Celebrating National Athletic Training Month

March is National Athletic Training month, so we’re celebrating and recognizing all our amazing Certified Athletic Trainers (also known as ATC’s).

An ATC is an important part of an athlete’s team. An ATC is embedded in day-to-day operations of both in-season practices and off-season workouts, evaluating injuries and forming relationships with athletes by getting to know them as individuals and athletes.

When an athlete is injured, the ability to communicate about their rehab is vital to a successful return to sport process. When all stakeholders of the athlete’s sports medicine staff (players, coaches, strength and conditioning staff, and athletic trainers) communicate, athletes can more quickly get back to the sport they love.

ARC Physical Therapy+ clinicians pride themselves on their communication, and we have a great deal of experience in working with coaches, trainers and strength and conditioning staff to successfully reintegrate an athlete back into their activity.

“Athletes can expect an ARC Physical Therapy+ ATC to get to know them individually and treat their injury with their best interests and performance goals in mind. The ATC attends to acute injury but also makes decisions regarding safe return to play by communicating with the doctor, physical therapist, parent, and coach. In this role, they facilitate access to optimal recovery services and achievement of peak performance goals.”

  • Aaron Christiansen, Ankeny Regional Director and Physical Therapist

To celebrate National Athletic Training month, we spoke with a few of ARC Physical Therapy+’s Athletic Trainers about why they enjoy working with athletes, their favorite memories, and some misconceptions.

Why do you enjoy treating athletes?

“I enjoy the challenge of getting athletes back to high performance. Since sports require high conditioning and complex movements, it requires a lot of problem solving to figure out the best loading strategies to recover quickly.”

  • Andrew Hawkins, Manhattan Clinic Director and Physical Therapist


“You get to create incredible bonds with them and be a good influence along the way! It feels really good to know you made a positive impact on someone’s life.”

  • Alyssa Wrage, Ankeny ATC

What is your most memorable moment with the athletes?

“My most memorable moment with the student athletes was when we won the State Football Championship as well as the State Volleyball Championship in 2020 with the Ankeny Hawks! It was such a fun journey and seeing my athletes succeed is always amazing to see! Hard work pays off!”

  • Grant Waller, Ankeny ATC

“I had a first round pick that I was working with for a labral tear in his throwing shoulder, and he was trying to transition from catcher to third basemen. His rehab had to work around all the extra work he had to put in to learn a new position, but he was able to get back to hitting and throwing pain-free. Later that year, he was called up for the first to the majors as a third baseman. His hard work and belief in the process paid off for him in a big way.”

  • Andrew Hawkins, Manhattan Clinic Director and Physical Therapist

What misconceptions do student athletes have about working with you?

“I think a big misconception students have is that if they come to see me with an injury, they will have to sit out and not play! I always try my hardest to find a solution for them that not only makes them healthy but also keeps them in the game if possible.”

  • Alyssa Wrage, Ankeny ATC

We have decades of experience in sports and physical therapy, and many times, they coincide. Sports places high demand on athlete’s bodies, and injuries are inevitable, meaning physical therapy plays a crucial role in their recovery.

At ARC Physical Therapy+, we work with athletes of all ages and abilities, contact us today at 844-755-4272 to learn more or schedule an appointment.

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