June 2021 - 6

A.D.MINISTRATION athletic director strategies
the working relationship between
THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR
& ATHLETIC TRAINER
By Dr. David Hoch, retired CMAA
In one's role as an athletic
administrator, you have to develop
working relationships with a
number of people. Obviously, you
interact with coaches, athletes, and
administrators. Also throw into
this mix parents, teachers, officials,
colleagues and so many more. There
is, however, one more individual who
is critical and essential, and this
would be your athletic trainer. This
person is responsible for the health
and safety of student-athletes and
this has to be the number one goal in
any athletic department.
There are three essential elements
necessary for a good working
relationship between an athletic
administrator and an athletic
trainer. They would be support,
communication, which needs to be
two-way, and collaboration.
Considering the aspect of support
much more is involved than merely
providing the financial resources
for equipment and supplies. It
is imperative that an athletic
administrator informs the coaches
and parents that the athletic trainer
is the expert and, as such, is totally
in charge with respect to treatment,
rehabilitation, and return to play
protocols dealing with any athletic
injury. This means that there can be
no interference, lobbying, or trying
to circumvent an athletic trainer's
decisions. What this professional
says, goes!
This message may have to be
repeated and it would be wise to
include this notice in any documents
and materials which are distributed
to parents. In addition, this point
has to be emphasized in every
6 JUNE 2021
coaches' meeting and, if there is a
breach or disregard of the protocols
and expectations, an athletic
administrator has to step in and
deal personally with uncooperative,
misguided individuals. Your athletic
trainer is in charge of the health and
safety of student-athletes and this is
an absolute.
In addition to spelling out this
critical expectation, the following
are some other practical ways in
which you can show support for your
athletic trainer.
Always recognize the long days
and dedicated service that an athletic
trainer provides to the athletes and
the athletic department. Not only do
these individuals treat injuries at
practice sessions and games, they
often call to check on athletes in the
evening and answer questions from
parents. There may be occasions
where they have to contact physicians
or the team doctor with questions or
for guidance and all of these efforts
go well beyond the normal workday.
Thank your athletic trainer
publicly and this should be done
beyond individual conversations. It is
extremely important for your parents
and the community to understand their
value, dedicated service, and what
they contribute to the athletes and
the program. This can and should be
done during awards programs, team
banquets, parent-teacher association
and booster club meetings, and any
other logical opportunity.
Try to provide all of the necessary
equipment and materials in order for
an athletic trainer to provide their
service. While there will be budgetary
limitations, do everything that you
can to provide the best for them. If
you have to cut in other areas, do so.
But always remember that the health
and safety of student-athletes has to
be the number one objective.
Provide swag such as baseball
caps, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or
whenever you can. While these items
do represent small tokens, they do
show that you appreciate their efforts.
Also, include athletic trainers in
championship celebrations, awards
programs, and other appropriate
team and department activities since
these individuals make it possible for
athletes to participate and, if injured,
to return to the team. In this sense, an
athletic trainer is a valuable member
of each and every team.
Help your athletic trainer by
providing professional development
funds to attend clinics, conferences,
and in-service training opportunities.
All athletic trainers have to complete

June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2021

June 2021 - 1
June 2021 - 2
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