Roles of Athletic Trainers and Strength and Conditioning Coaches

by P.J. Gardner MS, ATC, CSCS
NSCA Coach May 2015


Two of the key people that an injured athlete will communicate with are the strength and conditioning coach and the athletic trainer. This article examines the roles of these two professionals in directing an athlete from an injury through the complete rehabilitation program and back to full participation in their sport.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach Â»



1. Henriksson, M, Rockborn, P, and Good, L. Range of motion training in brace vs plaster immobilization after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: A prospective randomized comparison with a 2-year follow-up. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 12(2): 73-80, 2002. 
2. Kvist, J. Rehabilitation following anterior cruciate ligament injury. Sports Med 34(4): 269-280, 2004. 
3. Myer, GD, Paterno, MV, Ford, KR, Quatman, CE, and Hewett, TE. Rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: Criteria-based progression through the return-to-sport phase. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 36(6): 385-402, 2006.

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Paul Jeffery Gardner, MS, ATC, CSCS

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P.J. Gardner has been the Athletic Trainer and Assistant Strength Coach at Liberty High School in Colorado Springs, CO for the past 15 years. He has d ...

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