"I became involved in athletic training, and I was hooked."

Role Model Photo Jeff Mann

Health Field: Athletic Trainer

Number of years in the profession:
9 year

Years in College: 6 years

Professional Credentials:
MS,ACT,LAT I have a MS and a BS in Kinesiology I am a licensed and certified athletic trainer

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
I became involved in athletic training in high school. I learned what it meant to be an athletic trainer and the rewards of working with athletes and I was hooked.

What other careers did you consider?
Ever since my freshman year in high school I knew I wanted to be an athletic trainer. I knew it was where I belonged.

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
Sports. I wanted to work in the sports field and this was a great fit for me.

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
I was able to work as a student athletic trainer in high school. That required me to be in the athletic training room every day learning how to care for athletic injuries. I learned how to tape ankles, how to treat injuries, how to bandage wounds, how to become organized and how to work as a part of a team.

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
Being an athletic trainer is a huge time commitment. You work on weekends and over many holidays. If you think about it, there is always a sporting event on telvision which means that there is always an athletic trainer there to work that event. I missed my family over some of the holidays but I had a great time with the teams I traveled with. The classes are challenging but anything worth doing is going to be difficult, if anyone could do it, then it would not be special. I had student loans to pay for college because my family could not afford to put me through college.

How did you overcome these challenges?
You learn how to manage your time and take advantage of the time off that you have to spend with friends and family. Time management helps to balance the studying requirements as well as the work in the athletic training room. I did not like having to take out student loans, but I knew that it was the only way I could afford college and I knew that I would be able to pay them back after college.

Was your family supportive of you through your college (or other training) years?

Did you have a job and work while you were going to college or other training? Yes

Present Career as a Athletic Trainer

Describe an average work day for you.
I get to work by 7:00am and I am leaving for home between 6:00pm and 6:30pm on non game days. On game days it may be as late as 1:00am or 2:00am if we are on the road. I have morning treatment for the injured athletes before school begins. I will see anywhere between 5 and 30 student athletes in the morning treatment sessions depending upon the time of school year and sports that are in season. I work on paperwork during the day instead of teaching classes. We have practices that start after school and go until 5:30 or 6:00.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?
High School athletic training room. We have 1,063 student athletes and two full time athletic trainers. We manage a staff of about 16 student athletic trainers. We care for 53 different sports teams 10 months a year.

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
You need to be organized, patient, lighthearted, have a sense of humor, empathy for people with injuries, disciplined and strong minded.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Taking an athlete who has an injury that is keeping them from participating in a sport, caring for that injury, rehabing the athlete and watching them return to the field of play.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Be prepared for hard and rewarding work. The hours are long and there is not a lot of glory given to you for what you do. You will do a lot of lonely work (work that no one else knows you do) that will be beneficial to you in your everyday tasks. You need to be organized and be prepared for people to come to you with problems that you do not have anything to do with because as an athletic trainer we are problem solvers; we are able to find solutions and not create more problems.

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
If I had to do it all over again I would become an athletic trainer. I love what I do to care for injured athletes and to help others. I have the ability and opportunity to impact thousands of lives over my career. That is a huge responsibility that I love because I love people, I love to help people and I love to watch people suceed in reaching their goals and dreams and if I can play a part in that then I think it is pretty cool.

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
I may decide to go after a PhD one day later in my career to work as a professor in a college when I am too old to keep up with the physical demands of the job, but right now I love what I do and where I am working.

View Other Professionals in this Field
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