Skill Set – Resiliency

26 Aug

The typical athletic trainer has a diverse skill set that they constantly develop.  This series of blog entries will seek to focus on the skill set that most athletic trainers possess in order to effectively do their job in the traditional setting.  Collectively, this skill set makes the AT a very valuable and unique resource to the athletes, coaches and administration that they serve.


Resiliency is a buzzword around our school district this year and a major theme for our teachers and administration during our In-Service seminars heading into the new year.  As I sat and listened to our administration speak on resiliency, it hit me that this is a prominent skill that ATs have had for years.  Athletic trainers are resilient.

First, let me define resilient; it is the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change (  In education terms, it is the student’s characteristic of learning through failure or difficulty.

In the aforementioned teacher in-service, resiliency was presented as having 5 key traits for teachers to develop.  These are:

  1. Ownership
  2. Mistakes are part of the learning process
  3. Support Network
  4. Identify learning styles
  5. Develop positive interactions

Athletic trainers have displayed ownership since the beginning stages of the profession.  ATs want to be the professional that every single athlete comes to when injured or in pain.  We take great pride in developing relationships with these athletes, no matter their skill level.

The very nature of athletic training being on the front lines of sports medicine will lead to mistakes.  I am not talking about blunders, but cutting edge decisions based on sound science and solid reasoning process will sometimes lead to mistakes.  ATs are constantly learning and adjusting on the fly as we practice the art of athletic training.

Early in our profession’s history, the founding group of ATs new that networking and support was necessary so the NATA was formed.  Now, most states have a solid AT association.  This support network can be formal such as the NATA or it can be informal such as your profs from college, your classmates and the fellow ATS within your athletic conference.  A word to the young ATs reading this, get a support network of fellow ATs who can help you learn positively through the mistakes you make and who can lend you an ear when you need to vent or bounce ideas off.

Identify your learning style and continue your education utilizing that learning style as much as you can.

Lastly, develop positive interactions with all that you come in contact with.  In order to be resilient, you will need those positive interactions to weather the storm or change.  If you have developed a positive interaction with people, you will get it in return and that will be a much appreciated pick me up with the time comes.

Athletic trainers are resilient!

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