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Fighting Scots welcome new athletic trainer Hovlid

Saeed Husain
Chief Copy Editor

Katelynn Hovlid joined The College of Wooster as the new assistant athletic trainer in January 2018. Hovlid came to the College following a two-and-a-half-year stint as head athletic trainer at Brewton-Parker College, a Division I (DI) school, in Mount Vernon, Ga. Previously, she worked as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at the Georgia Institute of Technology — another DI school — while pursuing her masters at Georgia State University.

The Wooster Voice recently interviewed Hovlid to learn more about her professional life, what she thinks about athletic training in the U.S. and advice for students pursuing the field.

Hovlid comes across as a determined individual, becoming head athletic trainer at Brewton-Parker straight from graduate school. “To become a head athletic trainer right out of graduate school was a great honor and validation,” Hovlid noted.

“[Getting that position] helped me realize that all of the late nights and hard work that I had put in during undergrad and grad school actually paid off. The process of getting the head position at BPC was a little different. The team doctor had called the director of sports medicine at Georgia Tech and asked if there was anyone graduating that would be interested in the position. The director at Georgia Tech walked out of his office and asked if I wanted to interview for the job. I of course said yes! I then drove down for an interview and they offered me the job the next day.”

When asked about how she got into the field of sports medicine, Hovlid says that she had planned to be a physical therapist but was advised to pursue an undergraduate degree in athletic training.

“I got into sports medicine because I originally wanted to become a physical therapist,” Hovlid said. “I was touring the University of Toledo and talking with their PT [Physical Training] program director, and he told me that I would have a better chance at getting into PT school if I did my undergrad in athletic training because of the hands on experience. I got into the AT program after my first year. I went through the whole program until the spring of my senior year and was assigned football and ended up falling in love with the profession because I had a fantastic mentor who I still talk to on a regular basis now. My family and peers were and still are very supportive of what I do. My father and brother loved when I was at Georgia Tech and they could watch the football games for free.”

In addition to her university degrees, Hovlid has earned certifications from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2013, and licensure from Georgia in 2013 and Ohio in 2018.

Hovlid’s experiences make her a resource for understanding more about the field of sports medicine in the U.S.

“I feel that the strengths of learning sports medicine in the U.S. are that our curriculum emphasizes evidence-based practices. Everything that we do in the Athletic Training room to help an athlete is based on clinical evidence. Our field of athletic training offers so many benefits to not just athletes, but all physically active individuals. We do more than just give the players water on the sidelines during games. We are there for the whole process of an injury. As athletic trainers, we will evaluate someone on their playing field and we will do everything that we can to get them back to playing as quickly and as healthily as possible.”

When asked about what lacks in the field, Hovlid mentions the more mental aspect of sports. “The athletic training field could benefit from more education in psychology since we are normally the student athlete’s sounding board and sometimes the only person they feel comfortable enough talking to about those tough situations,” she said.

With regards to how she chose The College of Wooster and her initial impressions, Hovlid remarks, “What attracted me to The College of Wooster was that the school was in Ohio and close to family, but also that it was a smaller school. I loved my time with Division I athletics, but I like the closeness and family atmosphere here within the athletic department.”

“I have been very impressed with The College of Wooster so far. Everyone is extremely nice and welcoming. I hope to make The College of Wooster my family’s home. I love it here so far and feel like this is a great fit for me and my husband.”

Regarding advice for students looking to pursue sports medicine as a profession, Hovlid wants them to understand what the field is all about, “My advice for students looking into the sports medicine field would be to make sure you shadow an athletic trainer to get a good understanding of how many hours we really do put into our jobs. A lot of people do not understand how many hours we work and how much education we actually do have.”

“Our field can be very competitive; it all depends on what setting and where you want to work. If you want to work in the professional leagues and NCAA Division I athletics, you have to network with other athletic trainers and advocate for yourself very well,” Hovlid said.

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