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Trainer

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A Trainer or Athletic trainer is a person whose role is to look after the physical well-being of players. Trainers are not usually medical doctors; they are more commonly licensed physical therapists or members of similar professions. They are responsible for treating minor injuries, providing massages and similar types of therapy, and will almost always be trained first aid practitioners, as they are the ones called to intervene immediately when a player suffers a serious on-field injury (and many have intervened in cases where someone else in the ballpark has suffered an injury or any other type of medical emergency).

Trainers usually work in coordination with a licensed physician on contract with the team who can prescribe medication and look after more serious injuries. Teams also often hire strength and conditioning coaches, whose job is to minimize the trainers' burden by ensuring that players are in top physical shape at all times and undertake proper conditioning and stretching drills, lowering the risk of common injuries.

Trainers will often come on the field during a game, for example when a player has been hit by a pitch or by a batted ball and needs some immediate medical attention. A trainer will usually be the one who determines whether a player can remain in the game or if he should be removed to receive further treatment. It is thus crucial that the trainer have the full confidence of the manager and of the front office. As a result, trainers usually remain with a team for very long periods, as good ones are highly valued. The home team's trainer is also the person who deals with any injury to a member of the umpiring crew.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many trainers took on the additional role of "infection control prevention coordinator", making sure proper protocols to prevent the spread of the disease were put in place, taking temperature screenings, coordinating player testing, and so on, but also serving as mandated compliance officer charged with making sure the protocols were abided. These duties were made up "on the fy" as teams adjusted to an unprecedented situation, and all eventually hired designated compliance officers, in order not to overly burden the trainers.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jake Rill: "Trainers rise to challenge of COVID-19", mlb.com, December 22, 2021. [1]