Student athletic trainer featured in NATA News
Senior athletic training major Ryan Flynn is featured in the January issue of NATA News, a monthly publication from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. See what Ryan has to say about how he got interested in athletic training and why he chose UWSP.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Major: Athletic Training
Activities: Hunting, Fishing, Recreational Sports
Why did you decide to major in athletic training?
I was introduced to the profession by my school’s athletic trainer during Career Week in eighth grade. I viewed athletic training not as a “job” but as a lifestyle that I could enjoy, as well as a way to experience new events and make a difference in an individual’s life.
How do you balance school, AT responsibilities and a social life?
The best way to balance all of the responsibilities is good time management. This was a skill I did not possess when I first entered the program, but it has developed over the years. By utilizing time wisely and being productive throughout the day, you’re able to have free time and enjoy your hobbies when you go home.
Why did you choose University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point?
My high school’s athletic trainer runs a summer internship with UWSP and recommended the university for those wanting to major in athletic training. He told me how the program’s exceptional teachers care about their students, and he felt they really gave their students what they needed to succeed after graduation.
Once you become an athletic trainer, how do you plan to make a difference in athletes’ lives?
I want to make a difference in athletes’ lives by helping them grow and achieve their goals. I don’t just want to be the person they see when they have an injury, but someone who can give them advice on how to get better and grow through sports. When an injury does occur, I want to provide the best care I can for each individual and aid them through their recovery so they can live a fully functional life after their playing careers are over.
What is your most memorable moment thus far as an AT student?
My education has been a journey, and it’s hard to pick just one because the little moments are what produce the big moments. I can narrow it down to three memories in particular. The first was the day I received my acceptance letter into the athletic training education program, and the second was during a game when a player suffered a typical fibular fracture. In the heat of the moment, it was the small details performed by our AT that determined the injury. That instance taught me to follow through on clinical skills to prevent missing the small details. Lastly, this past summer I worked a weeklong football camp to prepare for the state high school all-star games. The hours were long and rigorous, but I still had a blast. That experience showed me I was in the right profession because I learned a lot and enjoyed what I was doing.
What have been your greatest challenges in the athletic training education program?
The greatest challenge has been time management. At times it’s hard to juggle your social life and family time within the major, but surrounding yourself with individuals who understand makes the transition better.
Describe your dream athletic training job:
My dream job would be in northern Wisconsin in a clinic with an outreach program to the high school setting.