Meeting the new face in athletics: Daniel Smith takes on role as athletic trainer

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Lexie Pilz

Putting on an ankle wrap after a previous injury, new athletic trainer Daniel Smith helps sophomore Sydney Slaven prepare for practice. Through Mercy Sports Medicine, Smith attends all athletic events to make sure athletes are being treated for injuries on and off the court. “Being a trainer can be very exciting,” Smith said. “You never know what's gonna happen, and you have to be prepared for everything.”

Surveying the basketball court, new head trainer Daniel Smith is ready at a moment’s notice to help any athlete facing an injury. 

After the departure of former trainer Matt Berning, Smith is enthusiastic about his new role. 

“I love helping the injured athletes when they get hurt and seeing their progression back to the game,” Smith said. 

Growing up, Smith’s love of sports was prominent, especially his enthusiasm for football.  

“Playing football taught me a lot. It is the sport I had played the longest and was the best at,” Smith said. “Playing in high school made me very familiar with it, and I still enjoy being involved with it outside of school.”

Smith’s passion for sports is what pushed him into the medical field.

“When I was in high school I had to have surgery on my knee and shoulder which pushed me to do healthcare,” Smith said. “I have always had an interest in sports, and when I first got into college, I liked the blend of athletics alongside the medical and science aspect of it which allowed me to do two things I’m really interested in.”

Being an athlete who has faced injury himself, Smith’s priority is to let athletes pursue their passion without letting injury stand in the way.

“I try to help athletes get back on the field as fast as they can,” Smith said. “You only have so many years in high school to play your sport, so missing more games than you need is time and memories you can’t get back.”