March is an important month for a select group at Goucher College. Though they are usually behind the scenes, National Athletic Training Month brings their hard work and dedication to the spotlight. The three athletic trainers, Ryan Price, Rachel Robbins, and Conor Trainer, are an integral part of every sports team here at Goucher.
Conor Trainer is currently in his second year as head athletic trainer at Goucher. The profession first allured him while he was at a Philadelphia Eagles football game in high school.
"I saw two guys sprinting on the field to the player who wasn't moving," Trainer recalled. "I wasn't able to see what happened next but whatever those two guys did, he was able to walk off the field and returned the next game. Ever since then I have been interested in sports related injuries and how players are able to return to play after them."
And the rest was history. Before landing at Goucher, Trainer went through school and got certified for the position.
"I had to complete four years in an athletic training education program that consisted of 1000+ clinical hours," said Trainer. "We also have to sit for our boards to get our athletic training certification. I earned my masters in athletic training after attending two years of graduate school. Athletic trainers in Maryland also need to be licensed by the state in order to practice."
Trainor completed his undergraduate work at Towson University and earned a degree in Athletic Training Education. In May 2015, he earned his master's degree from Temple University.
Since 2012, Trainer has worked at various schools, perfecting his techniques and skills associated with athletic training. He says that college athletes have the most drive, determination and best work ethic of all that athletes that he has worked with. However, not many people would be able to guess Trainer's favorite sport to be an athletic trainer for. Rugby.
"The play doesn't stop for an injury, so you might have to dodge some people running at you while you're running to an injured athlete," explained Trainer. "My favorite memory is handling my first emergency situation by myself when I worked for a men's rugby team. Everything that could have went wrong did, but I was able to adapt and transport the injured athlete to the hospital."
In the future, Trainer hopes to transition into the teaching of athletic training. If he wasn't in a college setting, he would like to be an athletic trainer with a professional team.
"Hockey, basketball, or lacrosse only," remarked Trainer. "The definition and main responsibility of an athletic trainer remains the same, but the job descriptions will be different from setting to setting."
During his time being an athletic trainer, Trainer learned that patience and adaptability are two key skills to have. They never know when they will be called into action and the waiting is what he hates most.
"The anticipation of waiting for an injury to happen is the hardest part of being an AT," said Trainer. You always hope it never does happen, but I would not have a job if it was not expected."
If that's the worst part of the job, what is the best part about being an athletic trainer?
"Seeing an athlete return to play from and injury is always the best thing about our profession," said Trainer. "Plus watching sports for a living isn't bad."
Because sports are such an important part of many student-athletes' lives, National Athletic Training Month is key to showcasing the individuals that keep teams and athletes healthy.
"Not only are we directly impacting athletes if they get hurt by recognizing, evaluating, and rehabilitating the injury, we are also someone they can talk to and bounce ideas off of," explained Trainer. "The student-athletes tend to tell us way more than we need to know!"