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    What Is An Athletic Trainer?

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    By Gregory Hawthorne

    Hello everyone this week two for one special.  To be honest the first topic I am going to discuss is completely self-serving for myself as well as for my fellow professional brethren, what exactly is an Athletic Trainer?  The story goes as so....after meeting someone new, the inevitable question of "so what do you do?" always arises, "I'm an Athletic Trainer" I always respond.  This when the conversation varies, "soooooo....how often do you make the team workout.?  Do you, like, yell all the time?", "What's the best way to lose weight", "Why do you trainers give steroids to athletes?"  The answer to all of those questions is none of the above, try again, or WRONG!  An Athletic Trainer's primary responsibility does not entail any of the answers to any of those questions, not to say that we could not provide the correct answer.   
    Based on a statement by the National Athletic Training Association, the governing body for Athletic Training, 

    "Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize patient and client activity and participation in athletics, work and life. The
    practice of athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination and
    diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute, subacute, and
    chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions and certain medical conditions in order
    to minimize subsequent impairments, functional limitations, disability, and
    societal limitations." (Nata.org)
    In summary Athletic Trainers are medical professionals that facilitate the return of quality of life to an injured individual as well as maintaining the health of a non injured athlete.  Athletic Trainers use modalities, tape, nutrition, their hands, and various exercises to do this.  Athletic Trainers can be seen in many settings, physical therapy clinics, high school, universities, professional sports teams, and even in large industrial companies.  The Athletic Trainer is really a jack of all trades and does pretty much what is needed to keep people healthy, yes including maintaining the hydration of the athletes they work with.  

    Though when an injured person is close to full return they may be performing very intense exercises (box jumps, squats, kettlebell swings, etc.) however, the dosage prescribed by the Athletic Trainer is very specific to that injury.  Athletic Trainers shoulder not be confused with Personal Trainers or Strength and Conditioning coaches.  An Athletic Trainer should be thought of as an Athletic Therapist.  

    Thanks I needed to get that monkey off my back.  Preesh!!!

    Tomorrow I will highlight the rigorous testing that three of our Seminole brothers will be going through during the NFL Combine.

    Gregory D Hawthorne Jr.  MS, ATC, LAT, CES, PES, FMSC, HKC

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