Random Thoughts – Be a pros’ pro

2 Feb

Who would you say is a professional athlete that other professional athletes look up to?  I would say Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning,  Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Sydney Crosby are a few of the pros that the pros look up to.  Why?  Not only do these athletes play their games at a very high level, they hold themselves to a higher standard off the field.  They carry themselves with poise and dignity in all aspects of their lives.  They always dress sharp; they almost never respond negatively to the press; they hold themselves to a higher standard.  These pros’ pros seem to understand at all times that they are blessed by God to be able to play a game for huge sums of money.  They realize that their role in the game will soon be over and they want to leave their mark on the game by leaving it a better place than when they started.  Pros from the past like Carl Lewis, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlin, Joe Montana, Shawn White, Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, etc. changed the way their games were played.  The game was changed by these pros who held themselves to a different standard.  It wasn’t good enough for them to be a pro and collect a paycheck; they truly wanted to be the absolute best that ever played.  They were highly motivated to be the best and because of this incredibly high level of internal motivation, they left the game different than when they started.

How does this carry over to public relations and the athletic trainer?  What does this have to do with being an athletic trainer?  To me, being an athletic trainer is not just about the job I do for the few hundred athletes I see in a year.  The job I do will affect the view of the athletic training profession of everyone I come across.  If I do a poor job, people may think all ATs are incompetent.  The job I do now will also affect the athletic trainer who will take my position.  If I do a poor job, that athletic trainer will have an uphill battle in improving their position.  If I do a great job, people will have a high estimation of the athletic training profession and my successor won’t such a hard job to do in the PR department.

So, my challenge to any athletic trainer who happens to read this blog and to myself is to be a pros’ pro.  Hold yourself to a higher standard.  Carry yourself with the utmost dignity possible.  Dress nicer than you think you should.  Don’t react to negative criticism out of anger, react with professionalism.  Above all, we need to do our best to leave the profession of athletic training a better profession than when we started.  It is our duty to make life better for the ATs who follow.  It is our duty to honor the work done before us by building on the foundation laid before us.  Be a pros’ pro!

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