Every March is National Athletic Training Month. For some it is a time to celebrate athletic training, and thank their athletic trainers for all the hard work they do. To show appreciation for keeping their athletes safe, and for helping active bodies of all ages prevent, and rehabilitate injury. But for me, and for many others, it is a time to educate our communities about what athletic trainers are, and what they can do for them. It is also a time to help further and improve the profession of athletic training, which helps out every active person around us.
I was, and still am an athlete, in addition to being an athletic trainer. Over the years I suffered many an injury myself and needed help. Part of that is why I decided years ago to become an athletic trainer, and over the years have come to know many athletic trainers that I have to thank for helping me get to where I am now.
For those of you that don’t know, athletic trainers are sports medicine professionals. We are not trainers, but rather highly trained medical professionals specializing in prevention, emergency care, concussion evaluation and return to play, rehabilitation of injury, education, and so much more. They don’t just care for athletes they care for everyone that is active.
The profession of athletic training is continually growing, and as athletic trainers it is our responsibility to step forward, help the growth, and grow with it. It is our responsibility to do what we can to help protect our athletes and encourage parents, doctors, administrators, and everyone else to help us do this. One way to do this is to help support and push for legislation that allows athletic trainers to fully use their training and expertise. In New York the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association is currently working with legislators, physicians, and more, to update our practice act. Our practice act is the legal guidelines that determine the education and training required to be an athletic trainer and the limits of what they can do to help their athletes and patients. Our new practice act, if passed, will tremendously improve the care we give our athletes, and ensure that only those with the proper training, education, and certification can perform the job of athletic trainer.
For the rest of March, and beyond, please thank your local athletic trainer, and help support our profession, and in doing so, help us protect and care for our athletes. Thank you and happy National Athletic Training Month!