ART U Sports Medicine Assists With 49ers Training Camp
As the country’s spirits rose with the return of football season, Academy of Art University graduate assistant athletic trainers Jessica Reinhart and Kevin Williams had the privilege of being closer than any to the action. Both served as summer athletic training interns for the San Francisco 49ers in Levi’s Stadium for the entire preseason after a year of dedicated work with the Urban Knights.
“I was most excited about being the first female athletic training intern that has worked with the 49ers,” said Reinhart. “I wanted to show them that females can successfully work in this type of setting, and I want to pave the way for more females to have this same amazing opportunity.”
“I have only worked in high school and college settings, so I was excited about learning what it is like to work as an athletic trainer at the professional level,” said Williams. “Also, this camp gave me a great opportunity to network and meet other athletic trainers in the Bay Area.”
The opportunity for Reinhart and Williams can be traced back to none other than Academy head athletic trainer Karmont Mak. Prior to joining ART U back in 2009, Mak was wrapping up his second internship with the 49ers and remains close with the team’s sports medicine staff.
“I am extremely proud of both Jess and Kevin on earning the summer internships with the 49ers,” said Mak. “The opportunity to work at the highest level of athletics will allow them to gain valuable experience and help them continue to develop as athletic trainers. Their hard work, dedication and passion for the athletic training profession was seen every day working with our student-athletes. I hope they learned some new tricks at the pro level and can apply those with our student-athletes to not only keep them healthy but get them back faster.”
Both assistants expressed tremendous appreciation for the role he played in this chance to taste the professional ranks.
“This great opportunity would not have been possible without Karmont’s help,” said Williams. “His valuable recommendation did more than help me get this internship; it also gave me confidence as I progress in my career as an athletic trainer.”
Among the various responsibilities of both Reinhart and Williams during the grueling 30-plus days of camp were working with all the players in the training room, assisting with practice and game coverage, as well as working through the athletes’ treatment and rehabilitations. From ensuring the team is hydrated and properly taped to getting the players treated and prepped for practice and games on the sidelines of preseason contests, the role essentially replicates all aspects of the professional staff.
Embracing their expectation to start each day at 6:30 a.m. inside Levi’s Stadium and handle their business in a professional manner, the tandem of Reinhart and Williams both found themselves relying upon their experience with Mak and assistant athletic trainer Laz Cardenas at the Academy over the past two years. Williams, who completed his athletic training degree at Point Loma in 2014, spent this past season as the primary trainer for ART U men’s soccer and softball. Reinhart, a 2013 graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, completed her second season with the Urban Knights in 2014–15, handling women’s soccer and baseball.
“Karmont and Laz have definitely prepared me for this internship over my past two years at Academy of Art,” said Reinhart. “They stressed professionalism and especially attention to detail. No matter what task you are performing, having attention to detail is key. It shows that you care and are working hard to get the job done well the first time. This has definitely helped me while working with the 49ers.”