Preceptor for the Department of Kinesiology
Did you have a preceptor that inspired you as a student, and if so, why?
Yes, her name was Junko and she is now one of the athletic trainers for the Arizona Diamondbacks. She worked track and field for years at the collegiate level and professional level. She has been a part of the Team USA Track & Field medical staff for years and served as part of their medical staff at the Olympic level. She showed me the other side of the sport and helped me grow to love it. Because of that I am thankful because all the hard work I put in with her helped me get to where I am today and continues to help me strive for bigger things, like being a part of the Team USA Track & Field medical staff.
How do you promote professional growth and development with your students?
We debrief at the end of every day. My students are required to discuss one thing they learned that day as well as one thing they did not like or something that they could improve on or we could improve on as a team. When it comes to discussing one thing they learned, they are free to talk about something they learned clinically in the athletic training room or anything related to track and field. They can learn how many meters the track is, how many spikes belong on each shoe, different types of shoes, cadence for sprinters, how high the hurdles are, etc.
How do you collaborate with students to meet learning objectives?
Discuss small goals that they have at the end of each day, and the following day they are required to discuss it when they come in and attempt to achieve that goal for the day.
What tasks/responsibilities are your students expected to take on?
Complete rehabilitation protocols as well as carry them out. Set up the track daily and maintain the training room as well as all track and field equipment. Complete evaluations for injured student-athletes.
What do you feel is the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your role as a preceptor?
Hearing the students saying “thank you” for everything I have taught them, especially when they have received an offer for a graduate position.
What is the best advice you could give to a young professional in the field of athletic training?
What you put in is what you will get out of the profession. If you say you want to be an amazing athletic trainer for a specific patient population, you need to put in the time to learn all you can about it. For example, track and field athletes; you need to understand each individual event and the requirements for that athlete to compete. Understand body composition, number of steps it takes for 100 meter sprinters to be successful, movement demands for a discus thrower or hammer thrower and how they differ, types of footwear needed for each event, how distance spikes differ from a sprinter’s or jumper’s spikes, muscle fiber type for a distance runner as opposed to a sprinter or mid-distance runner, etc. To be knowledgeable about the patients you are taking care of, you need to understand the demands and that takes extra time out of your day to research it. If you take the time to learn about more than what you are taught in classes, you will become the clinician you desire to be.
Edited for length and AP Style.