National Athletic Training Month is held every March in order to spread awareness about the important work of athletic trainers. To celebrate, we are highlighting some Pivot professionals who work hard to keep local athletes healthy, fit, and active. Here is our Q&A with Mark Schatz, ATC.
What inspired you to become an athletic trainer?
I’ve always been involved with sports, and I liked the prospect of working with athletes. I was interested in going into a hands-on medical field, so Athletic Training seemed like the dream job for me.
How did you find the school experience to get certified?
I received my Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training from Towson University, where I gained valuable clinical experience working with NCAA Division I teams. As an Athletic Training student, I also spent time working with Goucher College athletics, as well as with the student athletes at Friends School of Baltimore.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I believe high school athletic trainers are in an invaluable position to make a meaningful impression on their student athletes. I like embracing that role. I enjoy the ability I have not only to set up my student athletes for success on the field, but also to also help set them up for success in life.
What are the challenges you see most often with working at a high school?
The biggest challenge with working in the high school setting is handling the sheer volume of athletes. Based on the limited amount of space and resources that are available, it can be difficult to deliver the amount of care that would be ideal for each athlete; however, I think this has definitely made me a more creative clinician.
What is the most surprising part of being an athletic trainer?
The most surprising part of being an athletic trainer, especially in the high school setting, is seeing how quickly and how often the job can change. Every day of work for me is unique. No injury ever presents the same way. No rehab process is ever the same. Each season brings a brand new spectrum of athletes. This definitely keeps things interesting.
What do you know now about athletic training that you would go back and tell your high school self if you could?
I would tell my high school self to develop better study habits. Athletic Training is a rigorous and, at times, pretty intense major that requires a lot of dedication and determination. The transition into college would have been much smoother had I have been more organized with my study habits.