"There is no other job in the world where you can get paid to watch people play."

Role Model Photo Red Ganus

Health Field: Athletic Trainer

Number of years in the profession:
19 year

Years in College: 5 years

Professional Credentials:
MEd, LAT, ATC Certified Secondary Physical Education Teacher by TX State Board of Education Certification

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
Initially I utilized Athletic Training as a method of getting my college education paid through scholarships. I had every intention of becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon. After three years of schooling, my wife, then fiancee, helped me realize that I would not be happy doing anything else but Athleitc Training. I had been working in Athletic Training Rooms since I was a Freshman in high school. So I realized that it would be foolish for me to pursue any other path. I have never regretted my decision or been unhappy with my life.

What other careers did you consider?
Orthoperic Surgeon

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
God has laid opportunities in my life's path since I was in the sixth grade. I have had good friends that were student Athletic Trainers that showed me what they were involved in and sparked my interest. I met with my high school Athletic Trainer when I was starting in the eighth grade. He allowed me to accompany them to a ballgame. Interestingly enough, he had never done that before or since. When I decided to help out during that spring with spring football practice,I was recovering from a broken leg and "Doc" helped me rehab to get back to normal. My freshman year in high school when the first game night rolled around I was hooked.

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
At that time, internships were the only way to get your feet wet. I jumped in fully committed to the job. My father has always taught me to work hard at everything I do, so I did just that. My head Athletic Trainers motto was "See one, do one." I tried to learn everything I could, ask questions when I didn't know, and mimic what he was doing. This was the same thought process when I went to college. Work hard, pay attention, then step up and do it.

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
Juggling the class load with my time requirements in the fieldhouse while in college. I had to make choices and to this day I know I made the right ones. As I have said before, God had his hand in my career path. Hardship were of my own making. When it is God's will, the path may be challenging but I don't think of it as hard.

How did you overcome these challenges?
Got right with God. Got my mind right and focused on what I had to do, which is also what I really wanted to do.

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? No

Present Career as a Athletic Trainer

Describe an average work day for you.
During the regular school year, I open the Athletic Training room at 7:00am every Monday through Friday. We start school at 8:00am, so I can perform treatments for my injured athletes to help get them through the day. From 8:00am to 1:00pm, I take care of administrative details, visit physicians' offcies, and run any small personal tasks that I need done. From 1:00pm to 3:10pm, we have different athletic periods for which I take care of my athletes, prepare for practice, pack for games, and perform rehabs for post surgical kids. From 3:10 to the end of practice, I observe my teams, assist with equipment needs, provide hydration, perform first aid for fresh injuries, and continue rehabs. Depending on the season, this can run anywhere from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Finally, after practice I clean up, restock, finish any paperwork that needs completing, and head home.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?
High School (1100 students)

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
Strong work ethic, Ability to work alone, Self discipline, self esteem, creativity, and finally integrity. Faith in God helps.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I was quoted once in a magizine article about this same question. My response was/is: Seeing that athlete return to play after injury like he was never hurt at all, and the joy on his/her face when he realizes that he/she is back. Seeing athletes compete well and knowing that I had a hand in making that happen. Those are my rewards.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Jump in head first! There is no other job in the world where you can get paid to watch people play. My boss (AD/HC) and I kidded each other that we have jobs where we really don't have to work. It doesn't get much better than that!

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
Certainly. God chose this for me. I have a purpose in this field and I hope that I am doing a satisfactory job in his eyes. I don't imagine that he would have anything else he would rather me do.

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
Honestly, I continue to learn everyday. As for advanced degrees, I don't forsee that in my future but who knows. Right now I just want to be the best high school Athletic Trainer that I can be. I don't rightly know of anything out there that I could do to enhance me more than I have already done. If it's God's will for me to change job settings then that I guess would be a lateral move with new experiences and challenges. Now that might be fun.

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