The Power of Networking

May 8, 2024 by Lydia Hicks
Photo of Pradeep Vanguri, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

In honor of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in May, NATA Now is highlighting some of our Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders at the state, district and national levels.

Athletic Trainers' Association of Florida President Pradeep Vanguri, PhD, LAT, ATC, was not only attracted to the networking that athletic training provides but has also contributed to it.

After connecting with some of his future athletic training mentors, Vanguri developed a liking for the profession.

“I first met an athletic trainer when I was referred to a clinic due to injuries [in high school],” he said. “There, I met David Mills, [MA, LAT, ATC], who would later be a mentor for me in various stages of my career and in the clinic.”

From then on, Vanguri met more athletic trainers who helped him understand their role in health care, inspiring him to learn more about the profession. Throughout his AT education and professional development, these connections have guided him in his journey to where he is now.

“Being a part of the Athletic Training Program at East Carolina University supported my desire to pursue it as a career,” he said. “Nothing was better than being on the sideline of practices and games as a part of the team.”

Vanguri shares further insight into his athletic training networking and leadership.


What was your first volunteer position within the athletic training profession and why did you get involved?

I started as a volunteer at a clinic in my hometown, Cary, North Carolina, which employed athletic trainers, and worked with my high school athletic trainer at Cary High School. I got involved in the profession because of my love of sports and I enjoyed the opportunity to work with players, coaches and other support staff.

Tell us about your current position as president of the Athletic Trainers' Association of Florida and what you hope to accomplish in this role.

As ATAF president, I hope to show members the value of the state association and increase membership. I hope to build connections with our community through parents, administrators and legislators, and work to improve our third-party reimbursement efforts. I strive to be purposeful in my goals and provide measurable outcomes to our members.

Why is representation in leadership important and how does it impact the profession?

To me, representation provides opportunity for those without a voice to feel seen and heard. As a leader in the profession, it’s my responsibility to promote representation for all our members. I actively seek opinions from all committee chairs and regional representatives to bring forward their ideas. Leadership is service to those you represent, and this can only help make our profession better.

How has volunteering helped you grow personally and professionally?

Service to my profession has allowed me to network with other athletic trainers across the country. As this will always be a people-profession, volunteering in athletic training has led to working relationships, research connections and, most importantly, friendships.

What’s your fondest memory of serving so far?

Every annual symposium I have worked with throughout my years of service to ATAF has been great. I have enjoyed learning from and networking with members of our state. This has helped make our state feel more connected and more like a home.

What advice do you have for other athletic trainers who want to give back to the profession?

Be involved. Giving your time at any level is giving overall to the profession