Updated: Nov 11
We didn’t want leave March without acknowledging our athletic trainers during National Athletic Training Month! Sara Cline, Sara Collins, and Dennis Borg were happy to share a bit of information about their journey to becoming an AT and specifically to The Micheli Center. To say we’re lucky to have them is an understatement!
Meet Sara Cline Sara grew up playing field hockey, basketball, and softball. It wasn’t until it came time to apply to college when she discovered athletic training as a career option to combine her love of sports and interest in the medical field. After graduating with a degree in athletic training, Sara got a job as an AT in the college setting while simultaneously working toward her master’s degree. After some time, Sara became interested in other settings for athletic trainers and came across a job opening in Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital for a triage coordinator/physician extender. After working at BCH Sports Medicine for some time, Sara became more familiar with The Micheli Center where she felt clinical medicine, injury prevention, and sports performance blended seamlessly. She expressed interest in transitioning to the center when a position became available and felt as though she finally landed the perfect role. “I have also been able to learn from and coordinate care with some of the nation’s best sports medicine physicians, surgeons, and researchers.” Sara thinks it’s important for people to know that the field of athletic training is a well-rounded profession that demands expertise in clinical evaluation, injury management, rehabilitation, sports performance, and injury prevention, as well as other skills that sometimes are not taught in school (compassion, empathy, honesty, patience, etc.). Sara also believes that often times parents, coaches, and athletes are hesitant to report injuries because they are afraid they won’t be allowed to play. As a result, she hopes people understand that athletic trainers want athletes to remain in the game just as much as the athletes do. Sara thinks that the focus on injury prevention at The Micheli Center is such a progressive and essential way to approach sports. She stressed that not only is the focus on injury prevention but also helping to advance performance in sports. Meet Sara Collins Around the age of 12, Sara was in physical therapy for a dance-related injury and found herself very intrigued by her treatment plan. After years of being treated by both physical therapists and athletic trainers, she was especially interested in the role of the AT since they knew how and why injuries happened. They made her exercises dance-specific and gave her advice on gaining more strength to help prevent injuries in the future. Sara was equally as inspired by her high school athletic trainer who encouraged her to pursue a career in athletic training. She realized that the combination of a strong medical background paired with strength and conditioning to improve performance and prevent injuries was going to be a great fit for her. Prior to joining The Micheli Center, Sara worked as a rehabilitation aide and athletic trainer at an outpatient physical therapy clinic as well as an athletic trainer/physician extender/orthopedic technician/clinical fitness specialist at a local hospital. When searching for a change in scenery, Sara found that the mission of The Micheli Center aligned with her professional philosophy of trying to avoid or minimize injuries while encouraging a holistic outlook on physical activity regardless of the sport or skill. She loves that she still works with athletes and clients of all ages and has had the opportunity to expand the populations and programs at the center. “It’s exciting to be at the forefront of this emerging field. I truly consider this my dream job!” Sara feels that athletic trainers are under-utilized and under-represented in the healthcare setting but that there is starting to be an increase of ATs employed in more non-traditional settings. Furthermore, she believes there is a tremendous value in the multifaceted skills they possess that can help keep so many populations healthier and ease the strain on other healthcare providers. Meet Dennis Borg Dennis has always had a passion for sports, both watching and playing. After doing some research, he found that the field of athletic training would allow him to combine his love for sports and interest in exercise and medicine into a career. Before working at The Micheli Center, Dennis was a physical therapy aide in a clinic and athletic trainer at a local high school. As a PT aide, he found that the clinic saw a lot of the same clients repeatedly for ongoing issues. This is when he realized that it was possible that the cause of the injury wasn’t being addressed or given the proper attention. After coming to this realization, Dennis started looking at the body as a unit rather than just the part or region that was injured. While he was providing athletic training coverage, he was evaluating injuries, assisting with rehab plans, taping, and covering practices and games. Over one summer, he developed a strength and conditioning program with local high school teams to help with injury prevention and sports performance. Once fall sports started up again, Dennis found that the injury numbers were down which allowed him to spend more time on those who sustained injuries throughout the season. Dennis became interested in The Micheli Center when he read that the mission was to prevent athletic injuries. He instantly knew it was the perfect fit for him. “This was an opportunity for me to combine my strength and conditioning knowledge with my background in athletic training and work with athletes year round to decrease their risk for injury.” Dennis thinks a common misconception is that athletic trainers are personal trainers for athletes. He would like to further clarify that athletic trainers are caregivers for athletes – performing injury evaluations, treating sports-related injuries, working with sports teams at all levels, and keeping athletes healthy overall.