Athletic Trainer Skill Sets
Among the many factors behind the success of any high level athlete is an Athletic Trainer (AT). Even though not all iconic sportspersons may have an athletic trainer, they are a critical and proven benefit to one’s career. Athletic training entails several aspects besides simply helping in physical training and injury repair. It also involves providing moral support and practical knowledge of sports medicine, judgement, communication, and other important skills.
Becoming a successful sports athletic trainer takes advanced medical education, drive, and a love of sports. With the competition for such limited positions being so high, one ought to know what the teams are looking for in an athletic trainer. Obviously medical and technical skills are highly important, but they are not the only things that matter. Other sought-after qualities include:
- Sound Judgment
During athletic training, several things can go wrong resulting in a sports injury. Typically, the athletic trainer is first on the field to assess the injury. Having medical training and experience, the qualified AT often makes quick (and accurate) decisions on whether the injured athlete should continue to play or not. In most sports, and for the athlete’s well-being, the injured player must leave the field for at least one play if the trainer is called onto the field. This safe-guard rule offers the trainer additional time to better assess the situation and decide the next course of medical action for the injured player.
- Being Ethical
With such high pressures to win games, especially at the higher echelons of sports, the decisions between pushing athletes and ensuring their long-term physical health can become blurred. Playing with an injury is far more common than the average couch quarterback realizes. It’s up to the AT (and coaches) to ensure that an athlete can play with acceptable risk. If they want their star lineman back in the mix for the next game, it behooves them to keep their players healthy. As such, the ethics of a trainer can have a great impact on his/her players, the coaches, and the game itself.
For effective athletic training to bear even better results, the trainer really should be passionate about sports, as well as the medical aspect of the job. Presumably, that is reason they got into this profession in the first place. This will help build a great rapport and connection with the players, since it’s something that they both love. Besides being passionate, a trainer should also be sports-oriented. This includes understanding the game inside and out, and of course the knowing the typical injuries of the given sport. Many excellent sports trainers are highly athletic in their own right.
Confidence comes from being well-trained and experienced, as well as possessing the mental fortitude to act effectively under pressure. Such pressure comes from team managers, coaches, and even players to quickly treat player injuries. It’s often times a balancing act to ensure correct treatment of an injured player and getting that player quickly back on the field. The trainer needs to have the confidence to say “no” when warranted.
- Communication skills
Once of the most fundamental skill sets of an AT is his/her ability to effective communicate to all parties of the team. With so many competitive personalities and a constant drive to win, the lines of communication need to be open and respectful. Maintaining a good rapport and communication with coaches, managers, and players helps ensure the success of the training program and the team in general.
Being an effective Athletic Trainer is certainly more challenging than we may realize. Being medically well-trained is fundament to the job, but it’s just a part. The most successful ATs adapt, and learn to become much more than just a medical technician. As such, a great athletic trainer is invaluable to any organized sports team, and we salut them.
For more information about Dr. Kevin Crawford, click below.
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4110 22nd Place Lubbock, TX 79410
Disclaimer: This information is provided as an educational service, and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Anyone seeking seeking specific medical advice or assistance should consult his or her doctor or orthopedic surgeon.