Workplace Wellness, Youth Sports Safety are Priorities for NATA and New President

Friday, June 22, 2018

DALLAS – The National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s (NATA) new president, Tory Lindley MA, ATC, brings more than 20 years of experience in sports medicine, including working with the NCAA Division I and NFL, as well as a passion for youth sports safety and workplace wellness.


NATA will welcome Lindley, senior associate athletic director for health, safety and performance at Northwestern University, as its new president Thursday, June 28, during the association’s 69th Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in New Orleans.


“As athletic trainers, patient care has been and continues to be our first priority,” said Lindley. “Therefore, we have an obligation to ensure that all patients who can benefit from preventative services, and continuum of care, have access to athletic trainers. This includes athletes, industrial workers, performers as well as public servants. To achieve this we will collaborate with groups including parents, legislators and employers to identify, address and eliminate barriers to appropriate care.”


While his agenda remains nimble, one of Lindley’s top priorities is NATA’s long-term commitment to improving safety in sport and patient care for student athletes. According to the latest published study, only 37 percent of public high schools have a full-time athletic trainer.


“Our student athletes deserve better,” said Lindley. “A school should not be permitted to sponsor high-risk sports without employing at least one athletic trainer. At the same time, NATA has to continue to lead important inter-association discussions to develop a more consistent standard of care for college athletes.”


In addition to sports medicine, Lindley also plans to shed light on how athletic trainers are changing the landscape of workplace wellness.


“Athletic trainers are experts in injury prevention which benefits both the patient and institution. Fortune 500 corporations are hiring athletic trainers to develop and implement prevention and wellness programs to reduce time loss and increase productivity,” said Lindley. “As recently as 2017, the U.S. Department of the Navy (DON) advanced the utilization of athletic trainers throughout the Navy and Marines to prevent musculoskeletal injuries and to rehabilitate and recondition service members after injury. The success of this initiative has tripled the number of athletic trainers serving our nation’s elite.”


“Tory’s passion for athletic training, in addition to his experience, vision and commitment to lifelong service, is the perfect combination to continue the great work of his predecessors,” said David Saddler, NATA executive director. “He is a proven consensus builder who remains mindful of every employment setting while providing goal-oriented, future-minded and intentional leadership.” 


Lindley is currently the senior associate athletic director for health, safety and performance and director of AT services at Northwestern University, where he has worked since 2002. In addition, he operates as a consultant for many institutions including noted universities, the NCAA and the NFL. Prior to Northwestern, he was head athletic trainer at Eastern Michigan University and a clinical supervisor and lecturer. His depth of experience also includes working with youth and high school sports as well as various NFL teams. He is a published author in the Journal of Athletic Training, Athletic Therapy Today and Rehab Management, and serves as an associate editor of the Athletic Training & Sports Health Care journal.