When we were interviewing our newest Hall of Fame inductees for the May NATA News, we asked them to share advice for young ATs who are just getting started in this profession. Why not learn from the best of the best, right? Read on to see what these examplary athletic trainers wanted to pass on to future ATs.
This profession is about caring and helping people. I would tell them to stay the course, follow the process, capture the moment and get involved every chance you get. The chance may only come once, so jump in with both feet. Good things happen to people who are hard-working, honest and loyal. It took me 39 years to get to this point in my career, and I am still learning.
- David P. Carrier, MA, AT, ATC
Don’t be in such a hurry to get where you want to be - enjoy the journey and all it offers. Adventure the entire forest rather than focusing on a single tree. Volunteer when you can, and be a team player. There’s no I in TEAM. To predict the future you must create the future, so be part of that creation. There will be many things that catch your eye, but take time to partake in those that capture your heart.
- Malissa Martin, EdD, ATC
The athletic training profession offers endless career opportunities in the health care profession, and the individual who can affect your athletic training career the most is the same person you see in the mirror each morning. As Robert F. Kennedy said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
- Terrance Noonan, MS, ATC, ART
Live every day you have passionately! Strike a balance between work, family and faith. Never sacrifice the latter two for the first. Be willing to say yes when called to serve, and do so with fervor, passion and enthusiasm. But most of all, have fun. You have chosen a great profession; enjoy it!
- Russell J. Richardson, EdD, ATC
First and foremost, have fun. This is a very time consuming, physically and mentally challenging career at times, so finding a way to have fun every day is essential. Cherish the relationships you develop along the way. Get involved with NATA whether it is at the state, district or national level. I guarantee it will be one of the most exciting and educational experiences of your professional career. Don’t forget to be patient. Someone once said, “There are no great jobs left out there. So go find a job and make it great.” None of us had the ultimate athletic training facility or position at the start, but with patience, hard work, determination and believing in yourself, plus a sprinkle of “a little help from your friends,” you will be able to help a multitude of people, and that’s really what this profession is all about.
- Brian Robinson, MS, ATC, LAT
There’s a quote from Albert Einstein that says, “You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece.” Some of my greatest experiences in this professional are those that were a stretch for me and that I probably wouldn’t have attempted without some encouragement. So look for ways to get outside your world and get involved, and don’t be afraid to extend beyond your comfort zone. Good things will happen!
- Sandra J. Shultz, PhD, ATC, FNATA
Borrowing the from the expression “go big or go home,” I recommend to work hard or go home. Work with integrity or go home. Work with excellence or go home. Create a vision for yourself. Then use daily positivism to implement a constructive, productive action plan to achieve it. Eventually you will surpass that vision.
- Thomas G. Weidner, PhD, ATC, FNATA
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