Master of her craft

TPHS recently hired Zayna Green as an athletic trainer. Already, she is proving herself to be a valuable asset on and off the field.

Aside from academics, to say that athletics are the heart of PHS culture would not be far from the truth. At the center of it all, athletic trainer Zayna Green is the support that student-athletes rely on for physical therapy, first aid, emergency care and injury evaluation. Since joining the TPHS community in November 2021 as the official athletic trainer, student-athletes have already accepted her not only as a trainer, but also as a friend and role model.

Raised in a family rooted deeply in sports like soccer, swimming, volleyball and basketball, Green’s rich background in sports motivated her to pursue a career in athletic training. She was further encouraged after seeing her high school friends suffer from torn ACLs.

Initially, Green had her eyes set on a career in physical therapy, but after seeing her friends get injured, she realized that her place was on the court and field, amidst the organized chaos of the game. With the inspiration of her high school athletic trainers, she saw that athletic training was a good balance that satisfied her talents, passions and desire for a job in health care.

“I had two really good athletic trainers at my school,” Green said. “I had normal injuries and didn’t have anything too crazy, but by just being around the environment, I got to a point where it became hard to leave, and I knew at that point I wanted to do something in health care.”

Green attended San Diego State University, where she got her bachelor’s degree in athletic training. Then she earned her master’s degree in sports and exercise physiology from the A.T Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine.

During college, Green interned for FC Tucson, a minor league soccer team. She later transitioned to full-time employment with the team, as she took on a larger role that entailed more responsibilities. Her next job was with the Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad her first job at a high school.

TPHS officially hired Green in November of last year as an interim athletic trainer. She did not hesitate to take the opportunity as she knew that her home was in San Diego and that she wanted to work at a larger school

“Genuinely, there is nothing like TPHS, especially in Southern California. To have so many different teams that have a history of being successful and value getting better,” Green said. “A lot of [our athletes] want to play in college, so it is really nice working with high school athletes who want to work hard and get better.”

There are five pillars of athletic training that Green practices: physical therapy, first aid, administrative work, emergency care and injury evaluation. Not only does Green provide students with physical care, but she is also seen as a trusted adult on campus, according to TPHS soccer player Natalie Chrismore (12).

“She is someone who always knows when to crack a joke and exactly what to say. [She’s also] able to help a lot of athletes not just physically, but also emotionally and has been there for a lot of different people through a lot of different issues,” Christmore said. “She’s contributed heavily to our sports medicine program and our TP pledge.”

TPHS ASB runs an internship program that started last winter called Torrey Pines Sports Medicine. While options on campus for students who are interested in healthcare are limited, the program offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience like CPR and first aid

“When Zavna came in, my friend Reese Peterson started the internship program, and I came in and talked to Zavna and joined in on the program,” Alexis De Fina (11) said.

From her prior job where she oversaw the internship programs, Green gained the crucial experience to help lay the foundations of the athletic training program at TPHS

As a result, Green has created a truly unique environment rich with medical learning opportunities that are not available in classes like anatomy and physiology.

“I like the experience, you get to see so many different sports and athletes. and so there are a lot of different injuries. I get to see so many things that I would otherwise have no opportunity to see in the classroom,” De Fina said

Though her time at TPHS has just started, Green has already cemented herself as an integral part of the school community. After years of temporary athletic trainers switching in and out, student-athletes are more than happy that she is here to stay.

Read on Issuu.

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