Patrolling the outfield for the Albion College baseball team doesn’t allow Chase Kreger, ’11, the opportunity to get the variety of clinical experiences provided to traditional students in the athletic training education program. With baseball practice starting in January, Kreger’s on-campus experience has been limited to the Britons’ football and volleyball squads.
Kreger began developing his skills in more activities—and to participants outside the college cohort—when he left in early May on an athletic training internship at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. Among the signature events scheduled at the complex this summer are showcases for high school-age athletes in basketball, softball, martial arts, gymnastics, volleyball, and AAU championships in baseball, track and field, and wrestling. The complex also hosts Special Olympics and running events for all ages. His primary responsibilities will include injury evaluations, first aid, injury referral, and injury documentation.
Kreger is following in the footsteps of Yume Nakamura, ’09, who completed the same internship in the summer of 2009.
“[Clinical education coordinator] Carol Moss and [assistant athletic trainer] Jenny Sims stress doing other things outside of our clinical rotations that will help us stand out when applying for graduate school,” Kreger said. “The application materials said the complex can host 60 different sporting activities. I talked to Yume and they had her covering a variety of sports including wrestling, cycling, marathon, and the Special Olympics. I expect the internship to introduce me to totally new sports.
“After the phone interview I was told I would know [whether I got the internship],” Kreger added. “We had just gotten out of practice when I checked e-mail on my phone, but I didn’t want to read it until after dinner so I could truly comprehend the message. I was so excited, so happy to see that the hard work I’m putting in is working out. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
In addition to learning how to serve participants in a variety of activities, Kreger noted the summer experience will also help him augment the hours of clinical experience required of all athletic training majors. He added that basketball is the sport he is most interested in learning more about from the athletic training perspective.
Before leaving for Florida, Kreger will complete a directed study of leading the volleyball team through strength and conditioning drills. The team meets twice a week, spending one day in the weight room and the other on agility, power, and speed drills specifically designed for volleyball.
A graduate of Albion High School, Kreger has breathed life into the Albion Advantage through the directed study and his internship in addition to the quality instruction he has received in the classroom.
“Chase ‘gets it’ because he can humble himself to learn from anyone and everyone,” Bob Moss, chair of Albion’s kinesiology department, said. “He sees the big picture and does the right thing.
“There are some great athletic training education programs, but the Albion program allows for interpersonal interaction among faculty, staff, and students which some students take to and it spurs them on.”