Academic preparation for counseling in athletic training programs: Two views

Date of Completion

January 1998


Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Physical|Education, Educational Psychology




Athletic trainers have assumed several roles and responsibilities over the years, but perhaps there is none more important than that of a counselor. Athletic trainers have traditionally enjoyed a unique relationship with student-athletes. The athletic trainers interactions with student-athletes can range from physical to mental issues, and they are able to view the athlete at his/her highs and lows. As athletic trainer/athlete relationships are primarily based on trust, the athletic trainer's opinion is often sought by athletes regarding topics other than injury prevention and management.^ This study examined the educational views of 83 Undergraduate Accredited/Approved Athletic Training Program Curriculum Directors and their student athletic trainers on issues related to counseling. The Modified Revised Wylie Inventory was utilized to obtain the data. Of the 83 packets, 52 (62.6%) were returned. Fifty-one Curriculum Directors and 826 student athletic trainers responded.^ The instrument was found to be both valid and reliable. The inventory yielded six factors, therefore a MANOVA was conducted. Addressing research question one statistically significant results were found with Factor three (Participation) and Factor five (Emphasis B). Statistically significant results were found concerning the issue of suicide for the second research question with respect to where the education emphasis should be placed. With respect to research question three, there was a significant difference in the ranking of the counseling issues between the Curriculum Directors and the student athletic trainers with regard to nutrition and suicide. In reference to which counseling courses the two groups had taken, there were statistically significant differences between Curriculum Directors and student athletic trainers concerning the following: Sport Psychology, Introduction to Counseling, Group Dynamics, Group Facilitation, Developmental Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Multicultural Counseling. Examining where the Curriculum Directors refer athletes, the response was most 'often' to counselors on campus.^ Based on the results of the study one must examine the educational process of the athletic trainers. The athletic trainer must be educated to address both, mind and body, issues that athletes present. Therefore, it is necessary to better prepare the future athletic trainer for their role as a counselor. ^