The hectic life of a student trainer

On a scorching August 2004 afternoon during football two-a-days, a Miami wide receiver fell to the practice turf with agonizing cramps. Adam Henry, a student athletic trainer assigned to treat injured wide outs, had to act quickly and decisively.

After calling for assistance, Henry took it upon himself to administer aid to the player before help arrived. It turned out to be a simple case of dehydration, but if Henry was not alert, the situation could have been much more serious.

Henry is one of nine senior athletic trainers who will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree, valuable field experience and numerous job opportunities at the highest level of his field. A relatively young program, athletic training is one of the fastest-growing majors in the School of Education. It is accredited by Allied Health Care.

In addition to a rigorous workload in courses like kinesiology, gross anatomy and pharmacology, student trainers fulfill clinical requirements by rotating between several sports for two or three years. Henry has worked for the football, baseball and track and field teams.

“It’s beautiful that this program is at UM because of all the networking opportunities we get,” Henry said. “There are a good number of trainers in the National Football League and other professional sports that have connections to the university.”

A lifelong sports fan from the Tampa area, Henry came to Coral Gables with aspirations of combining his love for Hurricane athletics and scientific aptitude. Henry found a middle ground by becoming a trainer.

“I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people and help the athletes out,” Henry said. “I developed a professional relationship with many players; although I should point out that there is a zero-tolerance policy toward dating. This is not a social club.”

During the spring, the busiest time of the football year, Henry wakes up at 4 a.m., an hour before he reports to the training room. He spends most of the morning setting up water and first aid supplies on the practice field and providing treatment.

“I have to sneak in a quick breakfast before my 10 a.m. class,” said Henry, who reports back to the Knight Sports Complex for afternoon drills after lunch. “By the time my 6:30 p.m. class ends, I am pretty wiped out.”

Henry said he enjoyed working directly with athletes so much that he is applying for graduate training positions at several prominent schools, like Michigan State and Indiana. His ultimate goal is to be a head trainer for a professional sports organization.

“The professors here recommend diversifying your education,” Henry said. “I have lived in Tampa my whole life, so I am looking forward to seeing another part of the country.”

For more information about the athletic training program, go to the School of Education’s website,

Eric Kalis can be contacted at