the wall-hitting right fielder? "He came away with the catch and a broken collarbone," says Benham. "It is never fun to have an injury occur, but it was a great learning experience and has helped me to become more confident with athletes and coaches. They have to put their trust in us and we have to deliver when the time comes.
"Being an intern for the Battle Creek Bombers has solidified my decision to go into athletic training," she reflects. "I could not have asked for a better way to spend my summer—learning and being around so many great people."