These question(s) identify and address the interests, needs and concerns of young athletic training professionals. Young professional Mike Hopper, ATC, has teamed up with the experience of Danielle Kleber, ATC, to highlight some of the issues young professionals find themselves dealing with early in their careers.
Many people in this new generation of employees are more apt to text or email rather than call. What are your thoughts on the various forms of communication?
I love texting and emailing! For me, it is for the personal reason that I don’t enjoy spending time on the phone and it allows me to circumvent that quite a bit. I also have a terrible memory and subscribe to a service at www.followup.cc which allows me to set reminders when replying or forwarding emails. In addition to helping me remember things, I am able to process through messages and keep my inbox clean with this service so things don’t pile up.
Taking some time to set up your email and text group lists is helpful too. Making efficient use of your time is important in this profession, so being able to quickly message a group of people without too much time spent is a great tool.
I could go on and on about the benefits of texting and email, but I think the newer generation of employees already understands these.
So, my next bit of advice is to be cautious with these forms of communication. When you are communicating with someone, it is important to be mindful of their preferred mean of communication. If your team physician calls you every time, they probably prefer to speak with you rather than sending a flurry of text messages. If an Athletic Director comes to personally see you with information, they would probably appreciate personal conversations rather than an impersonal email. For now you should mimic other’s preferred format. Once you’ve established yourself, you can begin to “train” others to mimic your preferred format.
It is probably also a smart idea to be mindful of your grammar and spelling when texting and emailing. Yes, they are less formal means of communication than a formally written letter but that doesn’t mean people won’t judge you. If you are a new professional and trying to establish yourself within a school or company, don’t give people easy reasons to discount you. It is one thing to text your friend and a very different thing to text your boss.
Michael Hopper, ATC, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Management: Athletic Training Concentration from Southeast Missouri State University in 2010. He is a current graduate student through the University of South Florida working towards a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Athletic Training. Hopper has worked with athletes of all ages from youth sports all the way up to professional baseball and currently works for Monroe Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Waterloo, IL.
Danielle Kleber, ATC, attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Leisure Management with emphasis in Athletic Training and went on to complete her master’s coursework at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in Fitness and Wellness Promotion. Her professional experience includes collegiate and high school experience and she has worked with athletes at all levels of competition. Currently she works at the Director of Operations at Athletes’ Training Center, a sports performance and physical therapy facility in Omaha, NE.