Athletic Training Month: Interview with Fordham Trainer Thomas O’Brien
March is Athletic Training Month and we are very proud to spotlight talented and passionate Certified Athletic Trainers who dedicate themselves to the performance of their athletes. They also understand the benefits of integrating Boost Oxygen into their protocols.
We thank Thomas O’Brien of Fordham University and appreciate him taking the time to share about himself as an Athletic Trainer.
Boost: When did you decide to become an Athletic Trainer?
Thomas: “I decided to become an athletic trainer during high school when I took a basics of sports medicine elective. That compounded with getting to know my high school athletic trainer really cemented my desire to become one.”
Boost: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Thomas: “The most rewarding part of being an athletic trainer has to be seeing my student athletes coming back from major injuries. Seeing them learn how life isn’t always easy and have to dig deep to get back.”
Boost: What is the most challenging part of your job?
Thomas: “The most challenging part has to be the same as the most rewarding part. Student athletes don’t always realize how difficult the simplest tasks can be after a major injury. So helping them work through the difficult times can be the most challenging aspect of being an athletic trainer.”
Boost: Describe the most amazing experience that affirmed your decision that “I am doing what I love to do”.
Thomas: One of the most amazing experiences that I have had as an athletic trainer was watching a student athlete of mine who suffered a major knee injury right before COVID hit. He worked and pushed me through all the virtual rehab appointments, pushed when we got back to campus working on the court and eventually all came full circle when he returned and first play when he checked in was for him to get a dunk. Moments like this make you love what you do as an athletic trainer.”
Thomas O’Brien, MPS, ATC, CES
Thomas joined the Fordham Sports Medicine staff in August 2018 and was promoted to Associate Head Athletic Trainer in January of 2020. He is responsible for men’s basketball and golf.
O’Brien came to Fordham after two years as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at St. John’s University, where he provided care and treatment for the women’s volleyball and men’s tennis programs. He also assisted with offseason coverage of the baseball, softball, and soccer teams at St. John’s, while serving as a game day athletic trainer for men’s basketball games at Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden.
On top of his work at St. John’s, O’Brien interned with the Long Island Nets of the NBA G-League and served as the host athletic trainer for the 2017 BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championship, held at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island. He has also worked multiple events with USA Basketball’s 3×3 Men’s and Women’s National Teams.
O’Brien is NATA Board of Certification Certified, while also being a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist. He graduated from Dominican College in 2016 with a degree in Athletic Training, while receiving his Master’s degree in Sports Management from St. John’s in 2018.