The ins and outs of sports medicine

Posted: May 22, 2024

MA’s athletic trainer and strength & conditioning coach support students

Minnehaha is home to many exceptional sports teams and hundreds of student-athletes.  Behind those teams and athletes are many amazing coaches who know how to bring out the best in each student.  

What happens when an athlete’s season is interrupted by injury?  To whom can athletes turn when the unfortunate injury bug bites, and they need help getting back into the lineup? Minnehaha is home to two experienced athletic coaches and trainers with years of experience under their belts. They are the “Go-To” resources for athletes when they need support recovering from injuries. 

Meet Kristen Fosness, Minnehaha Academy’s athletic trainer. Kristen works in the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of emergent acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions and rehabilitates orthopedic injuries as well. That background allows Fosness to support student-athletes across a wide array of injuries, allowing them to return more quickly to the sports they love.  

Fosness completed her undergraduate education at Hamline University in St. Paul, earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a minor in psychology. She also has a master’s degree in athletic training from North Dakota State University. 

Fosness says that her career connects one of her passions to one of society’s needs. 

“I wanted to work in the medical field because my parents said there was always a need for that,” she said. “And then I love sports, so it was a perfect fit to do medicine in the sports world.”

Brandon Peterson is the equally impressive, other half of the training team at MA.  He focuses on injury prevention through athletic training.  Peterson assists athletes in enhancing performance and preventing injury through strength training and improved flexibility. 

Peterson has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Minnesota State Mankato. He worked at Bloomington Jefferson High School as a conditioning coach for 11 years before coming to Minnehaha. 

“In 11 years at Bloomington Jefferson, I have never got to the point where I worked with every single team, and I worked with almost every single sport the very first fall that I was here,” he said. 

He also added that he appreciates the support he gets from the athletic coaches at Minnehaha 

“Coaches have been excellent at getting kids into the weight room,” he said.

Although Peterson sees mostly positive differences between the schools, he has had a few challenges at Minnehaha. 

“In comparing Bloomington to here, the kids that I worked with at Bloomington Jefferson lived within five minutes of the school, (so) many walked or rode their bike,” he said. “It was really easy to get kids to stay after school.” 

Although Fosness and Brandon have similar roles, there are a few key differences. 

“The difference between Brandon and I is mainly I do evaluation of injuries or prevention of injuries, where he focuses more on prevention of injuries and building strength and movement patterns that can decrease your risk of injury,” said Fosness. 

Although they have different backgrounds they still work very closely together. 

“I like to work closely with her in that she can feel free to pass people off to me that need more ongoing stuff,” Peterson said. “But I do not have the rehab medical background that she has, mine is on the performance enhancement side of things.”

Students at Minnehaha have generally had positive experiences with the athletic faculty. 

“She always made herself available to me and came up with solutions to problems that I probably wouldn’t have thought of myself,” said first-year Makaela Binder. “And made it so that I was able to keep playing the things that I loved.” 

Junior Max Krumm also experienced positivity surrounding the athletic faculty. 

“Brandon has helped me by creating a training program that I can use whenever.” Krumm said. “You should go to him just to get stronger in general, you know, for a sport or activity, he’s just a smart, intelligent guy.”

Overall, Fosness and Peterson play a major role in supporting our athletic teams and helping injured athletes return to the sports they love. 


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