Kicking Off the NFL Training Camp

Today is commonly referred to as”Report Day” in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Hotel check-in at 10, medical updates at noon, miscellaneous updates and meetings followed by the big team meeting tonight.  Curfew at 11 and the first practice tomorrow.  It’s an exciting time for players, support staff, coaches and fans alike.

This is the start of my 25th season in the NFL after 3 training camps as a summer intern athletic trainer/physical therapist with the New York Giants.  I have to admit I’m more exited about this 2012 season than I have been for 10 years!  With new ownership, a new Head Coach, more than a dozen new coaches, a new locker room and a new positive approach to winning, I’m not alone with my enthusiasm for the Jaguars in 2012.

From the opportunity that New York Giants Head Athletic Trainer Ronnie Barnes blessed me with in 1984 by offering me the one summer internship with the New York Giants to spending well over ½ of my life employed in the NFL, I’m honored to represent “the shield” of the NFL.  Ronnie remains a close friend and mentor who I respect immensely.

Training camp is the start of so many opportunities for so many people.  From the surprise superstar players’ careers blossoming, to loyal coaches growing as teachers, to hard-working medical staffs taking huge strides in keeping players healthy at an elite level to fans passionately supporting their team, so much good comes out of the start of a professional season.

The Game Plan

I plan on posting a weekly training camp blog with the inside scoop on life within an NFL franchise.  When I live football 24/7 with 90 players and 60+ football staff members, there is no shortage of interesting info to write about.  I will never write about any specific player injuries for obvious reasons.

Questions From You

What do you want to read about from an NFL training camp? 

What “behind the magic curtain” NFL insight would you be interested in learning?

Is there a question that you’ve always had about an NFL team that SportCenter just doesn’t seem to answer?

I’m all ears and I look forward to sharing my life in the NFL with you.  Go Jags!

Author: Mike Ryan

After 26 seasons as a full-time certified athletic trainer and registered physical therapist in the National Football League, Mike Ryan has outstanding first-hand experience. His unique professional and athletic background has sharpened his skills in the arts of sports injury management, elite rehabilitation, performance enhancement and injury prevention. Mike is now taking his experience to mainstream America. His mission is simple: Sports Medicine advice that is easy to use and brings fast results. Learn more about Mike Ryan

3 thoughts on “Kicking Off the NFL Training Camp”

  1. Dear Mr.Ryan,
    I am a junior athletic training student and have been avid reader of your website. I followed your guidance and have been offered a training camp position with an NFL team. I am extremely excited and wanted to thank you for helping me get this once in a life time opportunity.

    However I am extremely nervous now going into camp and I want to prepare myself as much as possible.
    1. What would you recommend I do to better prepare myself?
    2. What kind of tasks and roles do you give to your summer interns? What are your expectations from them?
    3. What advice would you offer so that I stand out and do the best I can to help the team?

    Any advice you could throw my way would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much and wishing your organization the best of luck this year!

    Thanks, Justin

  2. Hi Mr.Ryan,

    Thank you for your wonderful advice, this is a huge help for me going into my internship. From an athletic training side of things what would you recommend I review prior to camp? Taping techniques? On-Field First Aid? Anatomy? Assessment & Special Tests? Modalities? Massage Techniques? Rehabilitation Exercises? I know they’re all important but if I had to focus on a few to help me the most during camp what would they be?

    Thank you,
    Justin

    1. Yes to all.
      My Top 5 Things Athletic Trainer Interns Need to Master Before NFL or College Camps:
      1. Strengthen Your Hustle Muscles – Be conditioned and smart enough to be able to run, lift, push, spat, clean, push,…etc. 20 hours a day.
      2. Communications 401 (Graduate level course) – Learn to listen effectively to the medical staff (verbally & nonverbally) while being listening ineffectively to the players’ complaints, bitches and excuses. Befriending players is not always a wise move in the eyes of the boss so focus on a respectful and professional relationship with everyone.
      3. Become a Taping Machine – Show off your skills here with taping and spatting and let the players brag on you.
      4. Know Your Anatomy and Think Quick – You have to think quick in this business and being the intern who can talk the language of a seasoned athletic trainer will get you more valued duties in the Athletic Training Room and less cooler cleaning.
      5. Massage + Soft Tissue Skills – A massage is not just a massage. Get with an expert who can show you how to use the most important modality in the Athletic Training Room….YOUR HANDS…will surely pass off during rehab time when you want to fit in & impress the full-timers.
      I hope this helps. Please share this with your fellow student athletic trainers. MDR

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