Jan 29, 2015
Good Reads

Take a break from your textbooks and check out these career-advancing titles.

By Abigail Funk

Abigail Funk is an Assistant Editor at Training & Conditioning. She can be reached at: [email protected].

As a college student, you undoubtedly do a lot of reading for your classes. But are the books your professors assign enough to make you the best athletic trainer you can be? Are there other books, besides your college textbooks, that should be lining your shelves?

For this edition of Student Corner, we asked an array of athletic trainers and instructors for their recommendations of books athletic training students should read that are not typically assigned in classes. They responded with a diverse selection of titles you might not have heard of—but will help you get ahead in your career.


By Jack Welch with Suzy Welch

Published by HarperCollins


After 40 years with General Electric, 20 of them as Chief Executive Officer, Jack Welch has a track record of “winning.” Welch’s book mirrors his leadership philosophy: honest and to-the-point. The book gives readers an inside look at the success of General Electric and how Welch balances his business and home life. It’s an easy, inspirational read for students getting ready to go out into the real world.

Recommended by: Bill Walker, ATC, Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Medicine and Instructor at the University of Cincinnati, who says, “This is an excellent book that offers a lot of leadership and management ideas and puts the information into terms that are easy to use and understand. I assign it in my Administration of Athletic Training class and hand out copies to staff members. The book also has an interview section which helped me with my last two hirings.”

Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form

By Eliot Goldfinger

Published by Oxford University Press


An inclusive human anatomy book that doesn’t look anything like a textbook, Human Anatomy for Artists uses sketches and photographs to describe the human body and its workings. The author is also an illustrator and sculptor who helped develop the anatomy program at the New York Academy of Art.

Recommended by: Mick Lynch, MD, Associate Professor of Athletic Training at Florida Southern University, who says, “This is the best surface anatomy book I have seen. The line drawings, pencil sketches, and photographs labeled with structure names are artistic and really well done. It’s an excellent reference and helps with the acquisition of palpation skills.”

The Fred Factor

By Mark Sanborn

Published by Doubleday


The author, also a motivational speaker, recounts the true story of a mail carrier named Fred who had a job some may see as boring, but that he loved. Fred always went one step further in his work, such as watching over neighbors’ houses on his delivery route while they were on vacation without being asked. He also portrayed a confident friendliness to all those he met simply because he made the best of his situation.

Recommended by: Ron Gruber, MA, ATC, Athletic Director and Assistant Principal at Rowan County Senior High School in Morehead, Kent., who says, “This is a great book that highlights the importance of people working behind the scenes. Athletic trainers often go unrecognized, but continue to toil in obscurity only because they know their job is important to the health and safety of athletes. The Fred Factor is motivational and inspiring and can rejuvenate even the most weary athletic trainer or athletic training student.”

You’re OK, It’s Just a Bruise: A Doctor’s Sideline Secrets about Pro Football’s Most Outrageous Team

By Rob Huizenga

Published by St. Martin’s Press


This is the author’s biographical account of his time as Team Physician for the Los Angeles Raiders. He left the team in 1990 after seven years because he was disgusted and disappointed with the way the players were treated—or rather not treated—by the team’s medical staff and how the players mistreated their own bodies through drug, alcohol, and steroid abuse. Huizenga’s story details his life-affirming experiences with pro football and the Raiders.

Recommended by: Linda Tecklenburg, ATC, Assistant Professor at Wilmington College, who says, “I like to have my athletic training students read this book because it gives good insight into the pressures athletic trainers and physicians face in the professional sports environment. It’s also a good look at the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports. I especially like my students to read it before doing an internship with our local NFL team or if they think they want to work in the pros.”

The Good Life

By Charles Colson with Harold Fickett

Published by Tyndale House


The author, a former chief counsel for Richard Nixon, wrote this book upon release from prison after serving time for his role in the Watergate scandal. Colson’s book profiles several public figures, some who lived “the good life”and seemingly had it all, and some who lived through vast hardship. The underlying theme from Colson is that in order to live the good life you have to seek the truth in yourself and others. Athletic training students are truth-seekers by profession, and this book can serve as a friendly reminder that there are no shortcuts in life.

Recommended by: Miguel Benavides, MEd, LAT, ATC, Director of the Athletic Training Program and an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Southwestern University, who says, “I believe you should seek the truth in life and not always accept what is presented to you at face value. Often, we need to look deeper at the root and true meaning of things. The Good Life addresses this topic. College is a liberating time for students as they are introduced to many new cultures and perspectives. They should test these new ideas and experiences against their belief systems when searching for real truths.”

General Medical Conditions in the Athlete

By Micki Cuppett and Katie Walsh

Published by Elsevier Science


This textbook serves as a comprehensive guide to general medical conditions seen in athletes at all levels. Topics covered include evaluation techniques using NATA Educational Competencies, pharmacological basics, athletic training equipment, and how to spot signs of a serious condition in an athlete.

Recommended by: Eric Lehnert, MS, ATC, EMT-CC, Assistant Athletic Trainer and Instructor at Stony Brook University, who says, “This book gives clear outlines of many common illnesses and medical conditions athletic trainers encounter on a regular basis. It also comes with access to Evolve, an interactive Web site with animations, videos, audio clips, exercises, and quizzes. I use it in my general medical class here at the University.”

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

By Seth Godin

Published by the Penguin Group


Using the analogy that a purple cow would stand out in a crowd of boring black and white cows, the author explains how to break out of the dated marketing checklist (boring black and white cows) and make yourself visible to consumers (a purple cow). Purple Cow, a Wall Street Journal and Business Week best seller, serves as a friendly reminder to athletic training students that their chosen future profession is a tough field and they need to work hard to distinguish themselves.

Recommended by: Michael Doyle, MBA, ATC, Clinical Services Director at Alexandria Orthopaedic Associates in Minnesota and President of the Minnesota Athletic Trainers’ Association, who says, “I would recommend this book because it dissects how to make yourself and your business stand out. It’s an easy read, and great for athletic training students because they can see how they need to make themselves and the profession of athletic training stand out in the health care field.”


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