Packers had been through a rough stretch of 25 years of
mediocrity. Several months later, I decided this was the right
decision for my family. I joined the Green Bay Packers January
Describe your typical day:
My typical day is the same as most any full-time AT working
the “daily grind.” We come in when it’s dark, and we leave
when it’s dark. There is not a typical day as each has its varied
challenges depending the time of year, intensity of the week
and a never-ending administrative load. I firmly believe all
ATs feel an unceasing commitment to try to get the job done
every day. Over the years, I’ve learned that it is never done.
We could work 24/7, and we’d never get everything done
because healthcare is never done. Sadly, athletic training
is not a 9-to- 5 job. It’s a serious commitment. Those who
passionately embrace it succeed.
What do you like about your position?
Game day is undoubtedly the “glitz and glimmer” of the NFL.
Game days are special. They’re electric. The more important
the game, the bigger the “high” is of a win – or the lower the
“low” of a loss.
For anyone who has ever been in a fraternal group – like with
the military, police, firefighters or various teams – there is
nothing compared to the relationships you build in the locker
room. There is not a player who retires from the game who
says they miss lifting weights, being sore and getting beat
up. They always say, “I’m going to miss the locker room.” You
can’t help but appreciate the people and relationships. I love
being relevant and included as a part of the locker room.
What do you dislike about your position?
I’ve said this a thousand times; my least favorite part of the job
is the grind of the hours. With the typical hours an Athletic
Trainer works, it takes a concerted effort to maintain some
normalcy to family/home and leisure life.
I would say another thing that I find challenging is the vast
corporate world of the NFL. The players have multimillion
dollar salaries. I struggle with the politics of dealing with all
that comes from an entourage of agents, medical consultants
and caregivers who advise and direct the players beyond our
concerted efforts. Many of these folks have nothing more
than a business relationship with the player, yet, in season,
we spend more waking hours with them than we do our own
families. The pressure on the players gives rise to a challenge
of balancing the many outside influences their personal
medical advisors bring to the table in relation to the care
rendered in our facility.
What advice do you have about your practice setting
for a young AT looking at this setting?
Choose the best school that fits your circumstances. Build
an impressive résumé and network with people in your chosen
field. I started my career by choosing a school that featured a
pioneer in the athletic training field.
I tried to never turn down an opportunity to build my résumé
through volunteering, taking an additional class or seeking
insightful experiences. Students and young ATs need to
understand there is mega competition for the glitzy jobs. There
are many bright, highly educated students, but so many of the
résumés look exactly the same. I think a goal for a young AT
should be to make their résumé likely to move from the big pile
to the small pile. It’s by having loads of experiences in and out
of your desired field/profession that makes your résumé pop.
Certainly you can’t understate the need to network. There is
no better place to network than your local, state, district and
national NATA meetings. Realize the classmate or AT intern
you sat next to in a lecture hall may one day be in a position to
recommend, or even hire you, for a job. You cannot afford to
be short-sighted about meeting other students, competitors
and show exhibitors. Take the time to put a name and
handshake with a face.
Don’t set your sights on attaining “average.” That just means
you are better than some folks, but a batch of folks are better
than you. Lastly, don’t set you goals too low; you are liable to
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