News – Inside Look at Student ATs

3 Feb

La Crosse, WI – The student newspaper at UW-La Crosse did a feature recently on the competition and academic rigors of the Athletic Training major offered at the university.

35 applicants. 14 positions. One program. One university. One state. What do these numbers have in common? They are all related to the Athletic Training program at UW-La Crosse.

Athletic training (AT) is often misconstrued to be the same thing as personal training. These two are in no way the same. Personal training deals more with helping people do exercises and build muscle. AT deals with getting athletes rehabilitated and preventing injuries. Harnessing the focus on the athlete and what their body is going through is the essence of AT.

The AT program at UW-L is highly competitive and actually starts senior year of high school. Applicants who want to get into the program will be judged on their letters of recommendation, GPA’s, and a detailed written description of why they want to become an athletic trainer. Typically the university will take 35 new freshmen and give them a shot at becoming part of one of the school’s best programs available.

Becoming an AT and maintaining the AT credential isn’t for everyone.  Athletic training is not an easy career, but it is a very rewarding career.  This starts even in the academic preparation in becoming an AT.  As I used to say to my teammates during practice when I played college football “You gotta want it to get it!”

Students, if you want to be an athletic trainer, go and get it.  It is an educational program that you must eat and sleep for 3+ years in order to pass the BOC boards.  You have a lot to learn out of a book and even more to learn in the real world before you have the base understanding to be an entry level ATC.  But don’t be nervous about it, because you will probably love every minute of it!

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