Athletic trainers: men and women for others

Kevin Anga ’17

Athletic trainers are a huge part of any school or sports team.They can act as our trainer, nurse, or even fitness coach. They do much more than just treat minor injuries and tape ankles. Being licensed as health care professionals, they are able to assess different injuries, and monitor the recovery of the athlete through rehabilitation. I asked Mr. Bradley, one of our athletic trainers, a couple questions about his profession.

Again, being an athletic trainer involves much more than just taping ankles. A proffers of of this sort requires a good education and rigorous training, in order to be prepared for possible realities in a range of different sports. “The Athletic Training landscape currently is undergoing a lot of change with respects of promoting our great profession,” Mr. Bradley pointed out. “Prior to 2017, Athletic Trainers needed to attend a CAATE [Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education] Accredited Athletic Training curriculum minimally for a bachelor’s degree to sit for the national board exam. In the next couple of years, we will transition into a profession that will require minimally a Master’s degree in a CAATE accredited school to sit for the national exam. For students entering college, a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or exercise physiology would be best suited to continue education at the Master’s level to pursue a degree in Athletic Training. One last thought. As a student at the high school level. shadowing a high school athletic trainer is a great way to get hands on exposure to the profession.”

From handling physicals, overseeing injuries, and managing equipment to working every sporting event for every sport, athletic trainers have a value many underappreciate. Their long hours and dedication help not only to treat, but also to prevent injuries from occurring. “The biggest challenge is the lack of control over my schedule and total hours worked, and this goes for just about every Athletic Trainer that works in the athletic field,” Mr. Bradley explained. “There is a lot of personal sacrifice when it comes to holidays and days off that many people may not realize. For example, at the college level there are a lot of bowl games played on Christmas day, and around those holidays where we will be traveling, and not with family. In a typical work week we can easily work 70-80 hours a week after covering all of our different sporting events at Jesuit.”

Even though the job can be demanding, there aren’t many professions as rewarding as being an athletic trainer. This job allows involves helping people not just physically, but mentally and emotionally also. The friendships and bonds made with different athletes of different sport can sometimes prove to be a crucial part of the player’s recovery. “I love the relationships that I can build with our athletes, and that I can take a person who is at their lowest after injury and build them back up and see them compete again,” Mr. Bradley added. “One of my fondest memories was back when I was at University of Houston. We had one of our starting wide receivers need surgery on his ankle. This was my first rehabilitation all on my own with no direct supervision from another Athletic Trainer. In his first game back the next season, he scored three touchdowns and led our offense to a blowout victory. After the game, he came up to me and gave me a hug and said, ‘Thank you. I could not of done this without you.’ That was the moment I realized that there is no profession as awesome as being an Athletic Trainer.”

Every high school needs athletic trainers for the safety and well being of its students.