Final year Murdoch University student Alex Lalovic has become the first exercise physiology student to complete an international internship with US major league baseball team, the Seattle Mariners.
Alex has just returned from two weeks of training with the team in Phoenix, Arizona, where he had the unique opportunity to work alongside some of the most respected specialists in the field, performing fitness assessments for lung and heart (electrocardiograms) function, body composition analysis, as well as specific baseball tests such as agility testing, vertical jump testing and trunk rotation power.
Alex said his internship has given him a first-hand experience of what working in a professional sports context is really like.
“After I graduate I want to do my Masters, and then my goal is to eventually work in professional sports, so this was such a great opportunity for me,” he said.
“I really enjoyed it – every day was good fun. Just establishing all those contacts and spending time in a different sporting culture, you get a lot more hands-on experience than you do sitting in a classroom.”
Murdoch University Sports Science Senior Lecturer and Academic Chair Mark Hecimovich facilitated the internship through his contacts on the team, and as part of the National Athletic Trainers Association International Council.
“Previously we have sent chiropractic interns from Murdoch to work with the Seattle Mariners – this year will be our sixth year sending them over – but their internship focuses primarily with treatment of players and not fitness and performance assessments,” Mark said.
“Alex was the first exercise physiology intern for the team, so was the first to focus on assessment. The whole experience for Seattle Mariners has been really positive. We have had absolutely tremendous feedback from them all including their head athlete trainer.”