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Elysia Tsai's picture

What An Athletic Trainer Does In Soccer

Have you received a phone call from somebody stating to be the athletic trainer working with your son or daughter?  Ever wonder what it is that an athletic trainer does?  Perhaps you only know them as the person who tapes up your child before practice and gives them an ice bag afterward. Or maybe one has worked closely with your child after an injury to return them to play.

The four founders of 90strong.com are athletic trainers and have worked in a variety of settings. From high schools, physical therapy clinics, amateur sports, professional sports, collegiate athletics, sports performance enhancement and for the US sports associations. We have a very diverse background and can adapt to many situations due to our educational and clinical training.

To become an Athletic Trainer you must hold a bachelor’s degree from a college or university that is specifically accredited for the athletic training curriculum. 

Basic and Applied Sciences include:

  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Biology
  • Statistics and research design
  • Exercise physiology
  • Kinesiology/biomechanics
  • Chemistry *
  • Physics *
  • * Recommended but not required by some ATEP

Required Professional Content includes:

  • Risk management and injury prevention 
  • Pathology of injuries and illnesses
  • Orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis 
  • Medical conditions and disabilities
  • Acute care of injuries and illnesses
  • Therapeutic modalities    
  • Conditioning, rehabilitative exercise and referral
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychosocial intervention and referral
  • Nutritional aspects of injuries and illnesses
  • Health care administration

After graduation from college and completion of clinical hours and rotation, you are allowed to apply for and take national board exams administered through an independent company named Board of Certification, Inc.  After you successfully pass the board exam you can distinguish yourself as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC).  We are also required to submit 75 continuing education hours every 3 years, maintain CPR for Professional Rescuers and AED certification and standards of practice to maintain our certification.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) has public service campaigns for ACL injuries, back pain, baby boomers, senior falls and youth sports.  Other areas of interest and position statements include topics on concussion, mrsa, sudden cardiac arrest, heat illness, skin disease and sports injuries. This information is free and can be found on the NATA website.

The athletic training profession has come a long way since the days of smelling salts and throwing water bottles. We prep athletes for practice, oversee any injuries that occur and make assessments for further care, create return to play protocols and carry out rehabilitation or corrective exercises for injuries. Most are involved in pre-participation physicals and keep documents on our athletes. Because we are required to maintain continuing education, we keep up to date on the latest treatments, gadgets and advancements in the profession.

 As the parent of an athlete, your interaction with the school or club ATC may be limited. Some schools cannot afford a full time ATC and some clubs operate without one. If you do have access to an athletic trainer, introduce yourself. Find out if the ATC will be present for games, traveling with the team for away games, present during practices, and available after practice hours for any injuries or rehabilitation needed.  We are there to help keep your child safe so they can excel at their game.

Quick facts about athletic trainers:

The National Athletic Trainers Association was started in 1950.

There are more than 30,000 athletic training members, with 26,000 being ATC and the remainder are AT students. 

Currently regulation/licensure for athletic trainers is present in 46 states.

Almost 70% of athletic trainers have a master’s or doctoral degree.

85% of ATC’s practice in the United States.

50% of ATC’s work outside of the school athletic setting.  We can be found in physician offices, hospitals, physical therapy clinics, the military and government branches, commercial settings and professional sports teams.

Athletic trainers are assigned National Provider Identification numbers and have designated Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and Uniform Billing (UB) codes.

Athletic trainers are not personal trainers. We practice under the direction of a physician and recognized as health care professionals by the American Medical Association.

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