Panther Sports Talk – Athletic Training

The University of Northern Iowa offers many
degrees that allow students valuable hands-on experience in their major. Brad Wells shows us how the college of
education athletic training program is a positive for their students and all of UNI athletics. From traveling with teams to sitting
through the long hours of practice, UNI’s athletic training staff works
tirelessly to keep the student-athletes in the best
condition possible. One big key component for the training
staff is providing job experiences to students in the athletic training program at UNI. Students can start with making a few appearances each year at practices and games before
growing their experience into a more prominent role of working with the team for an entire
season. This opportunity for the student is a
huge benefit for both them but also the athletic
training staff. It’s a lot of hands-on experiences which
is really needed for their educational base. They have
classroom followed up by what we call their clinical experiences. So if you see them on the sidelines or
doing anything with our athletes that’s part of their clinical education requirements. The hands on
experience comes from all over eastern Iowa with students
working with area high schools, other colleges and are working in a
variety of sports. They go off campus with other schools like
Wartburg or the high schools, Cedar Falls, East High, West, Columbus, Blackhawks so they have a wide variety of
experiences but I would say over fifty percent of their experiences
here are on campus at UNI. While the athletic training students get
the hands on experience they need to further their careers, the UNI athletic teams get the
treatment and care they require in a timely manner. A graduating senior
from Sumner Iowa, Will Yungtum, has spent this past
school year assigned to one athletic team and worked
with them from day one of practice through their final game and even into
their spring workouts. I was working with the UNI volleyball team this past year and its been one of the best experiences I’ve had. It’s been a privilege of mine. Working with coaches they’re so trustworthy and they can always turn to you they know
that what you tell them is the truth and they can definitely trust
you. Working with the girls has been the best time. Athletic training graduates
need to have a much greater understanding than just the medical
knowledge and Will knows that some of the duties he’s had to perform in his time with the volleyball team you can’t learn in a book. You gotta
develop that good patient professional relationship and this is
definitely help me with doing that. Like I said before beforehand I really
had no experience doing that and so with getting his hands on
experience I really really enjoyed it and it’s helped out quite a bit. Will plans to pursue orthotics and
prosthetics as a focus in graduate school. Will feels
that his time with the UNI volleyball team when he joined his classroom knowledge
into a usable component while acting in a real job like
situation is a huge asset for his future. Relationship that you get to build with
those coaches and head athletic trainers here are
something that you’ll never forget the facilities we have here are top-of-the-line there’s plenty of
opportunities you can learn from here. That’s what’s neat about athletic
training education is because they get to see it in the classroom they get to
practice the skills hands-on but then when they’re working with us
with our athletes they get to actually see those things
that we’ve talked about in the classroom or practice those skills actually
happen. Before coming to the program I really knew I’ve always had pretty good people
skills I thought but definitely coming into the program actually putting you on the front lines and
really kind of almost forcing you into making that
confrontation with those coaches really and help need to develop as a person and
as an athletic trainer.

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