Athletic Training

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Articles on Athletic Training:
   Major in Athletic Training
   A Future in Athletic Training

Major in Athletic Training

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“God wants you to use your gifts for his glory…to benefit those around you and to bring him honor… to steward your gifts, not waste them.”  ~Stephen Altrogge

Athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, treatment and rehabilitation of various athletic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers are multi-skilled healthcare professionals who work to maintain and advance the physical strength and well being of their clients. They are set apart from a personal trainer by their higher levels of education and job duties/requirements, and unique from physical therapists in that they work under a licensed physician and do not diagnose or treat patients to the same degree of independence. 

Those with a passion for sports and an interest in applied science and medicine will naturally be drawn to this field. Because technology, skills and techniques in this profession are constantly changing, on-going education is often a requirement for the job. Therefore, it helps to be a driven, lifelong learner with a desire for excellence. In addition, it is preferable that athletic trainers have some combination of the following skills and personal traits

  • A caring, empathetic, positive attitude
  • Good listening skills and attentiveness to detail
  • Ability to solve problems and make confident, accurate assessments
  • Self-motivation and an independent work ethic
  • Emotional control under stressful or emergency situations
  • A balance between compassion/patience and a drive for success
  • A decent level of physical fitness (able to move or lift a client, stand for long periods of time, etc.)

Often acting as a liaison between athlete and physician, an athletic trainer needs strong interpersonal and communication skills. In addition, flexibility is helpful since varying degrees of travel and abnormal work hours (evenings and weekends) are the norm. 

Once immersed in an athletic training major you can expect to receive professional instruction in a host of areas such as healthcare administration, acute injury and illness care and therapeutic intervention.  Hands on, clinical education helps to round off and enhance your learning, and though not required in order to succeed in this field, a surprising 70% of athletic trainers end up going on for higher-level learning. In addition to your core classes, other courses you may take include:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Emergency Response Training
  • Nutrition

With a 21% growth rate in athletic training jobs, the hiring prospect after college is optimistic! Athletic trainers are in growing demand nearly everywhere you find active people. Traditionally found in elementary, high school and collegiate-level athletic programs, a growing number of trainers are being hired in areas such as military, law enforcement and the performing arts.  Even NASA and the FBI have begun hiring athletic trainers to help with the prevention and treatment of injury common in these at-risk, high-performance fields. Other employment niches include:

  • Hospitals or physician offices
  • Fitness or sports medicine centers
  • Community or independently owned youth leagues or sports facilities
  • Professional sports teams
  • Research labs

If a medically related, service oriented career appeals to you, and you’re excited about the prospect of promoting health and improving physical outcomes then look no further. As an athletic trainer you may be the person who inspires another to overcome obstacles and find strength to persevere and achieve their God-given potential!