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J Athl Train. 1997 Apr-Jun; 32(2): 148–150.
PMCID: PMC1319818

The Role of Athletic Trainers in Counseling Collegiate Athletes

Michael A. Moulton, EdD
Michael A. Moulton is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator at Department of Health and Human Performance, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA.
Susan Molstad, EdD
Susan Molstad is Professor and Graduate Coordinator at Department of Health and Human Performance, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA.
Ashley Turner, MEd, ATC



To assess athletic trainers' perceptions with regard to (a) their role in counseling athletes, (b) how qualified they felt to address counseling issues, and (c) current training room procedures for providing psychological services to athletes.

Design and Setting:

A 47-item, open-ended survey was administered to Division I certified athletic trainers who volunteered to participate.


Fourteen Division I certified athletic trainers (mean age, 33 yr; range, 24 to 47 yr) volunteered to participate in the survey. They included five head athletic trainers, five assistant athletic trainers, three graduate assistants, and one associate director of athletics and sports medicine.


Survey results were tabulated and reported in percentages.


Athletic trainers felt that their roles went beyond the care and prevention of athletic injuries, yet they did not necessarily feel qualified to counsel athletes. Most athletic trainers were familiar with on-campus student support services to which student athletes with personal issues could be referred for assistance, but none had access to a sport psychologist.


It is recommended that the NATA include counseling preparation in curriculums and that continuing education be offered to provide certified athletic trainers with current information and skills for delivering psychological services to athletes.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (655K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Smith AM, Scott SG, Wiese DM. The psychological effects of sports injuries. Coping. Sports Med. 1990 Jun;9(6):352–369. [PubMed]
  • Pinkerton RS, Hinz LD, Barrow JC. The college student-athlete: psychological considerations and interventions. J Am Coll Health. 1989 Mar;37(5):218–226. [PubMed]
  • Carmen LR, Zerman JL, Blaine GB., Jr Use of the Harvard Psychiatric Service by athletes and non-athletes. Ment Hyg. 1968 Jan;52(1):134–137. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association