How to promote the profession – NATM

16 Feb

Throughout this blog, I have written my opinions on why an AT should be at every high school in the US, but this blog is too small a forum to accomplish that goal.  What it will take to achieve that level of care for all high school athletes is a collective effort by thousands of ATs across the country to promote the profession.  This series of blog entries will seek to give ideas to the AT on real life ways that they can also promote the profession.

National Athletic Trainer’s Month (NATM)

March of every year is National Athletic Trainer’s Month and with it comes some focused ways to promote and market athletic training.  What do you have planned?  Where do you even start?  What can you do?

If most of you are like me, I have done very little in the past for NATM.  Truthfully, I never was aware of the need and couldn’t get past the idea that it would be shameless self-promotion.  But between NATM, 2009 and NATM, 2010, the athletic trainer/teacher who preceded me died of ALS so for NATM 2010 I decided to do something in his honor.  I was and am still indebted to the legacy and professional standard he set for me and I used the opportunity to honor his contributions.  In his honor, I composed an email and sent it to every administrator at the district office and every teacher in the high school and the middle school.  The positive response from the email was overwhelming and it was a great way to create awareness of what ATs do.  NATM is not shameless self-promotion; if it is, you are doing it wrong.  NATM is an public education and awareness opportunity.

You may ask then, okay, where do I start?  First, I would look for marketing ideas on the internet and in your local community.  Second, ask “How are charities and non-profit organizations marketing their information?”

Here are some ideas:

  1. 3k, 5k or 10k fun runs.
  2. Walk or have a float in parades.
  3. Do some sort of charity work for the less fortunate.  Look for ways to provide a service as a group of ATs (certified and/or students) and get the media to write about it in the school newspaper, the local news or online.
  4. Participate in a health fair.  Provide a free body fat analysis and perform a BMI.  Provide a flexibility screen.  Set up a booth that tells who you are, what an AT is and what you do.
  5. Provide athletic training services for a charity tournament with the stipulation that the PA announcer announces the the services have been provided in honor of NATM.  Set up an informational table at the tournament with literature about the education and qualifications of athletic trainers.  This may be a way to reach high school students into a career of athletic training.

This is just a sampling of ideas for you to do as an individual and more to do as a group of individuals.  The more ATs you can gather locally to use NATM as a promotional tool, the better it will be.

I had a conversation with an ATC the other day, he said this and it is so applicable to this entry “The goal is to leave the profession a better place when you are done.”  Couldn’t have said it better Coop!

Please leave some comments of what you have done or are planning for NATM!  We all could use the ideas.

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