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The Roles of an Athletic Trainer

Written by Nate Lutz MS, AT, ATC
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Nate LutzThe athletic training profession is a diverse occupation that includes a variety of settings. Athletic trainers not only help individuals return to the athletic field or a respective line of work but it also allows these athletic trainers to practice in a setting that best suits them and their interests. No athletic training job is the same. 

In my young career in athletic training I have had the opportunity to experience many of these settings. Each of which have allowed me to become a more well rounded athletic trainer and to more fully appreciate the nature of the profession.

While earning my bachelor’s degree at a small Division III school I was introduced to the profession in a setting where two to three athletic trainers were in charge of upwards of 30 collegiate teams. Somehow I was not turned off. From my first day in observation I was amazed by the work ethic, time management, and knowledge of these staff members but what I didn’t know is if it was for me.

What I did know is that there was more to see. While most of my classmates were taking positions and attending graduate school locally, my sights were on something different. Not only did I want to see the life of a Division I collegiate athletic trainer, I wanted to experience a new culture and style of living.

This is when my athletic training career took me to Mississippi State University where I worked with SEC football and baseball teams. Needless to say, night and day difference from the Division III level where athletic scholarships are not offered. The intensity, IMG 1868speed of play and the overall athletic platform is amplified on a level unimaginable until it is experienced. While two years of long hours and hard work was a serious eye opener for me, I needed to take a step back. 

It was then I made the choice to work with the upcoming student athletes in the high school setting. I enjoy this setting because I get to work with athletes who have bright futures in a wide variety of fields. The reality is not all kids are cut out for athletics at the next level, thus not everything is about sports. While I love working with the superstar athletes just as much as any other athletic trainer, I really enjoy being with those of all skill levels, all personalities and those who have the potential to shine on and off the field. Not only does athletic training keep me in close contact with athletics, it has introduced me to lots of amazing people, each in their own unique setting.

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The Center for Physical Rehabilitation employs both athletic trainers and strength and conditioning specialists at local high schools for injury care and performance training. For more info visit www.pt-cpr.com.

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