An athlete’s taped ankle or wrist is all most people ever see of Emily Osborne’s work as the associate head athletic trainer. But it’s her work behind the scenes and in the training room that helps Goshen College’s athletes perform at their best on the field, court and track. 

"You see them persevere through that injury and be able to return to sport. . . That's always the most amazing part of the job."

— Emily Osborne

On a regular practice day, Osborne arrives at the college between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and doesn’t leave until after 7 p.m.

She treats patients one-on-one before team practices, which usually start around 4 p.m. At around 3 p.m, the training room fills with athletes for a variety of pretreatments, including heat, stem muscle therapy and ultrasounds. 

“Controlled chaos is what I like to call it,” Osborne said.

While the athletes practice, Osborne catches up on documentation and occasionally heads out to a practice to evaluate an injury. At around 6 p.m., post-treatments begin. Usually, the day wraps up around 7 p.m., but not always. 

On game days, Osborne arrives two hours before a game to have the athletes treated and ready to play. 

There are “different levels of chaos” depending on the schedule for the day, Osborne said. Altogether, Osborne works anywhere between 40 and 60 hours a week. 

Despite the busyness of her days, Osborne finds joy in building relationships with the athletes. 

“In this environment, you really get to know people and see them go from being a freshman … and see them progress as a person and as an athlete and go out as a senior and see them succeed and get out into the world.”

What’s fulfilling about her job, Osborne said, is that from “an injury standpoint … you have somebody get injured, you see them on probably one of the worst days of their lives.” But in her job, that’s not the end. “You see them persevere through that injury and be able to return to sport … That’s always the most amazing part of the job.”