The Athletic Trainer Hates It When You Do These Things!

An Athletic Trainer’s Pet peeves are not limited to the following list:

Coming in for every hangnail and minor soreness

While your athletic trainer is available to help you learn and feel better, their primary purpose is to keep you safe and respond to emergency situations. If you’re continually taking their time and resources for minor things, you’re limiting their ability to help others. Self-sufficiency is a great life skill, and your AT will be more than willing to teach you self-care!

Coming in last minute to be taped

I understand if you’re new to the training room it can be a bit of whirlwind and difficult to navigate. No reason to add the potential stress of being late to your life. You’re the only one in charge of you so take the initiative and schedule appropriately.

Left out used ice bags, old tape or garbage

This is simple. Most toddlers understand the concept of waste needing to be placed in the garbage. Your mother won’t be swinging by to clean up after you so please show respect to your school, your teammates, your athletic trainer and yourself.

The athlete that believes an ice bath every day is necessary

While some athletes respond well to ice submersion, others do not. And that is okay. As training loads change, so makes the demand on your body – no one should be ice bathing every day.

Athletes that walk in five minutes before the ATR closes

Most athletic trainers work 50-70 hours a week. Overtime does not exist. Athletic trainers must set hours to provide structure and regularity for both athletes and themselves. Please respect their time.

That “in my day” parent or coach

I love old stories about yesteryear more than most. I think we can all agree that we welcome developments in medicine and healthcare. Please don’t act like your athletic trainer is babying student-athletes just because the standard of care has risen.


I know it seems insignificant to most, but I promise you 98% athletic trainers are annoyed by this. Just please make an effort, it will be noticed and appreciated.

Showing up to practice only to discover the time was changed

We all know life happens and nothing is set in stone. In today’s technically advanced world you would anticipate quality, efficient communication. Coaches, please don’t forget to let your AT know if there has been a change as soon as you know. They may need to reschedule appointments, request additional staff help and they just may have personal plans outside of work.

Visiting athletes requesting specific taping or treatment without a note from their AT

Most athletic trainers are great about sending their student-athletes on road games prepared for their usual taping or treatment. Don’t be that one that the rest of the conference complains about because you didn’t plan well.

That kid who obsessed with topical heat rubs

“Can I get some of that [insert name brand]?” BUY your own if you plan on slathering yourself daily. A personal favorite – the epidemic that spreads within a team… Johnny used it and played great.. *17 kids line up to use the 0.63 oz Tiger Balm.

“Oh! So you can help me lose weight?”

Most people have never heard of an athletic trainer before. It should come as no surprise that they have no clue what a career as an AT entails. Although you give the classic, “prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic related injuries” spiel, the majority of the general population will still believe you work out of the local fitness center.

Being your family’s team doc

Of course, we love our families, or at least I hope to some extent you do, but it is incredibly difficult to evaluate great granddad’s knee click from across the country when they don’t want to do any work on their end. I suppose regardless of career path if you’re perceived as knowledgeable you’ll be called upon regularly for advice.

Lightning at an outdoor event

I once worked a track meet that was delayed for multiple hours. “We should be finished by 4:30 or so. Nice and quick. Couple qualifying runs are all we need.” I was a fool for believing that. The Midwest in spring is both beautiful and terrifying as mother nature makes her mark. Coaches and athletes, please know we do not enjoy prolonging events. There are reasons for lightning protocols. Unfortunate events have occurred in the past, and we are only trying to protect you and your families, that’s right – spectators too.

All in all, just be kind and respectful. Let’s use the classic Golden Rule and treat others as we would want to be treated. An athletic trainer is just another person in this world trying to make a difference.

Learn more about the athletic training world by visiting

KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.

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