Young Professional Brief

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.

What factors do you consider to satisfy your continuing education (CE) requirements? Are there specific courses, specific material you are interested in? How do you decide what to attend or courses to complete?

Now that I am more established in my career, I choose my CE opportunities differently than when I was just starting out.  Now I get to be more selective and focus on topics that are more pertinent to my work or my personal focus.  It wasn’t always that way, though.

Early on, my budget was so limited that I had to be especially creative in finding ways to get low cost CEUs.  I ended up joining the Omaha Sports Medicine Alliance that provided lectures and an annual symposium in our community.  Being part of that committee allowed me to attend those events for free.  That was a tremendous help each year in gaining the CEUs I needed.  That group also allowed me to professionally network and has helped me many times over, including being responsible for leading me to my current job.

I also wasn’t quite sure what my professional focus would lead me towards.  Being young I felt I had to take in information about any and all subjects because of the nature of our job and needing to know so many things in many different areas.  Now that I am more established I feel more comfortable about narrowing my focus.

Currently, I am most interested in strength and conditioning principles and trying to master that field, so most of my CE choices revolve around that topic.  It’s pertinent to my role of running a sports performance center, but it has also exponentially improved my rehab tool box.  My other recent focus has been on the document titled Pre-hospital Care of the Spine Injured Athlete with an emphasis on connecting EMT professionals with athletic training professionals through on-field practice sessions.  So, most of my choices now revolve around those topics.

Remember, as all current ATs have an expiration date of 12/31/2013, the BOC offers a List of Active Approved Providers to help you in planning your CE opportunities.


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. 



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