7 Things That You Didn't Know About Your Athletic Trainers
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7 Things That You Didn't Know About Your Athletic Trainers

We build you up, then you go win the championships.

7 Things That You Didn't Know About Your Athletic Trainers

I'm sure that everyone who has been on a sports team has encountered an athletic trainer at one point in their life. We are not only health care professionals, but also sports enthusiasts. You may think that you know us, but I'm sure that there are a few things that you didn't know about our lovely profession.

1. We aren’t judging you.

Athletes seem to believe that we have time to judge them as we are inspecting their injury or reviewing their new exercise packet with them. We see so many athletes in one day that something that you may be embarrassed about and find gross-looking is just another case to us. As athletic trainers, your confidentiality is promised and respected. You can confide in us. Everyone makes mistakes and is human. Our athletes should understand that lying will get you nowhere with us. If you fell down a flight of stairs or cut your hand falling off a scooter, we want to know because this will help us make you better. We may throw in a chuckle or two, but, in the end, we are solely here to help.

2. We would love to be asked nicely for a round of refills.

Something that athletes don’t understand is that nowhere in our job description are we in charge of the water. Yes, our athletic training room is where we keep the bottles and the carriers and there is a provided sink for filling up water bottles. However, we fill up your practice and game bottles of water and gatorade as a favor to your team. We understand that you can find yourself rushed and have many other things to think about before a game, so out of the kindness of our heart we help you out by filling them up. Our biggest pet peeve is when athletes just shake a water bottle at you during a game or practice, indicating they need a refill. With a please and a smile your team might just find a new rack of filled water bottles on the bench.

3. We secretly wish for injuries.

Obviously it's not personal and, obviously, we don’t wish for any serious injuries, but a little blood or some ecchymosis on the ankle can always make a day more interesting. We just long for that adrenaline rush when a player goes down. The first thing that we want is a healthy team for the sake of the school, coach, and players, but every now and then we could use a little excitement. We will just hope and pray that all the injuries that we see come from the opposing team.

4. We forget that not everyone speaks “the body language.”

Sometimes we get stuck in our own world. We tend to forget that the average person doesn’t know wrist and thumb techniques or the differences in the muscles used to plantarflex the ankle versus the ones used to dorsiflex the ankle. Also we forget that not everyone wants to jump to the rescue every time that there’s a sign of blood. Our AT world consists of medical jargon as well as an implemented and instinctive habit to be the first responder in any situation. If you put a bunch of ATs in one room, I'm sure that you would understand the competitiveness among us. Sometimes it’s hard for us to remember that there is life outside of the clinical setting and that majority of people don't talk and act like this.

5. We aren’t sitting you out of the game to be mean.

If you think that we are in this field to torture our athletes and make their lives hell by having them miss games or even seasons, you are tremendously wrong. Our primary job is to ensure that you don’t injure yourself and, if you do, we are professionally trained to know what the next best step is for you. If that entails a few missed practices or a whole month dedicated to the bench, athletes need to understand that we are making these decisions with your best interest in mind. We hate to see you sitting and sulking on the sidelines, so trust us when we make the decisions that we do.

6. We get just about as excited for game day as the athletes do.

Nothing beats a game day. Well, except maybe a home tournament. After a long 3 days of boring and uneventful practices, ATs thrive at the idea of watching an actual competitive and fast-action game. With a game day also comes players from other teams with tapings to be done and precautions to be reminded of during play. We also love to see our home team out there competing in the sport they love. We get to see first-hand all of the hard work that they put in during practice, so nothing feels better than seeing your athletes dominate. There is also more commotion on game days, which can be stressful to some people, but it is something that ATs know how to handle and love.

7. We are still learning. Even though we might not know everything yet, we are still going to pretend that we do.

Confidence is a characteristic that AT’s have no choice but to acquire. No one in life has all the answers, not even Dr. Shepard (yes, I’m one of those fanatics who refuse to accept that he isn’t real). As an athletic trainer, the population that you work with needs guidance. Athletes need to be directed and told how to strengthen their bodies and rehabilitate their injuries. This major and job is an on-going learning process. There are always discoveries to be made, methods to be implemented, and techniques to try when working in the medical field. The best thing that we can do as athletic trainers is to be smart and confident in our decision-making and trust our learning process to use the best treatment processes for our athletes. Remember to love your ATs, because we sure do love our athletes.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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