Life as a Rams Training Camp Intern
by Nick Gastorf
Working in the National Football League is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Fortunately for me, I was afforded the opportunity to serve as an athletic training intern for the 2013 St. Louis Rams training camp. I would not trade the hours that I have worked, the information that I have learned, or the friendships I have made for anything. I truly consider myself lucky and blessed to have had this opportunity to work for such a great organization.
Coming into Rams training camp, I was not exactly sure on what to expect. I knew I would be working long hours, but nonetheless, I was ecstatic for the opportunity and lessons that awaited me. I was one of six training camp interns, and we worked alongside one seasonal intern four full time staff members, so there was always something going on. Our days as training camp interns consisted of preparing the athletic training room for daily treatments, pre-practice set up and post-practice breakdown, performing daily treatments with therapeutic modalities and therapeutic exercises, and taping the players prior to all practices and games.
With the amount of time everyone spends together, there is a lot of time to get to know each other personally and professionally. This was a valuable asset to have, as not everyone does everything the exact same way, and new ways can be developed through simple observation. Not only was new information learned, but new friendships and connections were made that, otherwise, would have never been possible without this experience. Some of the best training camp moments were working two home games versus the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens as well as traveling on the road for the game against the Denver Broncos.
by Michael Lane
Interning with the St. Louis Rams athletic training staff was an honor and a privilege. I believe that the athletic trainers who work within the scope of the National Football League are the elite in the realm of athletic training. The knowledge and experience in the athletic training room was visible as soon as you walked into the room. Athletes were always on their feet completing exercises that required them to move around and be active, rather than lay on a training table to get “treatment” for an issue rather than resolving itself.
Applying for an internship with an NFL team was something that I wanted to do since I started college, but actually being accepted and hired for a position was more than I ever imagined. When I arrived at training camp for the St. Louis Rams I did not know what I would be doing for the next six weeks. It did not take long before I found out that the job would require long hours and loads of work. Most days we arrived to the facility early to prepare the athletic training room for treatments and to do field set-up and we would not leave until post-practice treatments and all closing duties were completed. Some days we would be busy from 6:45 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Personally, the hard work that was required for this position came easy and the daily environment made it fun as well. I was fortunate enough to have five other interns hired alongside me and they were all great workers and I built personal friendships with them as well.
The experience that I gained from my internship was great. My advice to future applicants of any NFL internship is to go for it. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity and no price can be put on the experience and relationships you will develop while working with an NFL team. My favorite part of the experience had to be the games. As an intern I was fortunate enough to work three of the four preseason games, two home games and one away game where we faced the Cleveland Browns. Not only did I work with the top tier of the athletic training profession, but I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself, an NFL organization.