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A Day in the Life of an Athletic Trainer

Meet Dani Moffit, PhD, MS, ATC. Dani is the Program Director of the Masters of Science in Athletic Training Program at Idaho State University. Previously, she was the undergraduate Program Director at Temple University in the Athletic Training Program.

How long have you been an AT?

I have been certified since 1992, so you do the math! ☺

Where do you currently work?

Idaho State University

What is the best part about your job?

I get to teach future athletic trainers. #OnceMyStudentAlwaysMyKid

What does a typical work week look like for you?

I teach classes 4 days a week in the mornings. I am on university, district, and national committees, so I spend time working on those. I also am required to do research, so that takes up time. Finally, I will fill in for the local high schools and ISU when they need extra AT hands.

Why did you want to become an athletic trainer?/What inspired you to become an athletic trainer?

I didn’t know what athletic training was when I came to school, but my dad was friends with the head AT, so he suggested I try working with him. I was thinking about PT or some other type of health care field, but once I started volunteering, I was hooked.

Who has been a major influence in your life and how?

I guess that would be my kids, Gabe and Alec. I never would have gone on to get my doctorate if they hadn’t existed. I wasn’t getting to see them in their sports because I was always working. I decided I needed a change, which is how I ended up back in school. When I changed jobs 5 years ago, it was because Alec was excited to move someplace else. They’re pretty fantastic!

What is your favorite part about being an athletic trainer?

Whenever I speak to students about the profession, I always say I love when I have to go out on the field/court because someone goes down. It’s not that I’m happy they’re injured; I like the adrenaline rush that comes with taking charge and knowing I am there to help this person.

What do you wish the general population knew about athletic trainers?

I would love for people to take our profession seriously and understand the amount of education we have. There are far too many people who think they can come in and do our jobs because all they see is the taping, the “hurry up and waiting” at games, and hearing the “just ice it”. I don’t think most people would ever consider questioning a doctor or a lawyer, yet it happens to us all the time.

What advice would you give to budding athletic trainers?

First, once you graduate, take advantage of the first few years of your career. Go someplace else. Take a job you never thought you’d enjoy. You can do anything for 2 years. Second, get involved. It can be locally, nationally, or something in-between. I have met so many amazing people because I am involved and I wouldn’t trade those friendships for anything in the world!

What is your favorite memory as an athletic trainer (student or professional)?

I have so many great memories! But most recently, one of my students got married and she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. It wasn’t me acting as an athletic trainer, but if she hadn’t been my student, I wouldn’t have shared such an amazing day with her!

What do you do in your free time?

I like to swim, crochet, and read. I also run and occasionally bike, but that’s more for exercise than for the love of it!

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

I’m going to have to go with AJ Duffy. This is a man who has done everything in the profession, has the most remarkable attitude, and we all know he loves what he does. If I can even be half the person he is, my grown up life will be complete!

Anything else you would like to add?

We all need to remember who got us to this place. We can’t do it alone. Whether we look back at Bobby Gunn or Julie Max, or at the students we’ve taught and the colleagues we’ve worked with, there are so many people who have shaped who we are today, as a professional and as a person. We need to lift each other up and thank those who have brought us to where we are today, because nothing can be done by ourselves.

Thank you to Dani Moffit! You can check her out here:

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