Game days at Salt Lake Community College would not be as exciting for student-athletes without the help and guidance of the school’s head athletic trainer, Melanie Nesbit.
As the only trainer for the Bruins, she has many responsibilities, from taping up athletes to treating injuries to performing rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Nesbit says that she “liked helping people” and knew she wanted to go into this kind of field.
Nesbit played sports in her youth, which sparked her passion for athletics. She competed at the collegiate level as a softball player for Ricks College.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in physical education from Eastern Illinois University.
Nesbit is currently in her third year working full-time and ninth year overall at SLCC. She spends her time taking care of student-athletes and getting them prepped for practices and game days.
She also schedules doctor appointments if an injury is serious and has the final say if an athlete can play or not.
Injuries not only take a toll on the body, but on the mind as well.
Nesbit serves as a counselor for the athletes from time to time.
“Sometimes they do get depressed or are having a bad game or struggling with life in general so I have a lot of people come in just to talk,” says Nesbit.
A hard part of the job is dealing with dozens of different player personalities, but Nesbit values the friendships she has developed with the athletes.
As athletic trainer, Nesbit works with players from every sport in the program, and occasionally travels with the individual teams during conference and postseason play.
“In the postseason you are invested in the kids and want to see them do well because you’re happy for them,” Nesbit says.
The athletics program provides strength coaches to help athletes work out and train to reduce the risk of injury. But if an athlete does get injured, Nesbit goes the extra mile by providing physical rehabilitation.
She is intent on quick recoveries and meeting athletes’ needs in order for them to play their best at all times.
With over 100 players in SLCC Athletics, Nesbit has a demanding career. But her smile remains intact as she prepares student-athletes for game days because this is what she loves to do.