Why Professional Involvement?

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I recently attended the annual Southeast Athletic Trainers Association Clinical Symposium & Members Meeting and the constant question I hear is why do more people not attend and what value is it to me? Well, I could not begin to address it all but there is great value, both tangible and intangible. The professionals and friends I have met and conversed with through the years are invaluable to my personal growth as a professional. I learn different ways of gaining outcomes beyond the research, though that is valuable too. I developed mentors and may actually teach others to through conversations you can’t have staring at a computer screen. Passion for my profession and career choices have only been enhanced. With an unfortunate chasm that is growing between educators and the traditional Athletic Trainers that grieves me. We can learn from each other and I’d challenge all educators to annually spend time in the clinic or on the field mastering their skills. One of my mentors regularly volunteers and or contracts her time with sports teams. What better way to engaged and practice what you preach. Those in traditional settings benefit from opportunities to teach or guest speak. Our students need to see it all and grow in their confidence, not just pass the exam. Opportunities at the District level allow a connectivity with our national, state and district leaders. You have time to talk one on one and express your views and concerns. Take advantage of that as we have a vibrant profession with limitless opportunities for learning and growth. Do it with passion, get involved and make your voice heard. It’s more than just another CEU opportunity.  By the way, the picture is of our SEATA / NATA Hall of Fame members.
Jim Mackie, M Ed, ATC, LAT
President, Southeast Athletic Trainers association

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