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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.
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.