Athletic Trainer and Interns Are Key to Keeping Students Safe and Healthy

College athletic training interns are a critical component of the Bloomfield Hills High School sports programs. Serving nearly 1,200 student-athletes across multiple sports, the interns do injury evaluation, rehabilitation progression, and emergency medical treatment under the supervision of a Certified Athletic Trainer, who acts as their clinical instructor for a 15-week rotation.  The current student interns are Sydney Holland and Mason Louiselle, who provide additional hands so that BHHS students are provided the best individualized care. Both Holland and Louiselle are from Central Michigan University’s Athletic Training program.

The current interim Athletic Trainer is Bobby Robine. As an intern with BHHS last semester through Eastern Michigan University, Robine completed a Masters in Athletic Training while gaining clinical experience and previously served as a part-time trainer for BHHS at the start of the fall season. BHS has an agreement with Henry Ford Health System to staff a part-time/contingent certified athletic trainer in the fall season so that all events are covered, given that BHS has multiple venues and provides care to over 550 fall athletes over 23 teams in 9 fall sports.

Get to Know the BHHS Athletic Trainers

Tell us about your educational background and your career goals.

Bobby Robine (Interim Athletic Trainer): I earned my associate's degree from Macomb Community College and both my bachelor's and master's degrees in athletic training from Eastern Michigan University. In addition, I hold my athletic training certification through the Board of Certification (BOC) and am licensed to practice as an athletic trainer in the state of Michigan. The various career goals I have can be summed up into one - to make a positive impact on the people I interact with on a daily basis. Throughout high school, into college, and now into my professional career, I've been lucky enough to surround myself with friends, family, teachers, coaches, coworkers, mentors, and athletic trainers who have made such an impact on me, and I know that it's now my turn to return the favor through the high quality of care offered and the daily interactions with the many student-athletes I see every day.

Sydney Holland (Intern):  I started my college career at Grand Valley State University. I was there for two years and then decided to transfer to Central Michigan University. I will be graduating from CMU in December with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training, as well as a double minor in Community Health and Substance Abuse Education. My career goal is to be the Head Athletic Trainer at a high school.

Mason Louiselle (Intern): I was born and raised in Charlevoix, MI, and graduated from Charlevoix Middle High School. Our town is small enough that we have one building housing grades K-6 and one housing grades 7-12. This was a big reason why I chose BHHS to do my internship experience because there was such a big difference in size between the school I went to and here. Towards the end of high school, I was torn between sports broadcasting and sports medicine. I suffered a knee injury my junior year, and, after working with the Athletic Trainer at my school to recover, I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my career. After graduating in 2016, I then decided to go to Central Michigan University to study Athletic Training. CMU was the first college to make Athletic Training a major, so I knew I would be in a rigorous, but also high-level program. After getting a wide array of experiences at CMU, I knew that I wanted my goal to be to work in a high school or small collegiate setting.

What did you learn in your college program that proved most helpful to you here at BHHS?

Robine: Obviously there was quite a bit I learned at Eastern Michigan that became helpful here at BHHS, but the one topic that stands out to me is the mental aspect of athletics. Over the last decade, more and more light is being shed on how an athlete's mental health affects their performance - whether that's on the court, in the athletic training room, or in the classroom. While the majority of the curriculum at Eastern Michigan is (rightfully) focused on the "hands-on" aspects of athletic training, there is a significant portion that is dedicated to the mental health of athletes and how it affects them. While an athlete could be completely healed from, let's say, an ankle sprain, if they "don't trust" their ankle or aren't ready to return to competition, they put themselves in a position to hurt themselves again. Being able to work with athletes through their mental health as it relates to athletic training has been extremely useful. (As a general disclaimer, if anything falls out of my scope of practice, it will get referred to the appropriate health care professional who is trained to handle these situations)

Holland: One thing I learned from my college program is how to go above and beyond just providing medical care. In order to be truly successful at your job, you need to get to know your athletes and build relationships with them. Not only does this help you provide the best medical care, but it also makes the job that much more fulfilling.

Louiselle: One of the great things that Central Michigan University’s Athletic Training Program does is it allows students to have a lot of different experiences leading up to internship and ultimately graduation. I have worked with six collegiate teams, in two high schools, and two injury clinics/physical therapy centers. This gave me the tools to know what route I wanted to take my career before it even started. There was no guessing for me because I know what each level has to offer to some extent. If I need more insight on a certain level of Athletic Training, CMU has roots planted deep to the point where a CMU Alumni athletic trainer is working in almost every division of athletics and beyond. Like I mentioned earlier, I think that was a big proponent in me knowing I wanted to come to BHHS for my internship and work in a large high school setting for my career. The program also places the semester that we are in a high school right before our internship, so by the time I graduate I’ll have been in this setting for a year already.

What has been your favorite experience?

Robine: I don't think it's fair to select one team or one specific experience as being ”the best” or “my favorite,” but what I will say is that I cherish the relationships I've built over the last year. The Bloomfield Hills community has been very welcoming and fantastic to be a part of. They say that if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life, and that's what it feels like here at BHHS. I truly enjoy and look forward to coming to work every day because the relationships I've built here are so meaningful to me.

Holland: My favorite experience has been getting to watch all of the athletes I have worked with compete in their sport. Nothing puts a smile on my face more than helping athletes recover from an injury and then getting to see them return to play. 

Louiselle: I think one of the more specific moments that stick out to me was the last regular season football game vs. Troy. It was the most competitive game of the season, with a ton of implications on the line, and we came out on top. The student section was packed, and it was awesome to see the support from the entire Blackhawk community. My family drove four hours to see me and the game and got to meet a handful of the athletes that I get to work with daily. That was one of the most personally rewarding experiences for me.

What was the most important lesson you learned?

Robine: My middle school assistant principal said this all the time and it really applies here at BHHS: “Teamwork makes the dream work!” Being a member of such a fantastic athletics department allows us to work together to provide the best environment possible for student-athletes to succeed, whether that's on the field or court, in the athletic training room, or in the classroom. In regards to athletic training, having the athletic trainer, student-athlete, coach, and parent(s) on the same page is vital to keep the student-athlete as safe and healthy as possible. When you have multiple people working together to achieve the same goal, anything is possible!

Holland: The most important lesson I have learned was to always be prepared for change. No matter how hard you try, things will not go to plan but you should always anticipate change and know how to handle it.

Louiselle: One of the main lessons that I learned at BHHS was to take each day one step at a time. Things can happen or change in an instant, whether they be positive or negative. It is how you handle these things that can make a big difference. Injuries may make a miraculous leap forward compared to the day prior, or, on the contrary, somebody may come in feeling exponentially worse than before. People’s days also can change quickly, and that can be cause for altering a plan. It is about not getting one foot too far ahead of the other and always being ready for a variable.

What advice would you give our athletes?

Robine: Learn how to take constructive criticism well and be willing to learn from your mistakes! Throughout graduate school, I was constructively criticized by the faculty, my preceptors, and even my classmates (who are some of my best friends!). At first, I didn't know how to react to what they were saying because I had never been in this situation before, but once I took a step back, I realized that they all had good intentions and wanted me to be the best version of myself. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect and I make mistakes. However, if you make a mistake and don't learn from it, you're just as likely to make the same mistake again. The ability to make a mistake, evaluate where/why/how you made a mistake, and figure out how to succeed the next time the situation allows us to turn a negative into a positive.

Holland: Advice I would give the athletes is to enjoy every moment of their athletic career - the practices, games, and time with your team. It all goes by way too fast!

Louiselle: I may be biased, but the main advice I would give to our athletes is to not be afraid to come down to the Athletic Training room if something is wrong. An athletic trainer’s main job is to get their athletes back into competition as safely and as quickly as possible. We want nothing more than to see each one of you play, and that is why we work our absolute hardest to shorten the amount of time you must deal with an injury. Odds are if you try to hide the injury, it may take longer to recover than if you were to let us assist you. Make friends with your athletic trainer!

What's next for you?

Robine: Continuing to provide the best care for the Bloomfield Hills Schools community so that our athletic training department remains one of the most well-known and respected departments across the state!

Holland: I will be taking my certification exam to become a certified athletic trainer in January and will be starting graduate school in the summer to get my Master's degree in Exercise Science. It has truly been such a pleasure working with all these amazing athletes at BHHS. They always put a smile on my face and I'm going to miss them so much! I wish all of them the best of luck.

Louiselle: I just got the results back for my Board of Certification Exam and I passed. I now have to wait until graduation, and then I will be a Certified Athletic Trainer. Leading up to and after graduation, I plan to job hunt in the area as well as all over the Midwest. High schools all over the country need an AT, it is just a matter of finding those areas.

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