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Published on August 16, 2022

Caitlyn Martin

Avera Athletic Trainer Helps Students Through Highs and Lows of Competition

No two hours of work are the same for Avera certified athletic trainer Caitlyn Martin. That’s natural when you serve more than 500+ athletes at Washington High School.

Martin has acute physiology and sports medicine knowledge, but her communication skills are at work all the time.

“I’m often talking to high school athletes, their coaches, the school’s administration, as well as Avera physicians, therapists and other experts,” said Martin, MSAT, ATC, CSCS. “In addition, I’m talking to parents, explaining how their son or daughter is doing in their progress with an injury, or almost anything else.”

Martin’s not alone. She partners with a strength and conditioning coach at Washington, along with a team of athletic trainers that serve specific high school across Sioux Falls – and around the Midwest. Passionate people like Martin serve young athletes in dozens of locations, with the help of Avera’s overarching programs and facilities.

Caitlyn Martin and Alexus MotleyTrainer Caitlyn Martin helps high school student Alexus Motley.

She loves her work – and has eight years of doing it as proof.

“It’s a 24-7 sort of thing. Some days we’re in the athletic training room before school starts or not home until after a football game on a Friday night,” she said. “I get to see athletes overcome an injury, get back to the field and in some cases, win championships.”

Being a part of the highest highs and the lowest lows is what makes Martin so passionate about her work.

First on the Scene for Sports Injuries

When there’s a possible injury, Martin is first on the scene – be it courtside, on the 35-yard line or during practice. She begins treatment, then works with her Avera professional team to ensure good outcomes.

“We have a real ‘same-page’ mentality, and our docs and others really respect us,” Martin said. “All the things we do, we do together to help the athlete.”

They do that, even when it involves disappointing news.

“There have been times when I have said ‘no’ to an athlete returning to play because I thought they weren’t ready,” she said. “My athletic director, as well as my leaders, back me up on those hard decisions.”

She said it takes the full team to do the best by every athlete, no matter the sport. Her work includes a lot of phone calls, a lot of assessment and triage and a ton of collaboration.

“An athlete might do physical therapy two days a week, then work with me the other three,” she said. “We have a lot of one-on-one talks with our students.”

Running Toward a Rewarding Career

Like many athletic trainers, Martin was once an injured high school track and field athlete. She ran cross country in college, too. When she earned her degree, she joined Avera, and she’s never looked back.

“The respect our athletic trainers receive, and the support we provide each other – it’s been a great eight years,” she said. “We also team up with professionals from other systems. We’re all focused on helping students do their best.”

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