Meet Dr. Kim Bacalla, Wellington High School’s Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainer Dr. Kim Bacalla works with a student athlete during a football game at Wellington High School.

If you have been attending athletic activities at Wellington High School for the last two years, you may have noticed a familiar face at every home game for every team, and at every football game, both home and away. That familiar face is Dr. Kim Bacalla, and she is a very important person in the lives of all the coaches and athletes at WHS.

Bacalla is an athletic training supervisor for Baptist Health South Florida and is under contract with the School District of Palm Beach County to be the official athletic trainer for the Wolverines.

This is her eighth year as a certified athletic trainer, and her second year being affiliated with Wellington High School. As such, she attends more games and practices for the Wolverines than anybody else affiliated with the high school, with the possible exception of Athletic Director Robert Callovi.

“I am present for every home game for all sports, and I travel with the football team during football season,” Bacalla said. “If there’s an event at WHS, I am on campus. I am also at WHS during practice hours if there aren’t any games.”

On game days during the football season, Bacalla shows up on campus well before the student-athletes are dismissed from class.

“I typically show up five hours before kickoff,” she said. “I spend some time with them at the team meal, and then get ready to set up the field or pack for the away game.”

During a football game, she can be as busy during halftime as she is during the game.

“At halftime, I could be filling up water jugs, taping athletes, stretching the guys or eating a snack,” Bacalla said. “The best part about my job is that every day is different, and every game is different.”

Bacalla’s academic credentials confirm that the WHS athletic program is in good hands.

“I graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with my bachelor’s of science in athletic training. To be able to sit for the board of certification exam to be an athletic trainer, you must graduate from an accredited program,” Bacalla said. “I recently earned my doctorate in athletic training from Moravian University in 2021.”

For somebody who is an athletic trainer, she has always practiced what she preaches. In high school, college and after graduation, she has maintained an athletic and physically active lifestyle.

“I played tennis in high school and college,” Bacalla said. “I played for Indiana Wesleyan on a scholarship. Today, I personally enjoy CrossFit and weightlifting.”

She is happy to share her words of wisdom on staying healthy and injury-free.

“Tightness in a muscle can be caused by two things — injury or weakness, or maybe both,” Bacalla explained. “Most of the time, stretching is not the answer. Instead, strengthening is the best way to prevent injury. If you want to be a successful athlete in high school and plan on being a collegiate athlete, strength and conditioning should be a big part of your current routine.”

Her other big-picture health advice is to maintain a physically active lifestyle.

“Movement is medicine,” Bacalla said. “Find an activity that you enjoy and be consistent with it. It can be as simple as a 20- to 30-minute walk a day.” 

She is always emphasizing proper nutrition to the Wolverine athletes and coaches.

“Nutrition plays a very important role in your performance,” Bacalla said. “To hydrate and eat the night before a game or the day of the game is too late. Food is fuel.”