How to Promote the Profession – Teamwork

23 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.


Last night, the girls’ basketball team traveled for a first round District playoff basketball game.  We played at the opposing team’s gym as they were the higher seed.  Since nothing else was happening in athletics at home, I traveled with the team to tend to the pre-game taping (1 ankle, 1 finger) and then anything that should arise during the course of play.

Play was a bit physical and the talent level of the players was far superior to the talent level of the officials both ways.  While in possession of the ball, one of my athletes collided with another player and ended up with a significant nasal fracture in the first quarter.  She also had a small laceration on the bridge of her nose.  (No foul was called on either player.)  But thanks to the help of the opposing athletic trainer and his staff, we were able to stop the bleeding, fit her with a nose guard and play the 2nd half.  The opposing school provided our player with a generic nose guard to use.  It ended up being the athlete’s last high school basketball game as we lost.

The point of the story is to focus on the efforts of the opposing team’s athletic training staff.  They provided me with everything I needed to properly care for this athlete when they had no vested interest in doing so.  They were very attentive to what was needed and treated my injured athlete and I as though we were part of their team.

Earlier today, I received a very nice thank you note via email from the injured athlete’s parents showing appreciation for my efforts in doing everything I could to allow their daughter to safely compete in her last game.  They wrote that they were comforted in knowing that I was doing everything I could for her.  But the truth is that it was a team effort and that effort doesn’t just sign a light on me, but it shines a positive light on the entire profession.

This situation is not unique, but happens thousands of times a year.  Opposing teams need athletic training services and most often the AT doesn’t travel (at least at the high school level).  Every AT I have worked with in my conference and the PIAA district will go out of their way to not only tend to the needs of their athletes, but the opposing team’s athletes.  This is the essence of teamwork.  I know I can’t be everywhere and travel with my teams but I can rest at night because of the teamwork that has been built and fostered with the region’s ATs.

Showing solidarity, teamwork, treating the opposing athletes as one of your own, assisting the opposing team’s AT when possible are all positive ways to show the community that what we do is valuable and important.

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