For the last three years, I have increased my efforts to promote the profession. Here are some things that I have learned from this process.
START SLOW: The first year I did anything was pretty small. I made some stickers to put in the athletic training room, created a weekly eblast that I emailed to all student athletes and coaches, and hung up some posters around the athletic training room It brought some awareness and really got the bug in me to do even more. Which leads me to my next advice. . .
DON’T OVERWHELM YOURSELF: The next year I went all out. I redesigned the stickers making them bigger and more attractive. I also redesigned the eblasts to be packed with information and also look aesthetically pleasing. I tweeted a tweet each day about athletic training (which seems easy but took me a lot of time and added stress since I am not a fluent tweeter). I completely decorated the athletic training room with a huge spinal column which I drew by hand. And then I had a campus wide treasure hunt that incorporated the spine and interesting facts about athletic training. I placed new clues each week and searched the campus for new hiding places. All while facebooking people to actually do the scavenger hunt. And to top it off, I tried getting my Sports Medicine Interns involved by shooting my first ever music video. To say the least, I was completely exhausted, disappointed, and stressed by the end of the month. The video never made it to completion. And the time spent was way more than I had anticipated.
USE YOUR RESOURCES: Instead of hand drawing decorations this year. I decided to scale back my efforts and just use the NATA poster that is provided for the month for decoration. I updated my stickers with the current logo but kept the look the same. I decided also to use my athletes as a resource and get them more involved. So instead of me coming up with things about athletic trainers, I made a wall covered in paper that the athletes could right things about athletic trainers. And instead of the eblasts each week which I am unsure how many athletes/coaches actually read them I decided to create an ask an athletic training jar that athletes could ask question and then I am going to post the answers on facebook. I am not doing a tweet a day rather I am tweeting and retweeting others and using the supplied tweets form the NATA. This has made the month much less stressful!
BE CREATIVE!: I always try to find a way to get people involved that is fun and creative. The scavenger hunt went very well so I am continuing it this year with a few changes. Instead of doing weekly clues, I am giving people a map of all the location with the answers. They then have to go to each location and match up the questions provided on the other side of the map to the answer. This decreases setup time for me, gives people a longer time to complete the task, and gives all passerby’s the information without having them so the entire scavenger hunt. I will let you know how it goes and post pictures later. Meanwhile her are some photos from last year! I will also post the new stickers in my portfolio on Friday! Also visit the Mills Athletic Training FB page for additional photos!!!!