HISTORY OF ATHLETIC TRAINING
History shows that competition was a very common thing among people in the past. Starting all the way back to Greek civilizations always competing to find who is the strongest, fastest, or simply the best. Along with the evidence of competition, they slowly started to develop organized events and sports. With the development of organized sport many athletes would get hurt. And that is what people believe is the start of athletic training.
As time went on and sports became more and more developed, organized and popular the need for medical assistance with injuries increased. Normally a general doctor would take care of any injury or illness whether from athletic participation or not. It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that athletic training became more of a common thing with the development of interscholastic and intercollegiate sports.
Early on Athletic Trainers were of questionable histories, having no real education and very limited if any experience. They mostly did as their name said trained athletes; more or less like a coach or teacher. It wasn’t until years later that athletic trainer’s role changed to working with mostly the active athlete. But that soon also changed. Athletic trainers soon started working not only with athletes but in clinics, schools, hospitals, and even in the military.
In the 1930’s several college athletic trainers got together to get try and start a national organization for athletic trainers. Between the late thirties and early forties, the organization called the National Athletic Trainers Association struggled to be recognized as an organization. And dissolved as a result of World War II; but in 1947 athletic trainers gathered together to create more regional groups which, today, are the districts or the National Athletic Trainers Association. In 1950, the National Athletic Trainers Association was officially formed and about 200 athletic trainers joined. By 1974, over 4,500 athletic trainers joined and today that number is well over 30,000.
Centralized in Dallas Texas, the National Athletic Trainers Association has had a big role in recognizing the need for a set of professional standards and appropriate professional recognition, the National Athletic Trainers Association also has helped to unify certified athletic trainers across the country by setting a standard for professionalism, education, certification, research and practice settings.
Since it was formed the National Athletic Trainers Association has been a driving force behind the recognition of the athletic training profession. From holding national conferences to the creation of National Athletic Training Month held in March.
The future for athletic training looks good, especially when the American Medical Association decided to include Athletic Trainers as fellow allied health professionals in 1990. With this approval from the American Medical Association, athletic trainers are now recognized as competent health care providers that can aide in the prevention, recognition, and rehabilitation of athletic injuries. And since sports are probably going to be around for a while, there will always be a need for athletic trainers.
With more and more people becoming athletic trainers, the profession is no longer seen as a small insignificant profession, but an ever expanding area of medicine that is now moving to not just sports teams, but even the military.
The reason I chose Athletic Training, is because ever since I was young I wanted to be involved with sports; whether watching or playing myself I just loved it. As I got older I figured there were some sports I wasn’t as good at but I still wanted to be involved somehow. Well it happened that along with sports, I was very interested in the human anatomy and how it works. So that is where the athletic training part came in. My freshman year I became an Athletic Training Student at my high school and was able to be a part of the football team through that. I got to watch all the practices and games, and I also got to learn a ton about the body and ways to rehab injuries.
So because of this experience in high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue not just a career in Athletic Training, but Sports Medicine. So after I hopefully graduate with my Athletic Training degree and get certified I hope to go on to graduate school to become a Physical Therapist or Orthopedic Doctor. Either way I want to be actively involved with a sports team or athletes, just for the love of the sport.