Applying for a National Athletic Trainers’ Association Award
Please keep the following tips in mind when completing your candidate profile:
- While the entire profile is considered for the Gail Weldon Award, an area of particular importance is the mentorship provided to women in athletic training.
- Honorary Membership is awarded to a non-AT with 15 years of involvement with the profession or NATA.
- The Jack Weakley Award of Distinction, formerly President’s Challenge, is awarded to a non-AT who has made a recognizable improvement in the quality of health care in the area of athletics, athletic training or sports medicine.
- The Athletic Trainer Service Award is based only on local and state participation with 20 years of certification and membership.
- The Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award is based only on district and national participation with 20 years of certification and membership.
- The Eve Becker-Doyle Leadership Award is based on leadership within the National Athletic Trainers’ Association only. The candidate must have a minimum of 40 years certification and membership.
- The Hall of Fame is based on impact and contributions to the profession and the association with 30 years of certification and membership.
The ATSA and MDAT are equally important and distinguished awards. Many candidates, due to their volunteer history, may qualify for one but not have the experiences required for the other. Based on the focus of each award a committee may, with the candidate's permission, recommend that the candidate's profile be considered by a different committee.
The Hall of Fame is reserved for only those athletic trainers who far exceed other members in terms of their unique contributions to the profession and NATA. The Hall of Fame is an honor that is second to none. Because of this, induction is dependent on a candidate and their nominator clearly providing evidence of the candidate’s contributions within the candidate profile. Every contribution to the profession and NATA should be included and thoroughly explained. The committees can only consider what is clearly presented and explained in the profile, not what might be implied. Each candidate is fairly evaluated by the committee based on the requirements to be designated an award recipient.
The time to make one’s best case for any award is not after decisions are made but during the application process, before the October 1 deadline.
*Please note that activities required as a condition of your employment will not enhance your candidate profile. Although these contributions may be significant to you or your employer, if you are being compensated for it or it is required to maintain your position, it will not impact your profile in a positive or negative way.
The Nominator’s Role
It is the nominator’s responsibility to:
- Understand the eligibility and criteria for each award
- Assist the candidate with completing and submitting all required forms before the October 1 deadline.
- Contact potential advocates to confirm that they are willing to complete the advocate form and are aware of the deadline.
- Provide a valid email address for each advocate.
- Track all required candidate profile sections and documents and ensure all are complete and submitted by the deadline.
- Ensure that the candidate’s profile provides thorough, detailed evidence of their eligibility for the award for which they are applying. Hall of Fame candidates must also explain the impact of all activities included. This information must be communicated within the candidate profile. It is the duty of the nominator to ensure that all information is included and thoroughly described and there is no such thing as too much information or too much detail. The review committee will not give credit for information, activities or impact that is implied but not stated and explained in writing within the application materials.
Helpful Hints for Candidates
*While candidates for every award should fill out their profile as detailed and thoroughly as possible, these tips are especially important for Hall of Fame candidates.
- Have a friend or colleague help you fill out the candidate profile. A colleague can “interrogate” you about your professional activities and contributions and ensure that your humility is not preventing you from thoroughly completing your profile. It is understandable that you may not remember every detail of every activity but please complete the profile to the best of your ability.
- List every volunteer job you have ever had (local, district, national, anything related to athletic training).
- List every award you have ever received (local, district, national and others).
- List any facilities, scholarships, etc. that have been named for you based on your contributions.
- List every office you have held, regardless of level and/or age.
- List everything you have ever done to support governmental affairs initiatives at the local, state and national levels, such as finding sponsors for bills or visiting elected officials. Include any outcomes that might have resulted from your efforts.
- Include fundraising efforts (beyond personal monetary donations) for academic scholarships and efforts to enhance opportunities for athletic training students or practitioners.
- List every workshop and conference that you participated in, the role you played and how it made a difference.
- List every lecture, presentation, etc. you gave and include the location and date. This includes athletic training conferences, service clubs, booster groups, etc.
- Include efforts to support athletic trainers in underserved populations or emerging settings (i.e. high schools, universities, clinics, etc.). Efforts on behalf of organizations outside of your employer will serve to enhance your profile.
- List every time you supported public relations efforts by hosting an activity, organizing an event, participating in an interview and any advocacy for the profession and/or the NATA.
- To the best of your recollection, include every possible way you have enhanced the profession and/or the NATA since the beginning of your career. You cannot include too much information.
- If you were a founding member of an athletic training group or organization at any level, be sure to include it within your candidate profile. Include, in detail, the results of your efforts.
- List efforts to support athletic training students, outside of job responsibilities, that assisted them in becoming better practitioners.
- Include activities performed in your community to show the value of athletic trainers (i.e. volunteering for a local 5k) and explain the impact your efforts had on the community.
- Provide evidence of your impact on the lives of the athletes you served that went above and beyond standard profession care (i.e. anti-tobacco efforts).
- If you have represented the athletic training profession by volunteering in local, state, and/or national events, include these instances in your candidate profile and describe the impact it had on the community at-large.
- List any innovation or original action in your professional life that impacted the profession and/or NATA.
- In addition to listing all professional activities within the candidate profile, Hall of Fame candidates must also explain the impact of all activities included. This information must be communicated within the candidate profile. All activities and the impact of listed activities must be explained in detail. It is the duty of the nominator to ensure that all information is included and thoroughly described. Again, there is no such thing as too much information or too much detail. The review committee will not give credit for information, activities or impact that is implied but not stated and explained in writing within the application materials. Humility is wonderful, but it will not enhance a candidate’s profile. The profile must be complete and accurate.