Always Ready: Athletic Trainers at New Hampton School

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This article by Connor Gorman ’11 originally appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Hamptonia.

The thoughts that occur when preparing for a game can vary. The coaching staff and players have routines and rituals that may seem unorthodox but are crucial to feeling ready and prepared. Minutes before playing, questions circulate in their minds. From the coach’s perspective: “Does the team know our game plan? Is the team ready to compete? Do we have confidence as a group?” From the
player’s perspective: “Do I know our team strategy? How much playing time will I get? Will I make enough plays?” All these questions and feelings are routine as athletics are filled with pressure. One thought that may tend to be an oversight is the physical well-being of the players and how their bodies are feeling. If the player is suiting up, they must be fine, right? At New Hampton School, we are fortunate to know our athletes will be ready to compete because we have the best behind-the-scenes team around—our athletic trainers.

When spectators arrive at their sporting event of choice, they may notice a person who isn’t the coach or player standing behind the bench or sideline. Equipped with CPR masks, a backboard, gauze, tape, braces, and ice bags, athletic trainers are ready for whatever need may present itself. The level of skill and focus needed in this profession makes them the most crucial part of the team.

Our trio of athletic trainers is the best. Led by Head Athletic Trainer Adam Tyson—who has been at New Hampton for 28 years and a certified Athletic Trainer for 45 years—our student-athletes find themselves in the best possible hands. As a 2011 graduate and the current head men’s hockey coach, I have first-hand experience with the skill, knowledge, and preparation with which Adam handles any
injury. Assisting Adam is Precious Burke, herself an athletic trainer for 11 years and currently in her fifth year at New Hampton. Precious is diligent and talented in her work with our athletes. Rounding out the team is Kristin McClure, who became a certified athletic trainer in 2004 and worked with Adam for 16 years as one of the best duos New Hampton has ever seen. Though Kristin stepped down from her full-time role as an athletic trainer in 2019 to become a teaching faculty member, she currently supports the teams and games when needed. On top of their talents in providing injury assistance, they are constantly focused on educating student-athletes on proper nutrition, hydration, stretching, and body maintenance.

What perhaps impresses most about Adam, Precious, and Kristin is their availability and flexibility. Their hours are rarely consistent, and they must be ready at the drop of a hat to receive a phone call when their immediate assistance is needed. They attend every home game and even go above and beyond to support particular away games. Adam chose to attend our NEPSAC semifinal game this winter—hosted an hour and a half away at Lawrence Academy—to be with the team. His presence added a sense of comfort. Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jamie Bavaro shares, “Our athletic trainers are committed individuals who are not only outstanding at their jobs but are outstanding people. They do more than what is asked of them. Whether that be pre-practice treatment, postgame ice baths, or simply being a phone call away for an emergency, they are there. We are extremely fortunate to have Mr. Tyson, Ms. Burke, and Ms. McClure at New Hampton School and appreciate everything they do for us.” The next time you are at a game to support the Huskies, look to the sidelines, and you will find them—always ready and always cheering us on.

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