Be a mechanic for those finely tuned machines we call athletes.
Do you like sports? If the answer is no, what are you even doing here? Did you try to search for something else, which autocomplete turned into the word-salad rantings of the insane? We're sorry about that, and possibly the fact that your autocomplete is possessed by the ghost of E.E. Cummings. Oops.
If you answered yes, then welcome. Sports have been an integral part of the human experience as soon as we settled down. While running, jumping, and throwing used to be all about escaping saber-toothed tigers or catching food, now they can be done recreationally.
Sports have all kinds of cool anthropological importance, but who cares, right? You're here because they're awesome. And they really can be. There is something undeniably thrilling about watching an athlete at the peak of his or her game do something that seems impossible.
This is why sports have become a billion-dollar industry at home and abroad. With all that money on the line, it's pretty important for athletes to be operating at peak performance all the time. This is where athletic training comes in.
Athletic training is a cross-specialization in all kinds of disciplines. The short version is that you study the human body and figure out how to make it awesome.
Now, when we say "figure out how to make humans awesome," that doesn't include things like performance-enhancing drugs, blatant cheating, or cybernetics. Come on, do you really want an army of unstoppable cyborgs taking us down? We thought not.
It starts with helping an athlete create the body they need for their sport. You will learn what kinds of foods they should be fueling up with and what kinds of exercises they should be doing. Sadly, the answer is almost never "Corn Nuts and extended Call of Duty regimens."
Then, you're going to tackle the specific skills your athletes use in competition: getting them ready, developing the right reflexes, and building the muscle they'll need. If you're training a soccer player, expect to put them through a lot of running and leg exercises. If you're training an archer, it's all about hand-eye coordination and arms and shoulder muscles.
Lastly, you learn how to help fix the machine if anything goes wrong. While you're not going to be a sports surgeon or anything like that, you will learn about rehabbing techniques, stretches, exercises, and so on to help with minor injuries like sprains, twists, and even small breaks.
Behind every great athlete, there's a whole team of people helping them. You'll be one of the most important.
Famous People who majored in Athletic Training
Okay, so there aren't really any famous people who majored in athletic training. It's not really a thing.
Here are some famous athletic trainers, though:
- Mark Gibson, of University or Wisconsin—La Crosse
- David Draper, athletic trainer at Brigham Young University
- Mike C. Murphy, athlete whisperer with an honorary degree in athletic training
Percentage of US students who major in Athletic Training:
N/A (figure not available)
Stats obtained from this source.