Since Eagle Scouts as a child, NYU Athletics trainer Arturo “Roy” Flores has soared in both his academics and career.
Flores grew up in Westchester County just north of New York City. Raised in a close-knit family that worked in various medical fields, Flores developed an early passion for medicine and sports. In high school, Flores excelled in swimming and continued his aquatic passion, competing at Stony Brook University, where he studied a multidisciplinary concentration of biology, sports and music history. His time as a student-athlete introduced him to the athletic training profession.
As a second generation Filipino-American with two siblings, family involvement and staying with one another was and still remains very important to Flores, contributing to his development as both a leader and role model.
“As a college junior I was recommended to be a part of a presidential student board focusing on diversity,” Flores said. “Being a minority myself, that is one of the things I would like to push toward in this profession.”
Athletic training is a complex and multifaceted affair, that Flores says is for everyone.
“Athletic training is a health care profession dealing with prevention, acute care, concussions, head injuries and nutrition,” Flores said. “Athletic training is for all active persons, not just athletes.”
After graduating from Stony Brook, Flores worked in higher education, acting as a mentor to current college students. But after two years of work in Stony Brook’s student life department, Flores wanted to return to sports and medicine. Now at NYU, Flores works with teams such as volleyball, basketball and baseball.
Flores said the best thing about being an athletic trainer is seeing the student athletes overcome season-ending injuries and watch them return to the playing field, doing what they did before just as well — or sometimes, at an even higher level. While at Stony Brook, Flores was a teacher for athletic training students.
“Seeing [athletic training students] grow in the profession and become my peers is another highlight of becoming an athletic trainer,” Flores said. “With all the influences that are out there today, I want to help people figure out where they want to go, whether it’s following my footsteps or guiding them towards their own journey.”
Aside from work, Flores enjoys exercising and being a swim coach. Acting as a role model is what Flores strives to do on a daily basis. He is currently a member of the Ethnic Diversity Committee and is a District Two representative for the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. This area includes New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
“We advise the board of directors as to what the issues are regarding minorities and ethnically diverse persons in athletic training,” Flores said. “Whether it be dealing with an ethnically diverse active person or getting more ethnically diverse individuals and minorities within the profession.”
Despite never playing baseball or watching it as a kid, Flores has learned to love the sport through his experience as an athletic trainer and is now a large fan of the New York Yankees. Working alongside many baseball teams, Flores enjoys the little things about the sport, from the sideline chirping to the more complex aspects of the game.
Freshman pitcher Sal Cammisuli discussed Flores’ demeanor in working with the baseball team.
“Whether it’s stretching my arm to get ready to pitch or working on my back in between innings, [Flores] is truly great at what he does,” Cammisuli said. “He’s very approachable, lively and helpful.”
In the future, Flores wants to remain in athletic training, whether it be with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association or in a college setting.
“I think the college setting is the right place for me, because you are dealing with 18 to 21 year-olds who are learning what they want to do next, making that transition from high school to college and beyond,” Flores said. “Anyway I can help in that phase of their lives is where I want to be.”
CORRECTION: This article was previously titled ‘Training the Athletes: Arturo ‘Roy’ Flores.’
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 27 print edition. Email Trevor Francesconi at [email protected]