When it came time to make one of the most important decisions in her life Tiffany Crossland’s love of sports won out over becoming a nurse, and she’s never looked back as she pursued her career as an athletic trainer.

Crossland is one of the newest additions to the athletic staff at Mineral Wells High School, and she already loves her job as the new assistant athletic trainer as she works with head trainer Derek Rabalais.

The two trainers just finished an athletic trainer camp designed to get student trainers up to speed for the upcoming sports seasons.

Rabalais started the three-year-old camp in his first year at Mineral Wells when he identified a need to get all of his student trainers on “the same page.”

“The camp is designed to get all of the trainers at the same level of expectation for two-a-days,” Rabalais. “That way, when we get started, they have a firm grasp of what we are expecting of them. I want to know they are ready to handle any situation.”

Rabalais expects the right attitude, a strong work ethic, and the willingness to put in some extra hours – all while maintaining good grades.

“We are here from August 1 until sometime in May or longer,” Crossland said. “Being an athletic trainer means being prepared to go the extra mile.”

For Rabalais going the extra mile means keeping a special tab on student trainers’ grades, and he performs weekly checks to make sure students are performing in the classroom. Poor grades are something Rabalais will not abide.

“From day one our students realize they are being held to a higher standard and they have to be willing to accept it,” Rabalais.

Crossland already being on the Mineral Wells High School campus and helping out is an example of going the extra mile expected of trainers. Part of going the extra mile is becoming CPR certified.

“Athletic training isn’t for the faint-hearted,” Crossland laughed. “You have to be prepared for long days and games late into the night.”

Crossland graduated from McCamey High School and later attended Tarleton State University where she made the decision that steered her into a sports medicine career. 

“I was there studying nursing band I could see that it was going to be something I didn’t enjoy,” Crossland said. “I decided becoming an athletic trainer would allow me to work in sports and medicine at the same time, and it appealed to me.”

From Tarleton, Crossland went on to pursue her master’s degree at Texas Tech, and she is excited about landing in Mineral Wells.

“I love the community and surrounding area here,” Crossland said. “It’s a city that still has a small town feel to it. Mineral Wells is a place where people care about each other.”

Crossland is single, but her current Mineral Wells family does include her fur babies River (shepherd/collie mix) and Rain (blue heeler mix). 

“I’m excited to be here, and I appreciate the opportunity that has been offered  to me here in Mineral Wells,” Crossland said.

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