Archive for January, 2012

Looking Ahead to National Athletic Training Month

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
As the calendar turns, it’s time to prepare and start thinking about what lies ahead. For Athletic Trainers, March is coming quickly and March equals National Athletic Training Month. This year’s theme is “Athletic Trainers Save Lives.” It is important for us to promote the profession and our knowledge and skill on a daily and weekly basis, but the month of March provides us the opportunity to really reach out to our communities both in society and the medical communities around us.

As a Young Professional, I am fairly new to whole idea of National Athletic Training Month, but it is one I have taken on full bore and I would invite all Athletic Trainers to do the same. Many student organizations across the country are participating in the NATA Student Committee’s video contest. Definitely check out those videos on YouTube and support their groups. You can view some of the videos on the BOC’s YouTube featured playlist.

Last year, for National Athletic Training Month, I used Facebook heavily to promote the profession. In fact, I think some of my friends got tired of it, but that’s okay. I’ll be back at it again this year too. This year I also have my own personal blog related to athletic training so it will be plastered with articles and posts for National Athletic Training Month. Another outlet that I used last year is my work email tagline had an athletic training quote on it. I will be using a new one this year on there in addition to my email tagline in my personal email. Lastly, each of my athletic training blog posts ends with my own tagline so I promote athletic training on a daily basis in many forms of media.

You can also coordinate community events and have your Mayor sign a proclamation honoring National Athletic Training Month in your community.

Share what you or your athletic training department is planning for National Athletic Training Month.

Every Athlete Deserves an Athletic Trainer

Written By: Mike Hopper, ATC


High School Athletic Training Setting: An In Depth Look

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

An In Depth Look… of Paul LaDuke, ATC
Head Athletic Trainer, Lower Dauphin School District in PA

Describe your setting:

I am the full time BOC Certified Athletic Trainer (AT) for a public school district in Pennsylvania.  There are 1,200 students in grades 9-12, but my assistant and I are responsible for all the athletes in 7th-12th grades.  We typically have 1,000 student athletes participate in our athletic program through the course of the 3 sports seasons.   The school contracts an assistant athletic trainer through a local physical therapy clinic to provide services to our athletes at the middle school.   We each have responsibly to staff activities for specific teams and fill in for each other as the need arises. 

How long have you worked in this setting?

I have been in the high school setting for 14 years.  I worked for another public school through a clinic before I was offered this current job.  I have been at my current position for 11 years. 

Describe your typical day:

I am married and have 3 school aged kids ranging from 3rd grade up to 9th grade.  So my morning is usually focused on spending time with the family as they prepare for school starting at 6am until my youngest leaves at 8:45am.  I will go to school around 10am during the spring and fall sports seasons and work until the end of events, which is usually 6:30pm.  During the winter months, I get to the training room around 1pm and stay until the last practices or games are over, normally around 9:30pm.  

During the school year, I typically average 48 hours/week during football season (mid-August-early November), 40 hours per week during the winter sports season (mid-November-February) and 45 hours per week during the spring sports season (March-early June).   For the 8 week summer break, I open the weight room in the mornings and run strength and conditioning programs for our teams.  For the past several years this has been all morning work from 7am to noon. 

What do you like about your position?

There is a lot to like about working at the high school setting.  First and foremost to me is getting to work with the kids.  It is really enjoyable watching these young people develop from 7th grade through 12th grade.  It is even better when they come back from college and stop in to say hello.

I also love the variety that I get in the high school setting.  Last year I provided services to over 250 games from the 7th grade level through the varsity level, from scrimmages to playoff games.  I get to work with 7th grade adolescents who can barely run 100m to elite athletes who never cease to amaze with their talents.  The variety of personality, sport and injury keep me learning new things and never bored.

What do you dislike about your position?

There isn’t much to dislike, but with a wife and athletic kids, I often have a conflict with my hours.  I have had to miss some of my kids sporting events and helping with homework.  I also miss family dinner which for a traditional guy like me is something that is a struggle.  But, the school administration and my assistant have always helped out so that I don’t miss the big events like concerts, important games, field trips, etc.  I also get to have breakfast with them every day to make up for missing dinner.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer looking at this setting?

The high school setting is an intense setting with a lot of demand on ATs from parents, athletes, coaches and administration.  There is demand on your time because they know you are a valuable asset to the athletic department.  Yes, you will work nights but building those relationships and being a positive role model for young people is worth the sacrifice.  The high school athletic trainer must also be well versed in a wide variety of skills.  I often tell people that the high school athletic trainer has the widest ranging skill set of any athletic training setting.  Because of this you must be confident in what you know and willing to constantly learn to be better at what you do.  The high school setting isn’t a setting for an AT who is looking to have it easy.

The Next Generation of Leaders

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Athletic training is a people centric profession built around networking.  Making connections with professionals, peers, and patients is at our core. Experienced professionals and Hall of Fame inductees will often say “young professionals are the way of our future”.  The respected athletic training founding fathers are beginning to retire.  To ensure a progressive and evolving profession for the future, we should take a strong look at how we are mentoring and developing athletic training students.  What are you doing to help, develop, shape and mold future leaders of our profession? 

Mentoring Matters.  Sharing knowledge and skills can be career changing.  Be a mentor by providing professional guidance with those who are less experienced.  Help new professionals become committed to the cause. Athletic training will only continue to flourish if we have leaders take ownership and guide the way.  Be an example in providing high quality patient care. 

Take mentoring to the next level. Find a match. Invite followers. Provide an incentive for them to be involved.  Your efforts will help to build an affinity for the profession.

I am terribly grateful and will forever be indebted for all that I have learned and continue to learn from my mentors.  I feel it is important for passionate leaders to share a spark of their flame and light a fire in others to promote and further the profession.

Take pride in yourself and your profession.  Even the small actions of 39,000 professionals will be felt across the nation if we band together and work in unison. Experienced leaders need to take “young guns” under their wing and mentor them.  It is important to know where we came from and how we got to where we are today.  It is equally important to groom future leaders and this can be achieved through mentorship.  Senior students can assist their novice peers.  ACIs can counsel and guide students.  Managers, staff and students can learn up the chain. As we move forward we want to take strong and progressive professionals with us.  Take action to bring a student or colleague under your wing and share your triumphs and tribulations with them through time.

Written By: Jessica O'Neel, MS Ed, ATC


Dreams for Athletic Training

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I believe it is important to have “dreams.”  These threads of future consciousness allow us to explore what we would like to see happen in the future.  Dreams can also act as a vision for others to follow and progress towards their making a reality.  Martin Luther King, Jr. famously shared his dream and his words are still inspiring and motivating people today.  As I lie awake at night, I have the following dreams for the profession of Athletic Training:

  • Remember and learn from the past and continue to move forward with creativity and innovation for the future.
  • Always remember that Athletic Trainers are qualified healthcare providers with tremendous value to give to the physically active.
  • Every Athletic Trainer will become a guardian of the profession and fight for its place within the healthcare system.
  • Evidence-Based Practice will become a mainstay as a way for us to provide increased value to our patients.
  • Every active person who wants access to appropriate healthcare get access (including Athletic Trainers).

 “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”

The Trumpet of Conscience
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

What are your dreams for the profession?

Written By: Chad Kinart, MS, ATC


What's Your Vision for the New Year?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Happy New Year! The BOC is looking forward to an exciting year ahead, supporting you in the profession while providing new, value-added services for Athletic Trainers and BOC Approved Providers.

As you may already know, the BOC revised the 2012 recertification requirements, which you can read more about in the latest edition of the Certification Update. Also look for a new BOC Central™ logo as part of an updated design of your profile along with the same features. We also began sending electronic BOC certification cards and certificates last September, so please print your certification card to carry with you and save the email containing the PDF file.

The 2012 BOC blog will have new articles with you in mind, including a feature of an AT in each practice setting called “A Day in the Life.” If you are an AT who would like to have an appearance in a blog post, please contact We’ll also have interesting themes throughout the months, including highlights of March’s National Athletic Trainer Month. Please share the blog with your colleagues or students and join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

We thank Jerry Diehl for serving as Public Director on the BOC Board of Directors from 2005 to 2011 while welcoming Amy DeRosa who is serving as the new Public Director and Jim Malseed, MEd, ATC, RAA, who will be serving as Athletic Trainer Director.

As BOC Board of Director President, Peter Koehneke, MS, ATC, said, “The future is as bright as we are willing to construct it by being prepared for the upcoming changes in healthcare while continuing to embrace the global opportunities available. The BOC will continue to promote excellence in all we do to provide the value you expect in return. We look to continue to excel as a premier credentialing agency for our credential holders and to ensure protection of the public through the exam and recertification program.”

What is your vision for 2012?