Keeping Athletes in the Game: A Terrific Trainer Triumvirate

Photo by Elle Rinaldi/The Choate News

From left to right: athletic trainers Ms. Emily Osterhout, Mr. Matt Pendleton, and Mr. Brain Holloway.

Superheroes may not be real, but these three are as close as it gets. Based in the Winter X, Ms. Emily Osterhout, Mr. Brian Holloway, and Mr. Matt Pendleton spend their afternoons helping injured Choate athletes get back on the field. After classes, athletes race to the X, counting on the trainers to prep them for practice.

For those of you who are not familiar with these names, these three have been working together for the last decade and a half to prep and prime our athletes. Working alongside a local physical therapy clinic, they have helped many athletes through the recovery process of an injury, from muscle spasms to broken bones. Brian, who has been at Choate for almost 20 years, said that he enjoys working with young athletes here because “this setting provides a tremendous opportunity to educate them regarding their health, injury care and prevention, and physical preparation.” Emily and Matt feel similarly, saying that by working at a boarding school, “you get to do other things aside from just athletic training — working in the dorm, advising other groups or clubs. It keeps things from getting too stale.”

Each trainer has his or her own experience and knowledge in the field of sports medicine and athletic training. Brian came from a high school in Madison, Conn., as an athletic trainer. He eventually came to Choate and fell in love with the community and the relationships he formed here on campus. He said, “Working with this population is quite rewarding, both personally and professionally, due to the relationships formed within the community.” Matt, also coming from another high school, said that coming out of medical school, he “wanted to practice medicine in a more fun environment,” which lead him to Choate. Similarly, Emily “knew she wanted to help people.” She came to Choate after working at a physical therapy clinic because she wanted to work with younger athletes.

While they definitely make their jobs look easy, it is certainly no cakewalk. Everyday, they spend the majority of their afternoons in the X working directly with athletes. Matt said, “The hours are sometimes odd, early at night. But that also keeps it interesting, on the other side, because you’re not doing nine to five all the time. It gives you a variety of schedule, which I think is very important.” They also said that all the hardships are made up with the relationships they have with the athletes.

Together, in a tiny room at the X, Matt, Emily, and Brian play an integral role in helping Choate athletics come out victorious, season after season. A part of this success is the bond these trainers made with the community and each other. Emily spoke about the relationships she forged, saying that they get to have “such a great relationship with the athletes. And, you can come to work, knowing that it’s going to be lighthearted most of the time, and you get to joke around with the kids. It makes it more fun. It’s not the classroom, making it less stressful,  so the kids come in here and de-stress. We get to see a different side of them.” Certainly, after classes, the trainer’s room is alive with lighthearted spirit and an aura of relaxation, despite any injuries or pain one may be experiencing. This sense of camaraderie hinges on the trainers and their effort in providing this environment.

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