Throughout the history of athletic training, the college/university, higher education, professional sports, secondary school and various emerging settings have become home to athletic trainers wanting to care for all active populations. The impact of these ATs has helped their patients remain active and healthy in work, life and sport.
In honor of National Athletic Training Month this year, the March NATA News featured nine athletic trainers who are providing care to a variety of patient populations. They shared what drew them to the athletic training profession and their particular setting. They also shared how the AT’s essential skill set showcases this year’s NATM theme, “There’s an AT for That.”
Continue reading to learn more about Leonidas Katsetos, MSEd, LAT, ATC, and his athletic training journey in the college/university setting.
Why are you passionate about your patient population/setting?
I am most passionate about working with the college-age student athletes because I believe I have the ability to make an impact on students during an important time in their lives. But overall, I love having the opportunity to oversee and manage a student athletes’ injuries from day zero until they return to play. In addition, I enjoy having the opportunity to work with athletic training students from our program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.
Tell us about your most memorable day on the job.
It is difficult to just pick one throughout my career, but I would say the most unforgettable time has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Myself, along with my dedicated staff – like many departments across the country – were challenged to take on all aspects of the pandemic from testing, managing, contact tracing to making the hard decisions such as canceling competitions. One of the only reasons our athletic department was able to continue with practices and competitions, was because of the work my staff was able to perform throughout the day. It was the most memorable because my staff made me proud through the way they were able to adapt seamlessly to keep the department afloat and assist the university as a whole when they were called upon from the president’s office to the health services department. By the way, it is also a memory I’m willing to never experience again.
How have you advocated for your position and the athletic training profession throughout your career?
Using my platform as senior associate athletic director, along with the relationships I have developed throughout the campus and its administration, I have been able to continue to advocate for my department. I have been able to establish an environment within the athletics department where our athletic trainers will always have unchallengeable authority as it pertains to the medical management and return-to-play decisions for the injury and illnesses of our student athletes. Also, I make sure my department is always involved in the decision-making about practice and competition changes. I make it a priority to continue my efforts in speaking with university administration about increasing staffing and salaries as well.
Reflecting this year’s theme of “There’s an AT for That,” if you had to pick one essential skill ATs bring to all settings, what would it be?
Versatility. There are far too many days that don’t go as we plan. Athletic trainers have an innate ability to jump into action when a situation arises. They can use a unique and all-encompassing skill set to become essential to positive and successful outcomes.
How are you celebrating National Athletic Training Month this year?
By using public service announcements through our social media platforms and during our athletics events to educate and promote our profession. Most importantly, I am celebrating NATM by continuing to support and show appreciation to my staff.