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Academy Staff Q & A: Simon Rodriguez

Simon Rodriguez is currently the assistant athletic trainer for Red Bulls Academy. He played soccer at the high school and collegiate levels. He graduated from Kean University, where he was a part of their athletic training program. After working for the New York Jets for four seasons, he joined Red Bulls Academy. He is a State of New Jersey licensed Athletic Trainer and holds many other certifications.

Learn more about Simon Rodriguez below:

What is your athletic training background?

Rodriguez: I completed my four years of undergraduate studies at Kean University, where I worked in the athletic training program, and primarily worked with the football and baseball programs. Following my time at Kean University, I completed an internship with the New York Jets of the National Football League. After completing the season-long internship, I was brought back on staff for the next three seasons. Spending four years in the NFL, has allowed me a unique skill set working with elite athletes in a high demand and rigorous setting.

What motivated you to get involved with athletic training?

Rodriguez: As a former high school and collegiate soccer player, I’ve dealt with injuries and understood the importance the Athletic Trainer role plays in the wellbeing of the athlete. I was motivated to understand that I couldn’t make a profession out of playing soccer, therefore I found my path to staying on the field in a different role.

How do you see your role?

Rodriguez: My role with the New York Red Bulls is unique. I am privileged to get experience at all levels of soccer with this organization. From assisting with the first team, to working with New York Red Bulls II, and being the primary ATC for the academy is extremely rewarding. Ultimately our goal as Athletic trainers is to keep our athletes healthy and on the field, and we take all measures to do so.

What upcoming events are you excited about?

Rodriguez: I think we’re all eager to get over these uncertain times were in. I think the event I’m looking forward to most is the day we get back to work & back on the field with all our Red Bull teams safe and healthy.

What is your favorite part about your position?

Rodriguez: As an Athletic Trainer, we are in the middle of the everyday action and banter. The relationships and interactions with coaches, athletes, staff, and fellow athletic trainers make the hours and time all worthwhile. Every day is filled with new challenges, different injuries, and lots of laughs.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Rodriguez: Our profession as ATC’s is very rewarding, I am fortunate to play a hand in every phase of an athletes’ return from injury. From being the first person to run on the field during an injury, to countless hours of treatment and rehab, to getting back on the field for the first time after overcoming an injury. We are at the front lines for it all.

What is the most important lesson you want your players to learn about health and fitness?

Rodriguez: “Health is Wealth.” The nature of the sport we play requires a physical demand that is crucial to maintaining our bodies at the highest level of fitness & health.  Ultimately, all athletes at this level of soccer can perform on the field. The better question is who does the extra work off the field to maintain the fitness and health levels to continue to perform at that level. This is what differentiates professional athletes apart.

What specific certifications do you own for your position?

Rodriguez: The certifications I hold are being an BOC and NATA Certified Athletic Trainer and a State of New Jersey Licensed Athletic Trainer.  I also hold my American Red Cross CPR & BLS Certifications.

What is your most memorable moment in your position?

Rodriguez: In my role here at Red Bulls Academy, there are many memorable moments, aside from getting guys healthy and back on the field after overcoming injuries. Being able to travel with different teams and see different parts of the country is always the most memorable. Being on the road with a team really brings out the culture and different personalities, which always make our jobs fun.

 What would you say to parents and players who are thinking about joining Red Bulls academy?

Rodriguez: The New York Red Bull Academy provides as world class atmosphere for the most talented soccer players in our area. We take pride in having a well-rounded academy that covers all athlete needs from a physical and health standpoint. Our entire club works diligently to ensure that all athletes are safe and performing at the highest level of soccer possible!

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