Local athletic trainers celebrate NATM

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

Panning the sidelines at any high school sporting event in the county, one might not give much thought to the athletic training staff —that is, until they’re needed.

The National Athletic Trainer’s Association looks to change that by raising awareness of the profession’s duties during National Athletic Training Month, held each March.

Chelsea High and Middle School head athletic trainer Summer Neldner-Scott said the month wasn’t used so much to revel in the perks of the profession, but to educate others about it.

“Basically, we celebrate our profession,” she said. “We go out in the community and display what we do. On the national level, they like to do political (events) that would boost our profession.”

The National Athletic Trainer’s Association looks to raise awareness of the profession’s duties during National Athletic Training Month, held each March. (Nata.org)

The National Athletic Trainer’s Association looks to raise awareness of the profession’s duties during National Athletic Training Month, held each March. (Nata.org)

Neldner-Scott said that while people might be familiar with what the basic duties of a trainer are, there is plenty that goes on behind the scenes.

“Obviously (the job) begins when an injury occurs,” she said. “Before that, we’re trying to prevent (them). We’re in the weight room critiquing conditioning. We do anything from educating on nutrition to paperwork.”

Neldner-Scott said job duties also include getting the correct treatment plan for injuries and maintaining a training room, as well as working with students aspiring to work in sports medicine.

She said there are programs available for high school students looking to get into athletic training.

“(At Chelsea) we start out basic,” she said. “(We go) over injuries, basic first aid and get certified for CPR. It’s like a practicum or lab. When an injury comes in, they see it. They learn the ins and outs(and) day-to-day things.”

For students who are not currently in a program, Neldner-Scott said finding a way into a program wasn’t difficult.

“Get involved with a local school or sports medicine clinic,” she said. “There’s also our national association website with stuff for high school students that are interested in athletic training in college.”

For more information on National Athletic Training Month, visit Nata.org.