About the Author

Paul LaDuke, MSS, CSCS, ATC, USAW Level I

Hi!  Welcome to my “Promote the Profession” blog.  This is a blog promoting the profession of athletic training.  I passed the NATABOC Board Exam in February, 1995 but my athletic training experiences and interest started long before that.

I grew up in Denver, CO and my dad was the Athletic Director and Vice Principal of the Christian school that I attended.  Because of his role as AD, I began working behind the scenes of sporting events when I was in elementary school.  Some of my regular duties were water boy, clock operator, scoreboard operator, announcer, field set-up/tear down, concessions, etc.  My dad and I did it all.  I was even in the marching band.

I also became an athlete having the opportunity to play football, basketball and baseball in high school. I was honored to play college football at a small Baptist college in Wisconsin, lettering for 4 years and voted as captain my Senior season.  It was in college that I was first exposed to the profession of athletic training while studying to be a coach.  During my junior year of college, I suffered a devastating knee injury.  Throughout the subsequent surgery and 18 month rehabilitation process, I was taking Anat and Phys, Exercise Phys, Kines I & II, Intro to Athletic Training, etc.  and I discovered that I loved sports science and sports medicine.

After graduating from college with a BS in Secondary Education and getting married in the summer of 1990, my wife and I moved to Florida from Wisconsin where I started to teach and coach football.  It wasn’t long that both of us decided we didn’t like the weather and longed for changing leaves and even snow!  So, after 1 year of teaching and coaching, we decided to move back north closer to family (her parents lived in PA) and I decided to pursue athletic training.

It took me 4 years to accumulate the hours required by the NATABOC’s since abandoned Internship Route to Certification, but they are 4 years of great experiences and good friends.  I volunteered all of those hours (close to 2,000 if you add them all up) at 1 high school.  During those 4 years, I also completed a Master of Sports Science degree in Sports Medicine.

Since becoming an ATC, I have worked for 2 employers.  The first was a Sports Medicine Clinic from 1995 to 2001.  My clinical duties included 3 years at a high school and 4 summers providing care to a professional soccer team.  In 2001, I was hired by a local public school district as the school’s first full-time ATC.  The school has had the services of an ATC since the late 1970’s but the first ATC was part-time and the second ATC was a teacher-ATC.

In my 30+ years of experiences with high school sports (counting those days helping my dad), I have seen many changes.  I have also come to realize that every school in America that sponsors an athletic department needs the services of an athletic trainer.  The AT is just too valuable to the high school student athlete and their health.

If you have any questions or comments that you want to direct privately, please email me at justliftit@gmail.com.

2 Responses to “About the Author”

  1. habs1127 March 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Hi Paul! I am a high school senior and I would like to become an athletic trainer or specialize in anything that would allow me to work with ahletes in the future. My ultimate goal is to work with professionals. I love reading your blog and it I find it really helpful and interesting…do you have any tips that would help me reach my goals? Thanks!

  2. Angela Compton October 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    Hello. I am trying to gather data on stress fracture rates/stats in high school cross country athletes. I believe our school has a much higher percentage than what is average but I am also having difficulty getting any hard stats. We have had 2 femur stress fractures & multi tin & foot stress fractures–in 1-2 seasons. I am a nurse practitioner & a concerned parent. I am planning to bring this information to the school board. I saw your January 13th blog. I tried to get the full article but it said it was unavailable. If you could send it to me–I would greatly appreciate it.

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