Sitting on the sidelines, they make sure the camera is steady and on the game. They watch each player closely and ensure that every move is recorded. Every shot, every strike, every spike, every sack. Behind all the noise from the game and the echoing of the fans in their ears, they bring their attention to supporting their team and helping the coaches.
During the typical sports season, a group of people referred to as student managers or trainers work on helping the coaches with their duties.
“The games I have attended have been a blast,” girls’ basketball trainer sophomore Leslie Gallegos said. “I am always happy to help our coaches and basketball ladies in any way possible to make the game more fun and memorable for them as well.“
Each student gets involved with the sports in very different ways. Some decide to take part in it because they enjoy the sport and others are asked by a coach to participate.
“I was a basketball manager last year, but there were a couple things that made me interested in becoming [a trainer],” girls’ basketball trainer sophomore Jesika Miller said. “I really love watching basketball, and I also really enjoy spending time with the girls and the coaches. They are all very kind, and they make me laugh.”
Managers take the time to make sure that the minor details are taken care of for the coaches including stat keeping and videography. They also are there to cheer on the team and be supportive of them.
“Every single time I become part of a team, my role itself is to be a player, therefore, becoming a manager gave me a whole new view,” Gallegos said. “Everytime I’m up in the stands and glance over at a player, it reminds me of how I look out on the field. In certain circumstances it has even allowed me to learn a trick or two as I watch the girls play, which later I get to apply out on the soccer field.”
The jobs that trainers take over help the coaches focus on what they need to do during the game. From hydration to assisting with injuries, the role of trainers is helpful to both the team and the coaches.
“Trainers, in a way, make the game more memorable because they are there to support both coaches and team members,” Gallegos said. “We’re there to do the things that most people don’t want to do, so it takes pressure off of the coaches’ backs and allows for them to focus on the game.”
They don’t only affect the team, but it brings personal growth for each of them. It allows for students who might not be that athletic to be a part of a team and support the athletics department.
“Being a manager has affected me in a good way,” Miller said. “I have made new friends and have been able to get out of my comfort zone while also learning how to tackle challenges.“
Each year the coaches look for managers to help out with their team. Students are encouraged to try out being a manager or trainer, if they are interested.
“If you’re thinking about being a trainer, go for it,” Miller said. “If you’re scared of being lonely or being in awkward situations during the season, do it because you’ll be pushed to cope with these situations and it will help prepare you for situations like this in real life too.”