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Athletic Training student sets career goal on professional sports

Brooke Pataky, athletic training major with a minor in sport and exercise psychology, strength and conditioning, and nutrition, plans to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in 2023. After earning her degree, she wants to help athletes perform at their best in a Div. 1 college or professional sports setting. 

As a high school student, Pataky discovered a passion for treating athletes and helping them return to the field or court. Pataky, from Fredericksburg, Va., says she chose athletic training as a major after enrolling in a sport medicine class taught by the school’s athletic trainer.  

“It immediately became my favorite class. My senior year of high school I took her second class, where I learned the material more in-depth and had hands-on experience with athletes. I fell in love with athletic training and looked at schools that offered that major,” Pataky said.   

Pataky identified WVU as boasting one of the most reputable athletic training programs in the country, along with their successful alumni in the industry. She researched CPASS and discovered that it offered numerous opportunities to students.  

“It quickly became my favorite school and, honestly, the only school I was interested in attending. Since arriving, I have had no doubts that I picked the right school. The advisors in CPASS are so helpful and really get to know you as an individual,” she said.  

“I feel more like just an appointment they have in their day, even though they're busy. CPASS offers many opportunities for all its students, inside and outside the state. There are countless resources to help students achieve their goals,” Pataky said. 

Pataky credits program director, Allison Hetrick, as serving as her mentor. “She has been a role model to me this year and has helped me succeed in my classes and at my clinical site. My favorite class is ATTR 219, which is anatomy. I find it very interesting to learn more about the human body,” she said. 

Pataky has expanded her campus connections through WVU student organizations. “I am a member of the Sport and Exercise Psychology, Sport Management and the WVU Athletic Training clubs. I really enjoy being a member because they are different, and I feel like I learn something new from each meeting I go to,” she said. 

Beyond classes and club memberships, Pataky says she spends most of her time outside of class at clinical sites, including WVU sports teams, Fairmont State, or local high schools and doctor offices.  

“This semester my clinical rotation was at gymnastics. I go to work under the head athletic trainer and learn to do treatments, rehabilitation, first aid, record keeping and other things that tests what I learn in the classroom in a real-life setting. For fun, I love to try new outdoor activities and explore different places with friends,” Pataky added. 

Pataky has set her goal following graduation in landing a position within a professional sports or a Division 1 college team. “I’m looking forward to the high intensity environment and being able to help people. My dream job is to be on the athletic training staff for the Washington Nationals,” Pataky said.
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