In-Depth Look: Athletic Trainer for the United States Soccer Federation
Steven Bagus, ATC, NASM-PES is an Athletic Trainer for the United States Soccer Federation.
Describe your setting:
I work with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). In this setting, I work with a variety of national soccer teams at a variety of locations. This setting allows for a great deal of travel and the opportunity to work with athletes of different ages.
The diversity of coaches, athletes and staff members provides a constantly changing atmosphere. This setting forces me to use all of the tools in my athletic training box. Learning the health history of the players, their needs during training camps or tournaments and the expectations of the coaching staff in a short time frame and an unfamiliar environment helps me to be a more dynamic Athletic Trainer (AT).
How long have you worked in this setting?
My first experience working with the USSF was in 2009, but I entered my current role in January 2016.
Describe your typical day:
A typical trip working for the USSF involves meeting the team at an airport to travel together for international trips or traveling to the location of a domestic camp.
The camp begins with setting up your athletic training facility, typically an empty hotel room. A typical camp has an average of 12 boxes of athletic training supplies. Once your functional athletic training facility is set up, it is important to review the physicals for each athlete. Each day of camp can be different depending on the needs of the team
As the AT, I am expected to join the team for all team meals, prepare the athletes for practice and games and evaluate and treat the athlete’s post-activity. Each day is exciting, challenging and demanding but can be a very rewarding experience as an AT.
What do you like about your position?
I love that this position allows me to travel all over the world with the highest level of athletes.
What do you dislike about your position?
The biggest challenge of this job is learning the needs and expectations of different athletes and coaches on a regular basis.
What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young AT looking at this setting?
My advice to young professionals looking for this setting is to be very flexible and excited to help the team accomplish their goals. If you are interested in working for a national program, seek out the medical administrator and see where you can help.