Career Integration Research Assignment: Athletic Training

1778 words - 7 pages

The field of athletic training is one of the fastest expanding careers today. This could be due to the much greater demand for health care providers. Athletic trainers specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating muscle and bone injuries. They work with a diverse group of patients, from young children to professional athletes. Athletic trainers are usually part of a sport medicine team, which tend to include a physician, physical therapist, and even a sport psychologist. Many athletic trainers work in educational facilities, such as high schools and colleges. However, much of their time is spent on the sport fields. The profession requires the trainers to apply their wide range of medical knowledge and, in order to do so, athletic trainers must have strong interpersonal and communication skills to converse with the athletes, coaches, physicians, and parents (Occupational outlook handbook, 2012).
Athletic trainers are mainly responsible for injury recovery and prevention. However, these responsibilities are physical concerns, but what about the mental concerns? There is a movement within the athletic training field to approach sport injuries with a more holistic perspective. Many athletic trainers have had inadequate education in sport psychology to institute any sort of psychological methods in their rehabilitation programs. This paper will discuss some of the prospective ideas and various methods of rehabilitation tactics that could be used in the field, as well as how to properly train athletic trainers to administer both these mental and physical treatments. These mental treatments will be related back to sport and exercise psychology concepts; examples of this include strategies for setting realistic goals, methods for encouraging positive self-thoughts, and understanding individual motivation.
After an athlete experiences an injury, he/she may not be able to cope with their injury, which could develop into diminished self-esteem, depression, and anxiety (Clement & Shannon, 2009). Many issues were caused by the athlete’s perceptions and worries of competence, autonomy and relatedness. Autonomy is characterized by an internal locus of causality, which simply means the outcomes are inherent (Podlog & Eklund, 2009). Being one of the first responders to the injury, it is essential that athletic trainers know how to properly react and handle this problem. Early studies have examined some of the mental processes that athletes typically encounter while returning to full competition. Many athletes have anxiety and concerns of re-injury, skill retention, physical fitness, and meeting expectations (Podlog & Eklund, 2009). The sports medicine team should be responsible for development of physical and mental confidence to help prevent these concerns from appearing; the athletic trainer can provide the basis for development of psychological skills during injury prevention training (Naylor, 2009). It is evident that athletic trainers are a...

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