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National Athletic Training Month is held every March to raise awareness and celebrate athletic trainers.


Athletic trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who provide medical services for active patient populations. From injury prevention and enhanced wellness to rehabilitation and return to activity, ATs are essential to health care in work, life and sport. March is National Athletic Training Month (NATM), a time to celebrate the essential role that athletic trainers play in health care.

National Athletic Training Month is provided by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the professional members association for certified athletic trainers and others who support the athletic training profession. NATA represents more than 45,000 members worldwide.


Athletic trainers are essential to health care

The 2021 theme for National Athletic Training Month is “Essential to Health Care.” No matter the team, athletic trainers are essential to health care in work, life and sport. From sports to military, warehouse floors to the theatre stage, ATs provide medical services aimed at reducing the risk of injury and illness, enhancing performance, improving wellness and rehabilitating patients to get them back to the things they love. ATs play an essential role in patient communication, care coordination, patient satisfaction and outcomes. ATs help organizations reach health care goals related to safety and costs. ATs help reduce the risk of injury and improve the bottom line. ATs have been called the glue that holds a team together. Athletic trainers are essential to health care.

essential health care

ATs provide essential health care services on the field, in the hospital and countless other locations. ATs are experts in injury and illness prevention – in fact, ATs spend nearly 50% of their time providing preventative health care. ATs provide essential health care in times of an emergency, such as sudden cardiac arrest, exertional heat stroke or cervical spine injury. Perhaps one of the most rewarding parts of being an AT is helping an athlete, performer or public servant return to the sport, stage or job they love after sustaining an injury. ATs work collaboratively with other health care professionals to rehabilitate an active patient to work, life and sport.  Essential health care services that ATs provide include:

  • Injury and Illness Prevention: ATs implement injury prevention programs and help mitigate risk by developing venue specific emergency action plans.
  • Examination and Diagnosis of Injuries: ATs help ensure that patients receive the necessary health screenings as well as evaluate injuries when they occur.
  • Immediate and Emergency Care: ATs provide emergency care for injury and illnesses such as concussion, cardiac arrest, spine injuries, heat stroke, diabetes, allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
  • Therapeutic Intervention: ATs recondition and rehabilitate injuries, illnesses and general medical conditions for optimal performance and function.
  • Health Care Administration: ATs are pioneers of change. Through injury data collected by ATs, the athletic training profession is shaping injury prevention and identifying new ways to keep patients healthy while reducing overall health care costs.

celebrate athletic trainers

March is National Athletic Training Month, a time to celebrate the essential role that ATs play in work, life and sport.


Social media is an easy way to shout out an AT who has made an impact in your life. Write a post, take a picture, use video and tag the AT you want to celebrate. Feel free to get creative, have fun or even be sentimental with your post. As long as you’re appreciating an athletic trainer, you’re doing it right.  Be sure to use #NATM2021 and #EssentialtoHealthCare.


Seek out opportunities to celebrate and raise awareness for the athletic training profession online or in print. School or hospital websites, sports programs, magazines or other printed publications are great vehicles to publish an advertisement to raise awareness or even an open thank you letter to the profession.

Display posters or advertisement on internal and/or external signage available to you (bulletin boards, billboards, locker room displays, etc.). For friends of the profession with traditional media buys, leverage your add-value or PSA inventory to show your support.


Do you have a jumbotron, electronic scoreboard or other electronic sign at your disposal? Use it to publicly appreciate your athletic trainer during a timeout, halftime or even the entire month of March. Bonus points if you ask your PA announcer to have the crowd give the athletic trainer a round of applause!

No jumbotron? No worries. Think about what options you have access to and use those instead. Examples include placing a banner ad on your website or hanging a poster in your facility. Even smaller recognitions are extremely meaningful.


If you don’t have an athletic trainer, or you think you need more, then reach out to your local newspaper to get your argument across in an Op-Ed or letter to the editor. Additionally, if you have an athletic trainer you would like to celebrate, take out an ad or work with the school to place a feature story.


There are so many ways to thank athletic trainers during National Athletic Training Month, and a little goes a long way. Send an email or a handwritten note. If you work with an athletic trainer, show up for an early morning rehab session with fresh coffee and a pat on the back. Call them on the phone just to say thanks. Tell his or her boss about the amazing work that they do. Taking time to recognize athletic trainers, however you choose to do it, shows your sincere appreciation for the role they play within athletic health care.