Categorized | Sports

How to become an athletic trainer

For those looking to merge their interests in athletics and academia into a career, the athletic training program at the University of West Florida might be the way to go.

Athletic training majors can find careers working with physician’s groups, private practices and sports teams at any level.

Athletic Training Program Director Richard Frazee said there are many opportunities for students to become involved with such groups in the UWF area.

“We have a lot of affiliation agreements in the Pensacola area,” Frazee said. “Probably the largest area that our students do clinical rotations is associated with Baptist Hospital and Andrews Institute.”

In addition to their coursework, students participate in clinical field experiences at health care facilities and interact with exercise physiologists, physical therapists and other athletic training professionals, according to the department’s website.

Athletic training is part of the Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Sciences at UWF. The program was first accredited in 2004 through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, according to the department’s website. Since 2006, the athletic training program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

Frazee said that almost all students who complete the program and want to pursue graduate degrees are admitted to graduate school, and there is a need for athletic trainers in the Pensacola area.

Steven Loaf, a new athletic training major, said that part of his field experience involved observation and close work with UWF sports teams including Argonaut softball, basketball and soccer.

Students in the program are required to take at least 15 credit hours a semester to fulfill degree requirements. Current summer course offerings include Basic Care and Prevention Principles of Athletic Training, Exercise Kinesiology, and Advanced Prevention and Care of Injuries in Health, Leisure and Sports, Frazee said. There are still spots available in the care and prevention courses for this summer.

Loaf said that he is looking forward to all of the courses available to athletic training majors.

Almost all HLES students, regardless of major, take Advanced Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Frazee said.

“I’m not sure if it’s everyone’s favorite class to take,” Frazee said. “But I think a lot of people get a lot of information out of it because it’s our only exposure to the immediate care and prevention of the physically active.”

For more information on the athletic training major program, contact the HLES Department at 850-474-2592 or hles@uwf.edu.

Christian Pacheco
Staff Writer

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