When the three-time Super Bowl champions New England Patriots came calling for Athletic Training alumnus Nico Locandro, not even his own graduation ceremony stood in the way.
Recent graduate Nico Locandro, MS '14, ATC, CSCS, had to forgo Commencement celebrations in favor of an opportunity for which he has worked his whole life: a job offer with the New England Patriots. A Seasonal Athletic Trainer with the highly successful NFL franchise, Locandro talks about the role he plays in helping the championship-winning athletes compete week after week.
The Business of Sports: "Being healthy is their livelihood. Their body is their professional career," Locandro says about the intense nature of his work with professional football players. Because an NFL player's career is short compared to non-athletic jobs, the stakes are high. "They really rely on the medical staff to support their success."
Thanks to Seton Hall: Locandro collaborates with the Patriots' rehabilitation director, crediting his hands-on experiences in the Master of Science in Athletic Training program for giving him an edge. Gait analysis and biofeedback, advanced rehabilitation programs and the implementation of strength and conditioning techniques and functional exercises are areas where he excels.
Part of the Team: "Interprofessional relationships among health professionals are vital to the operations of any sports medicine department, especially in the NFL," Locandro affirms. "On a daily basis, I may be working with physicians, orthopedic surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, chiropractors, dentists, podiatrists, EMTs, phlebotomists, x-ray technicians and massage therapists, in addition to the two dual-credentialed physical therapist/athletic trainers on staff."
On Missing Graduation: "It was tough to miss out on celebrating accomplishments with friends and family — but when you get a call from the New England Patriots, you kind of have to take it."
By Taylor Kunkle, BS '14, Second-Year Doctor of Physical Therapy Student