Summer is here and most of us athletic trainers finally have an off-season with some spare time on our hands. During the season(s) we tend to work such long hours that when it’s time to go home we're exhausted and have little time to do anything but eat and sleep – we deserve a break!
Aside from having some well-deserved downtime, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite reasons to love the off-season:
You finally get to relax and have some fun. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy all of the perks that come with the season – concerts, festivals, parades, and patriotic holidays to name a few. When other fun things are happening during the year I rarely have time to join in with friends and family so when I have some spare time in the off-season I try to fill it with as many enjoyable activities as I can.
You can focus on your own health and wellness. Taking care of everyone else’s injuries and wellness can sometimes lead to athletic trainer’s putting their own health second to their athletes. During the off-season is the perfect time to start training for that mini-marathon you’ve been thinking about running, lose a few extra pounds through a healthier diet, or establishing overall healthier habits that you can take into the busy season with you.
You may get to attend the NATA convention. I’ve been attending the annual NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo for over 30 years, many of those years have been to represent my companies and share the latest ankle bracing technology with fellow athletic trainers, and I still have a great time each year! From catching up with old friends, attending alumni functions, and sharing Ultra Ankle® products with people at the AT Expo the annual NATA convention never disappoints. I’ll be at the convention in Baltimore this year so make sure to stop by our booth #3074 (View AT Expo Exhibitor Map) to say hi and enter one of our contests!
You can work on your CEU’s without as many distractions. Given the number of continued education units each athletic trainer needs to acquire during the calendar year, this can be hard to complete when you’re in the midst of a sports season. During the downtimes I like to plan out my course of action for completing that year’s CEU’s and work to complete as many as possible when I can.
It’s the time for you to refresh and recharge. Taking a brief break from the grueling day-to-day schedule of an AT allows me to return to the training room with my batteries recharged and ready to prep for my next busy season. The summer is the perfect time for me to do inventory, set a budget and order supplies for next season, organize the storage room, and much more.
Taking advantage of slower times is one of the many ways an ATC can set themselves up for success each year, which is why we created The Athletic Trainer’s Guide to Maximizing the Off-Season – an e-book full of tips and tricks from Athletic Trainers with over 100 years of combined experience. Go ahead and download the e-book now, and then let us know in the comments below what you do each year during your off-season to make the best of your break.
Written by Rick Peters
Rick Peters is a Certified Athletic Trainer who has been advancing ankle bracing technology for three decades. Peters patented his first ankle brace in 1985, revolutionizing the industry by adding a hinge to traditional stirrup braces for greater mobility. In 1989 he was a founder and became President of Active Ankle Systems. In 1998 he co-founded Ultra Athlete LLC to develop the next generation of ankle bracing technology. Peters has 18 ankle brace patents and is considered an authority on ankle bracing technology worldwide.