Field Hockey Players Complete Athletic Training Internships at Area High Schools

Two Lebanon Valley College seniors filled dual roles on the athletics fields this fall. As field hockey players, they guided the Flying Dutchmen squad to the conference finals. Then, as athletic training majors, they treated high school athletes during internships at two area school districts.

Victoria ByDeley ’19 M’20, the starting goalie on LVC’s field hockey team, interned at Lebanon High School. Tasia Dennis ’19 M’20, a starting defender, completed her internship at Annville-Cleona High School. Both students are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in exercise science and masters in athletic training.

“Being an athletic trainer is what I have been waiting for since my freshman year,” ByDeley said. “The moment that I got to use the skills I learned in the classroom on my first patient I was so nervous and excited at the same time. I also realize how much more I have to learn before I become a certified athletic trainer.”

A lifelong athlete who received help from athletic trainers during her playing career, ByDeley felt that a career giving back to the next generation of athletes was a perfect fit. Her time at Lebanon High provided first-hand experience diagnosing and treating injuries, and helping athletes return to the field.

While at Annville-Cleona, Dennis talked about how different it was to be on the other side of the training table.

“At first it was a bit nerve-wracking because I have been in the athlete’s shoes before, so treating them–especially those who may not be upfront with how they are feeling–is a bit frustrating from the clinician’s side,” Dennis said. “But, we (athlete and athletic trainer) both have the same goals: to get them recovered and back out doing what they like to do.”

Overall, both students appreciated the internship opportunity to apply the lessons they learned in class to a practical setting. However, it also meant using excellent time management skills to juggle their classwork, field hockey responsibilities, and internship hours. ByDeLey credits her years of athletic experience in building strong time management skills, while Dennis thanked the faculty, coaches, and her teammates for working together to make it an easier balancing act.

As the semester and internship came to a close, ByDeley appreciates the lessons she learned and knows there is more to come.

“I have not learned all the skills needed to be a high school athletic trainer, but it allowed me to observe certain situations, learn from them, and take that knowledge with me to class and my clinical site in the spring,” ByDeley said. 

Dennis also looks forward to what the future will hold as she continues along her career path. 

 “Personally, I always wanted to help people,” Dennis said. “Being an athlete, I thought that if I could be the first person/healthcare professional that could help athletes recover and rehab from injury, how rewarding that would be, not only for that athlete, but for me as well.” 

- Kurt Harnish, Athletic Communications Student Assistant