Today, selecting a future profession is one of the most important decisions in a person’s life, which will have a crucial impact on it. When choosing a future career path, there are different factors that people rely on. These factors are salary, the popularity of the job, easiness, a person’s own abilities, even scholarship availability. The reason I chose to become an athletic trainer is straightforward – I want to heal people. When a person is healed and got well, he becomes very happy. Hence, making people happy is the reason why I have chosen the profession.
One of the motivations to work on becoming an athletic trainer is being part of a team with the athlete. Athletes, whether they are individual sportsmen or team players, are very sensitive to injuries. It is of utmost importance for them to heal the injury quickly and successfully rehabilitate to be able to perform. It mostly depends on the proper work of an athletic trainer. Hence, athletic trainers are as a full-fledged team member as athletes. The feeling of being part of the team is very motivating. It first came to me when I was a child watching various sports games on TV. When I watched different athletes get injured, I desired to help them be back on their duty. After some time, when I found out that special people help athletes recover from injuries, I realized that it is a profession that I want to pursue.
There are several points that make an athletic trainer an interesting career opportunity for me. One of them is that it will give me a chance to communicate and work with different levels of athletes. It makes it possible to get in touch with top world-class athletes. What even more excites me is that I will be able to contribute to the success of the athlete. Also, another advantage of athletic trainers is that you can find a job in almost any location on Earth. It gives me an opportunity to find a job in schools, universities, sports clubs, professional training facilities, etc.
I do not have a specific role model who inspires me to choose this career path. I am inspired by the whole athletic trainers’ community, who work very hard for someone else’s success. What really inspires me is the fact that athletic trainers are focused on giving rather than receiving. When I help other people solve problems that they cannot handle alone, it is an honor to be useful for others and increase my personal value and satisfaction. An athletic trainer is a perfect career path for me to fulfill those personal needs to help others.
Regarding my personal experience, several examples assured me of a career choice as an athletic trainer. For instance, when I help older adults to cross the road, it gives me a satisfactory feeling and makes me happy. I think that the athletic trainer job is similar to that experience in terms of self-awareness. Moreover, once, a friend of mine injured his ankle when playing a soccer game. Even though I could not give him professional medical help at that moment, I was assisting him in getting medical care during his recovery time. This experience gave me a thought to consider choosing an athletic trainer as my future career.
The history of athletic trainer’s jobs in the United States is directly related to the history of the development of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). After the foundation of the NATA in 1950, several consecutive events took place that influenced the development of athletic training. In 1955, the start of the Committee on Gaining Recognition’s operation created a forum, which functioned as a foundation for the planning of athletic training education. As a result, the NATA Professional Education Committee was founded, which developed and approved an athletic training education program for almost three decades.
In 1969, for the first time, an undergraduate athletic training educational program was developed and officially recognized by the NATA. During the 1970s, there was a great spread of educational curriculum approved by the NATA. Athletic training education was proposed as an academic major in the 1980s. After that, athletic training started being considered a reasonable educational goal. Finally, in 1997, the NATA decided to create the World Federation of Athletic Training Task Force to develop athletic training at an international level (Delforge & Behnke 1999). Thus, NATA takes a special place in the history of athletic training.
The establishment of the Education Task Force in June 1994 resulted in major changes in athletic training education. In cooperation with John Schrader and Richard Ray, Education Task Force identified major issues and future challenges in athletic training education, presenting 18 recommendations for the NATA Board of Directors. These recommendations covered a wide range of issues in athletic training education, including curriculum design, accreditation of programs, preparation of athletic training educators. In March of 1996, the NATA decided to create the Education Council, which would be responsible for the implementation of the recommendations by the Education Task Force (Delforge & Behnke 1999). Hence, Education Task Force also had a significant influence on the establishment of the athletic training educational system.
The earliest certification of athletic trainers was put into consideration by NATA’s Professional Advancement Committee in 1968. Then, on June 6 of 1969, for the first time, the document called “Procedure of Certification for Active Members of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association” was proposed to the NATA Board of Directors. Afterward, in the 1980s, there were first efforts to create licensing for athletic training practice. Even though there were various types of licensing depending on the scope of practice, the majority of licenses had required NATA Certification as a prerequisite to start professional athletic training.
Starting from August of 1982, Board of Certification accreditation was granted by National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies. It was a significant event since it meant that NATA’s certification program was matching and suiting governmental certification standards. Another significant event is that certification marks “ATC” and “CAT” were registered in US Patent Office by NATA in order to avoid misrepresentations and to protect athletic trainers, who were certified, from potential falsifications (Grace 1999). The development of licensing for athletic training practice was a turning point in the history of athletic training.
All of these abovementioned events play a crucial role in the development and establishment of athletic training as a separate and independent major field of growth as a professional. Due to the proper development of the athletic training educational system, the current state of athletic training gives the young generation an opportunity to realize themselves as athletic training professionals. When choosing this career path, I am confident that this profession will fulfill my life goals and provide me a path for personal development, and finally, will make me happy.
Delforge, G. D., & Behnke, R. S. (1999). The history and evolution of athletic training education in the United States. Journal of Athletic Training, 34(1), 53.
Grace, P. (1999). Milestones in athletic trainer certification. Journal of Athletic Training, 34(3), 285.