Why I Decided To Be An Athletic Trainer
In spirit of National Athletic Training Month
I thought I would share why I decided to be an Athletic Trainer
, and why its a great field to be in.
I developed an interest in Athletic Training when my grandpa Don Joyce would tell me stories about his "football days
". Don was a former NFL football player who played most of his career with the Baltimore Colts
. He went to 2 National Championships (now known as the Super Bowl) and had the rings to prove his wins. Unfortunately my grandpa passed away a couple years ago, but his stories will live on forever. Although he has many epic "battle stories" his battles left him in pretty bad shape. Back when he played they didn't have the best equipment for preventative and acute care. The thing I believe caught up with him the most though was the chronic injuries that were not taken care of properly. Seeing him so beat up in his older age (always in a wheelchair) really struck a cord within me and I knew I wanted to help people so they never would have to suffer like he did. He LOVED every minute of the game and would NOT have changed anything about how he lived his life, I just wish that there was quality health care like there is now back when he played.
So, after getting into the AT program at MSUM
(Moorhead) I knew that this was the career path for me. I love being around sports, I love working with athletes, and I love taking care of people, so this was a pretty perfect fit. Now I am lucky enough to work with OSI, so I can rest easy knowing that my athletes will get the quality care they need to overcome crippling chronic injuries.
Now that I am close to finishing my 3rd year as an ATC at Henry Sibley
, I have learned that being an AT is much more than injury care. Sure that is what we are trained and certified to do, and yes that is what most of our job consists of, but most of my job satisfaction comes from connections I form with my students.
Some of the coolest moments of my job is when you see your student athletes succeed in their sports. Signing day is such an emotional day for me. I am SO happy that they are going off to college and living their dreams, but I am also sad that they are leaving the school and I wont get to see them.
Sometimes helping your students isn't always injury care. I love that my athletes feel comfortable enough to come in and seek my help for more than injuries. One of the silliest requests I have had was to help a student athlete ask another student athlete (who both came in my room frequently for pre practice/game tape) to PROM! It was priceless as we unrolled the tape and the question "PROM?" came up.
Probably the best part of my job is when I have students come to me expressing interest in pursuing a career in athletic training. I have one student currently that is VERY interested in becoming an athletic trainer, and is planning on going to college and applying for the program. She has been spending time with me at practices and games, trying to soak up as much knowledge as she can. She has learned to tape for many different injuries and helps me out with my pre game taping. I teach her about different injuries as we see them and explain to her how we treat them. Her thrive to learn as much as she can will put her at a huge advantage in her program and I am overjoyed that I can help her with her future.
So, my compassion to help others got me into Athletic Training, and the connections I have formed with Henry Sibley and OSI are what keeps me here. I'd love to hear your comments and questions below!