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State Athletic Training Symposiums

I am headed to speak at the Arizona State Summer Symposium tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to sharing and connecting with the other ATs in the community. I also serve on the PEC (professional education committee) for the AzATA.

I was wondering if anyone else is involved in their local state or district associations? Also wondering how many of you attend these local/regional conferences? What do you find the level of education as? What would make you attend more local/regional conferences?
Anna J. Hartman MS, ATC, CSCS, PMA-CPT


  • Anna,
    Hope the AzATA went well. I have attended regional conferences in the past but not my state's (NYSATA). I almost attended the state conference this year. I have yet to attend the NYSATA's conference because of the poor experience at the regional conference. When I went to the regional conference, there was not a large selection of talks to attend and very few talks that inspired me. On top of that, the conference barely spanned 2 days.

    I think the NATA's have a greater appeal because of the networking, wider variety of speakers, number of CEUs given, and duration of time. You could turn the NATA's into a family vacation depending on the location. Vegas had a huge amount of families that I saw, and New Orleans was amazing for networking. ATs get 24 CEUs for the national conference compared to less than half of that for state conferences (I assume it depends on the state regarding CEUs). The NATA's have the draw of pulling the best speakers and experts from around the country to talk on all the hot topics by the leading researchers. For example, you would have a greater chance of finding Kevin Guskiewicz (UNC), Ronnie Barnes (NY Football Giants), Sue Falsone (1st female AT in Pro Baseball) and other well known ATs at the national conference. The local conferences may not draw the "big" names or speakers which I think that hurts them. Also, from who I have spoken to, many of the ATs that attended the state conference are local ATs that I may interact with on a regular or semi-regular basis. Whenever I go to the NATA conference, I connect with old classmates, mentors, and friends that I haven't seen in a while which may not be possible.

    They each have their differences and that could be the deciding factors in who attends which conference.
  • Hello Frank,
    Good points! However, I think there still is value in attending the state conference. I live in NJ and attending the state meeting allows me to network with many of my colleagues that I do not normally see on a regular basis. We often discuss local issues that impact us all. When I attend NATA, the variety of education is great, but the ability to address local concerns is not as good. In short, attending both the national and state meetings is a wise combination.
    Just my 2 cents....
  • Thank you Frank, AzATA went very well.

    I wanted to respond to your comments, as part of why I am on the PEC is to help the education at the state level be better, and importantly what people want. Part of that, is that the members of the state association communicate their needs and wants.

    Perhaps, we are lucky in Arizona, but over the years with have had many big name speakers at the State and Regional symposiums (Sue, Kevin, Doug Casa, etc.) When this has happened it is often when a local university has also had opportunities for the speaker. I think part of it though, is just identifying the people the members would like to hear from and then reaching out to those individuals. Many of them, want to be a resource of the AT community and would likely be interested in presenting if asked and available. The NSCA state clinic does an awesome job getting top names in the industry as the person responsible for recruiting them did not shy away from going after them and reaching out. With a big name, inevitably there is more registrations which then give the organization a better opportunity to pay the speaker a reasonable honorarium.

    I believe the state and regional conferences are a reflection of the involvement of their members and their drive to create a great educational and networking experience.

    Looking forward to hearing from others!
    Anna J. Hartman MS, ATC, CSCS, PMA-CPT
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