Friday nights during the fall sports season in the South are dominated with football. The lights are bright and the teams come on the field ready to play. A big play happens, the crowd groans and waits for the player who got hit to get up. He does not, and the crowd watches someone run from the sideline to check the athlete. They see the person talk to the athlete, maybe move an arm or leg and then gently help the athlete off the field. Most people assume this person is a coach, when oftentimes, it is actually a Certified Athletic Trainer.
What is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC)? An ATC is an allied health care provider who specializes in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active. Athletic Trainers (ATCs) are found in the secondary school settings, colleges/universities, professional sports and in industrial settings. These medical professionals are able to recognize injuries, treat the injury and refer to doctors as needed. ATCs can also prevent injuries from happening by recognizing hazards or strength deficits and making plans with the athlete to correct imbalances.
March is National Athletic Training Month. During this month, ATCs all across the nation help to increase awareness of what the profession is about and all the work that is accomplished. They strive to educate the public about those individuals who can benefit from an athletic trainer. ATCs not only work with traditional athletes, but they also help those who live active lifestyles maintain their health and prevent injuries. Join us as we celebrate National Athletic Training Month with a safer approach to work, life and sports.