Training to Heal [Cover]

Going through life one step at a time is just one way athletic training student, Tyralee Frye, is getting through her college education.

With classes all day throughout the week and clinicals after hours, Frye can relate the process of navigating her way through grad school to how she is helping athletes gain the physical and mental attributes to reach full potential in their sport.

"Helping an athlete who is injured go step by step through the recovery process is the most rewarding part of the job," Frye said. "I love helping people, especially when they're in need of help and no one is there."

Frye has a passion for helping others, and it stemmed from her playing soccer and softball in high school. Coming from White River Valley High School, a small 1A school in southern Indiana, there was not enough funding for an athletic trainer, so Frye took things into her own hands when she was playing contact sports in high school.

"I brought my own med-kit in a Victoria's Secret bag," Frye said. "I stuffed gauze, band-aids, stretchy tape, stuff like that."

Frye said her skills were terrible, but she wanted her high school teammates to get the attention they deserved and be ready for any potential injuries that may happen on the field.

Going into college, Frye was a part of the women’s softball team before she ended her athletic career to focus on building a career in athletic training.

Big Ten Experience

Recently, Frye was a part of a volunteer group of MSAT students working with the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis. She and two other students were accepted into the program and were able to gain experience at one of the most anticipated basketball tournaments of the entire year.

"There was a lot to do," Frye said. "There were four locker rooms, and we had to make sure they all had chairs down, injury ice, Gatorade, water, towels."

Gaining this experience in the big leagues came with big responsibilities. Frye, along with other athletic training students, was in charge of taking COVID-19 precautions to make for a safe, competitive and fun environment.

“We were wiping down balls, wearing masks and gloves almost the entire time,” Frye said.

Even though COVID-19 seemed like a potential roadblock, Frye was still able to gain valuable experience that she will remember She crossed paths with many mentors who can help guide her in a future as an athletic trainer.

“I got to talk to a lot of different [athletic trainers]. I got to network with people I would not have been able to without this opportunity,” Frye said.

Frye said she was very lucky to get this opportunity to work at the Big Ten tournament. A lot of schools opted out of having additional personnel at their tournament games this year, thus sacrificing clinical hours needed by athletic training students. Frye was grateful to gain this experience under the circumstances.

“If you’re thinking about working for a Division I school, that setting is the closest you

can get as a student right now,” Frye said, “You really got to see the importance of making everything perfect.”

Future Goals

Although working for a Division I college is not exactly what Frye has in mind for herself as a future career, she will take what she learned at the Big Ten Conference and use it in her other future endeavors.

Frye is interested in working at the professional level in her future, but her ultimate goal strays away than most.

“My ultimate goal, and I don’t care how long it takes,” Frye said, “is to be an [athletic trainer] at the Olympics.”

Frye has high aspirations and is doing everything she can in college to achieve them. From having an extensive athletic background to gaining experience where others are not, Frye is working diligently, step-by-step to help athletes reach their full potential.

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