It never ceases to amaze me when I see student-athletes at any level do things to piss of their Athletic Trainer. It makes no sense because they are hired to keep you healthy. If you are not healthy, then you do NOT play. If you do not play then, you are unhappy. Therefore athletic trainers = happiness. If something or someone can bring you happiness, you better treat them right. It can be the difference between success and failure.
Your Athletic Trainer Wants You to Remember That The World Does Not Revolve Around You
Outside of one person, you have to bear in mind that the world mostly consists of other people. Athletic trainers more often than not are usually overworked because they have to deal with more athletes than they really should have to. What this means is that you may not be able to get the individual love and care that you think you should get. Put yourself in their shoes for a second.
If you were one person responsible for 100+ athletes how would you go about prioritizing all of them and the time you give each of them? How would you decide when an athlete needs more attention and when you need just to do something quick and move on to more pressing matters? It is a tough thing to figure out, and there are no easy answers here.
Your Athletic Trainer Wants You to Remember to Do as Much as You Can On Your Own
The world loves to help people who try and help themselves first. A great example of this is people who ask other people questions that they can find out in 10 seconds with a google search. That is being lazy and acting helpless. No one wants to help the person not putting in some effort on their end. Nothing is different for athletes.
If you walk up to your athletic trainer every day with your problems and you show minimal effort or desire to help yourself first, they will be less likely to help you. What could you on your own you ask?
- Foam Roll
- Ice Cup
- Rest Properly
- Improve eating habits
Just like that, those are five things ANY athlete can do, and they do need the help of their athletic trainer to do it. Maybe they don’t fix your problems, but they show you AT that you are at least making an effort to be better.
When I was at Iowa State, I won over my athletic trainers because I would spend an hour in the training room every day doing work on my own before I ever asked anyone for help. It was my responsibility to get healthy and succeed before it was the athletic trainers.
Your Athletic Trainer Wants You to Remember to Give Them the Benefit of The Doubt
If you go to someone for help and you don’t listen to what they say. The best thing you can do is not go back to that person again because you have insulted them by wasting their time. What you should do is do everything they told you to do. If after doing that things don’t get better, then you can at least say you listened. When you defy your Athletic Trainer, you lose the ability to say they didn’t help you because, in reality, you did not listen.
Your Athletic Trainer Wants You to Remember That A lot of Time the Solution Looks Like Hard Work
Ever notice how the best athletes on teams rarely have problems with the AT’s? The reason for this is because the best athletes embrace work. They love the grind and look for more reasons to engage in it.
The lazy athletes, on the other hand, are looking for short cuts, quick fixes and magical pills that exist only in Hogwarts. This does not translate to a good thing when injuries start. Coming back from an injury takes hard work. It adopts a SERIOUS grind that can even be harder than training for a sport itself.
If you come into the training room expecting things to be easy, you will be shell shocked by the realities of life. It is easy to hate your athletic trainer when they make you work to get healthy, but that is what is needed. Deal with it and come with the right attitude.
Your Athletic Trainer Wants You to Remember to Take Time to Understand the Science
I naturally was able to do this because I have always been a huge lover of the details of athletic injuries and why I had the passion to build an injury app. You have to recognize that most athletic trainers take a lot of science based classes. They love getting into the technical nitty gritty that most people don’t care about.
Show some interest in this. Remember we make way more friends in life showing interest in other people then we do showing an interest in yourself. Talk about what they want to talk about. Ask interesting questions and give them a chance to show you all that they know. Not only will this help you trust them but it will make them want to work with you even more.
Say Thank You Often
A part of what your AT does is keep you healthy, but they also have to do a lot of menial tasks like putting the water out, carrying tables through airports, packing all the medical supplies, and so many more things. Make sure you always take the time to tell them to thank you. Even if you don’t like them tell them anyway because not every part of the job is fun for them yet they do it anyway.
When it is all said and done, and the bright lights come on, athletic trainers are often forgotten. Coaches get awards and bonuses, athletes get the victory, but the work of the AT goes unnoticed. If you’re the athlete that takes time out of your day to ache
Your Athletic Trainer Wants You to Remember to Follow The Simple Rules (Even if They Are Stupid to You)
I remember in college the biggest fights between athletes and students came about over rules like you must shower before you can have an ice bath. A lot of athletes would rather not ice bath then just get in the shower. Some would just wet their hair to make it look like they showered, others would soak their feet, I have seen everything. It is all stupid and here is why.
Regardless of if we like them, part of being on a team means following the rules. If you don’t understand the law, it is your responsibility to ask why. Athletic department Ice baths are NASTY because people go to practice get sweaty in their crotch and other areas and then these people all climb into one body of water.
Think of public pools, they are nasty, but at least everyone is not coming fresh from a hard practice. Ice bath water can be so gross. When our athletic trainer made the shower rule, I was so happy because I am all for clean water and you should be as well.
Your Athletic Trainer Wants You to Remember to Lead The Way and Set The Tone
Once you figure out how to build a great relationship and how to conduct yourself, you should focus on showing others the way. When it comes down to it, talk is cheap, and most athletes respond well to action. When they see you making an effort to foam roll daily, they will do the same thing. They see you showing respect and listening to their ideas; they will do the same. When they see you taking a shower after practice, they will do the same.
The one thing we lack in this world more than ever is real leaders. They did this study of high school athletes, and it revealed that over 70% of athletes think they are great leaders. I almost choked on my food as I tried to show my wife. There is no way that 70% is an accurate representation. The only way to change this is if more people just like you step up and get it done.
Don’t Be a Dummy and Show Your Athletic Trainer some love because they deserve it more ways than one. You need them to have the season of your dreams, so treat them accordingly. Even if you don’t like them, that is life; you have to make it work!