Elizabeth “Liz” Koehling ’15 is one of two athletic training students selected to represent District III (DC, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) at the 2014 Student Leadership Workshop by the Institute for Collegiate Sports Medicine in May in Long Beach, Calif.
Liz had to go through a rigorous application process, as well as, write essays about leadership and ways to improve the athletic training profession.
“This workshop allows Liz to interact directly with current and previous leaders within the field of Athletic Training (NATA presidents, top researchers, NATA Hall of Famer, etc),” said Debbie Bradney, department chair for athletic training.
“The connections she makes will be priceless when pursuing graduate school and jobs. I believe being selected for this Student Leadership Workshop illustrates Liz’s current leadership abilities, but also provides an opportunity to improve on these skills. She is one of 20 students chosen for this conference from the entire country. I am glad Liz is being recognized for the leadership qualities we see in the classroom and in her clinical experiences.”
“The point of leadership is to notice problems and make changes,” Liz said, adding that in her chosen field, the name is a problem. Athletic trainers bristle if you call them trainers, which she said implies personal trainers.
“I call myself an emergency physical therapist to most people who don’t understand,” she said.
Athletic trainers devote huge amounts of time to the athletes they serve. “We’re there for the 5 a.m. practices; we’re there for all the games,” Liz said. “Burnout is a big problem.”
Liz says that rest and time management are important for athletic trainers, just as they are for athletes. She was drawn to athletic training for a number of reasons. “I’ve always had a passion for the human body and how it works and how it moves,” she said.
Like many students majoring in athletic training, Liz suffered from injuries as a high school soccer player and dancer. “I’ve had three knee surgeries,” she said.
Liz likes being able to help athletes. One of the most rewarding aspects is that “I can either reduce their pain or take their pain away, even if it’s as simple as stretching or massage,” she said.
The Athletic Training Program requires students to work with local high school teams, as well as LC teams. This year, Liz is working with men’s basketball and lacrosse and women’s soccer and volleyball. Next year she says she will work with men’s lacrosse because “it’s more of a confidence builder to work with men and these sports target personal areas of weakness as an athletic training student.”
This summer, Liz has an internship with the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, an easy commute from her hometown of Columbia, Maryland. She said another LC student helped her pursue the internship. She said Dr. Bradney and Dr. Pat Aronson have been great advocates.
Liz found out about LC from her sister, Katie, a 2011 graduate. “I love everything about this place,” Liz said. “It really is a good fit for me.”