NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Many applied, but only a few were chosen.
Lipscomb softball pitcher Kelly Young, who has just completed her senior season, Brianne Hoglin, a member of the track and field and cross country teams, both were selected to attend the 2016 Career in Sports Forum. The event, held last Thursday through Sunday was hosted by the NCAA. The forum was based at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Approximately 800 student-athletes applied this year. Only 200 made the final cut. Athletes from Divisions I, II and III were included. Four student-athletes from the Atlantic Sun attended.
According to a press release from the NCAA, the four-day forum is designed “to assist student-athletes in charting their career paths, as well as provide an opportunity to network and learn from current athletics professionals.”
Young, from Madison, Mississippi, majored in exercise science. She plans to attend physical therapy school next year.
“It was for anyone interested in pursuing a career in sports from administration and compliance to coaching, athletic training and physical therapy,” Young said. “My ultimate goal is to be a physical therapist on a college campus working with student-athletes.
“A lot of the bigger campuses with the means to do it are hiring their own physical therapists. It takes some of the load off of the athletic trainers in working with rehabbing of injuries. That is the reason I was there.”
Young and Hoglin were nominated by coaches and administrators and were required to fill out a form and write an essay on why they were interested in attending the forum.
All expenses were paid by the NCAA for each student-athlete including flights, meals and hotel rooms.
“Each lecture had a specific topic ranging from a panel on graduate assistants to a session called ‘The Big Picture of Intercollegiate Athletics’ where they provided an overview and talked about the differences in the three divisions,” Young said. “The opportunities to work with student-athletes and influence their lives are endless.
“The theme for the whole thing was `the moment is now’. It was about seizing the opportunity right now. They stressed that every day is a job interview because you never know who you are going to run across. There are so many paths you can take and you never know where you might fit.”
Those attending the forum also were given a personality test to determine strengths and weaknesses.
“It gave me a perspective of not only how I personally handle things, but how I act with different people with different personalities,” Young said. “Working with groups and learning how to solve problems was part of it.”
Hoglin, from Monument, Colorado, is a molecular biology major with a minor in chemistry. She admits that many attendees at the forum were surprised when she told them her academic background.
“I got quite the looks from people when I told them I was majoring in molecular biology, and when I first found out I was accepted I was just as surprised,” Hoglin said. “I have been involved in sports for so long, but I also have a big passion for biology.
“The way I approached my application was I want to find a way to combine my knowledge of science and sports and use it in a way to benefit future athletes. I am not yet sure what that will look like. I don’t know if it will be through performance research, gaining more knowledge in nutrition or possibly doing concussion research.”
Hoglin stressed she felt both blessed and honored to be selected to attend the forum and was pleased with the knowledge gained through the various panels.
“One of the things that was really valuable for me was learning so much how to really market the fact I am a Division I athlete,” Hoglin said. “You spend so much time in your sport, which is something you love, but you sometimes get discouraged that you miss out on internships and jobs your peers who are not athletes might get.
“The conference did a good job of opening my eyes to the opportunities and the possibilities where I can use my experiences as a Division I athlete to be a benefit to me. It was interesting to see it through that perspective.”