The NATA Hall of Fame is the pinnacle of recognition for members, honoring a select group of athletic trainers who have shaped the athletic training profession and exemplified what it means to live a life of service.
More than a ring, green jacket and plaque on the wall, the NATA Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed on those who have spent countless hours perfecting their skills, mentoring the next generation of ATs and imprinting a lasting impact on the athletic training profession.
The May NATA News featured the class of 2023, highlighting their careers and volunteer achievements, and delves into their journeys as leaders in the profession.
The class of 2023 will be honored and inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame during the 74th NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in Indianapolis.
In this blog, the inductees present advice they would give to young athletic trainers starting out in the profession.
RICK BURKHOLDER, MS, ATC
Be recognized for excellence in your job, not anything else, such as being radical, infamous or a victim.
LORIN A. CARTWRIGHT, MS, ATC, CAA
You are the future of athletic training. Don’t be afraid to follow the signs that lead you down a path that is less traveled. Design, innovate, create and lead. Get involved. We are all here because of athletic trainers who thought outside the box. You will make us all proud.
MARK COBERLEY, MS, LAT, ATC
Volunteer for activities that will allow you to network with other AT professionals and expand your network. Learn to be uncomfortable and constantly learn from others as you build your philosophical foundations and principles you will work by as a clinician and professional. Take the best you learn from others that will also be the best for you, and firmly set a core set of standards you will stand by that fits who you are.
TONY FITZPATRICK, MA, LAT, ATC
First off, have fun! Make new AT friends. They will be important as you mature into this amazing profession. Enjoy those moments when you see them as they will refill your cup! No one knows athletic training like other ATs! We all debate, laugh and cry together; it is what has kept me going for 35 years as an athletic trainer.
Second, trust your education! Our AT education is solid, but it can be scary when you are finally out on your own, with no back up AT. Take a deep breath and go to work!
Third, never be satisfied with that initial education. Change is OK! This is where those friends come into play. Watch what is being done around you, whether it’s in other work environments or different practice settings. Ask yourself, “How can I make that work where I’m at?”
TORY R. LINDLEY, MA, ATC
My advice: Have a hero; be a hero. You can’t maximize your potential in this profession if you don’t have mentors, use mentors and be a mentor to others.
PAUL A. ULLUCCI JR., PhD, DPT, ATC
Take care of your athletes, respect your coaches but more so yourself and your own knowledge. You will work long hours and many days in a row, but if you remember those things, you will have a great career.