It’s National Athletic Training Month, as such this week we are happy to highlight one of the athletic trainers that has been a key part of FITLIFE’s recent history. Andrew was involved in FITLIFE during his grad school years at A.T. Still University providing care to Salt River High School athletes and FITLIFE clients during the 2016-2017 academic year.
Name: Andrew Williams
Employer: Work-Fit at Boeing
Years of Experience: 3
FITLIFE: What’s your educational background?
Andrew: Associate’s degree in Natural Sciences from Santa Rosa Junior College, B.S. in Athletic Training from San Diego State University, M.S. in Post-Professional Athletic Training from A.T. Still University.
FITLIFE: What made you want to become an Athletic Trainer (AT)?
Andrew: I originally wanted to go into Physical Therapy but wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit due to the traditional patient population. My uncle then recommended AT, and I had not heard of the profession. He described it as…”you know the guys who come on the court when an injury happens?” I said yes…and the rest is…history (not to be cliché).
FITLIFE: What’s your favorite daily AT duty?
Andrew: Easy…orthopedic evaluation, specifically, complex orthopedic evaluation. The standard ankle or knee eval doesn’t really do it for me, it’s more about the chronic, re-occurring injuries that have not been successfully treated by prior rehabilitation professionals.
FITLIFE: In what/ways do you feel you’ve grown over the years?
Andrew: Hard to say, I would relate my growth to the advanced education received from ATSU, but also broadening horizons to the industrial setting. The industrial setting is so different than the traditional setting, and seeing how that functions has definitely added a different paradigm to my growth.
FITLIFE: If I was a brand-new AT or just thinking about joining the profession, what’s some advice you’d want to share?
Andrew: Be sure you want to do it! It’s sad to say, but many AT’s are overworked, undervalued, and disrespected. AT’s are masters in many different disciplines, if you work hard and dedicate yourself to learning new things, these downfalls can be overturned.
FITLIFE: What’s your philosophy as an AT?
Andrew: Be thorough, strive for professional growth, and never think something isn’t worth learning.
FITLIFE: How has your treatment philosophy developed throughout your career?
Andrew: I would say when I was first learning about healthcare and sports medicine, I was geared towards being most concerned about getting an athlete/patient to return to play as fast as possible. At this point it has shifted to ensuring that my patient has as many resources as possible to maintain optimal posture, mobility, and stability across all systems.
FITLIFE: What’s your favorite treatment technique? Why?
Andrew: Postural restoration. Although I am just learning it, any treatment technique that can increase range of motion from half of what it should be, to “within normal limits” in one activity/exercise (and with no manual assistance) is extremely valuable to any rehab professional.
FITLIFE: State one quote that has had a profound impact on you personally or professionally.
Andrew: “Never stop learning, if you do, you might as well quit.” – Vanessa Yang
FITLIFE: If you could have any super power what would it be? Why?
Andrew: I would want to fly. I have always wanted to since I was a kid and watching Dragon Ball Z. However, professionally it would be X-Ray vision (and the ability to turn it off), for obvious reasons.