The Road Less Traveled

I’m sure at some point we’ve all been watching our favorite team, or at least been pretending to watch someone else’s favorite team, and seen a player get injured. It’s not hard for us to be aware when our favorite player goes down clutching their knee, but how many people notice the first person out there when they do? It’s not hard to notice the tape on your leading scorer’s ankles, but does anyone ever stop to think about how it got there in the first place? Injury, in any physical activity, is undeniably unavoidable, which is why I want to be an athletic trainer. Because what would a Sunday afternoon be without your favorite football team? What would you remember from high school if you had not had the opportunity to scream your heart out during games. I want to be an athletic trainer because I want to be apart of the madness and chaos that brings so many people, people that would otherwise have nothing in common, together. You can call me biased, but I believe it takes a special kind of person to be an athletic trainer. It’s demanding. Athletic trainers work long days and late nights, then have piles of paperwork and reports to complete when they’re done. It’s a whole lot of memorization. Not only do you have to know every muscle, tendon, bone, and ligament, you have to know how they work. It takes critical thinking. Because it’s one thing to be able to name every part of the body, it’s another to be able to diagnose what’s wrong with it, then figure out how to fix it. It requires people skills. Athletic trainers are around players, coaches, parents, and staff constantly. If you’re not a people person you’re simply not going to like it. So next time you’re watching your favorite team take a look at the brilliant support staff behind them and think about everything they did to get them there.

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