Ask an Athletic Trainer

The VCU Rec Sports Athletic Training Program is proud to offer virtual opportunities for VCU students, faculty and/or staff as well as the Richmond community.

Currently, we are offering live Q & A sessions, pre-recorded educational sessions, injury prevention techniques, and more.

Each week will include new information on how to keep you healthy and on the move. 

All of these programs are COMPLETELY FREE. For more info contact Ashley Shepherd at aball4@vcu.edu

Upcoming Sessions

The VCU Sport Club Athletic Training Program is offering various conditioning, strength, and/or stretching training programs this Fall to your clubs. All courses are FREE and will be taught virtually by the Athletic Trainer, Ashley Shepherd. 


This is a fun AND safe way for you and your teammates to stay connected as well as in shape!

If your club is interested, we ask that one officer from each club submit a questionnaire. Any additional feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Please submit no later than 5 business days prior to your first available date. For questions, contact Ashley Shepherd aball4@vcu.edu

Quidditch Club Home Strength and Balance Session

Recorded October 23, 2020

Recorded October 9, 2020 

Ask an Athletic Trainer Q&A Session: 

Presented by licensed and certified VCU Rec Sports Athletic Trainer, Ashley Shepherd.   Join us to learn about injuries, exercise modification due to discomfort/injury, exercises to complete your workout goals at home, educational activities, and much more. Questions are always welcome and encouraged live or via email ahead of time.

Previous Sessions

Going for Glutes

Recorded June 3, 2:00 p.m.

Looking for ways to lift, tone, and strengthen your glutes? Join me to learn more about the glutes as well as how to get the most out of your workout for glute strengthening.

Climbing Stairs: Utilization of Stairs for Daily Workouts and Injury Rehabilitation
Recorded May 20, 2020, 2:00 p.m.

Looking to change up your workout routine but have little to no equipment available at home?  Join me to figure out how to get your fitness levels to new heights by utilizing a set of stairs.  This session will be instructional and educational, but also fun. We will explore new ideas on how to keep you active while performing exercises that are safe and effective at building or maintaining strength and stability for the whole body.

Foam Rolling 101
Recorded May 13, 2020, 2:00 p.m.

Join us in this session to learn about the anatomy and science behind foam rolling, why it can be beneficial to your daily routine, as well as techniques and exercises that can mix-up your fitness routine

Stretching Types and How to Use Them
Recorded May 6, 2020, 2:00 p.m. 

Whether you have a stretching routine already or are looking to expand your knowledge on the subject, join me for this session to discuss the importance of stretching before/after activity as well as various types of stretching to determine the best method for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Athletic Training

What is an Athletic Trainer?

According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), Athletic Trainers are:

Health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, in accordance with their education and training and the states’ statutes, rules and regulations. As a part of the health care team, services provided by athletic trainers include injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions”

How do I become an Athletic Trainer?

According to the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), “To become an athletic trainer, candidates must graduate with a degree in Athletic Training from an accredited athletic training program and successfully pass the Board of Certification (BOC) exam.  To practice as an athletic trainer in most states, the individual must also be credentialed within the state.  Degrees in physical therapy, exercise science, strength and conditioning or others DO NOT qualify the candidate to sit for the BOC examination.”  Once you pass the BOC, you can apply for licensure to work in your state.

Do all states require a license in order to work as an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic Trainers are licensed or otherwise regulated in 49 states and D.C.  There is a continued effort in order to allow California to require a license to practice in the state.

Are Athletic Trainers the same as Personal Trainers?

Athletic Trainers are often mistaken for Physical Therapists, Personal Trainers, EMTs, and several other professions.  One cannot identify as an Athletic Trainer without obtaining an education in Athletic Training from a CAATE accredited program, passing the BOC, and obtaining licensure to work in their state.  Athletic Trainers hold many hats in their career field and are healthcare professionals recognized by the Board of Medicine.  Athletic Trainers may work beside and aid other professionals in order to have the best care for their patients, but Athletic Training is not Personal Training.

What populations do Athletic Trainers work with?

Athletic Training is often thought of as working with collegiate or professional athletics, but it has since expanded its horizons to work with other populations.  Athletic Trainers work in many different areas such as Emergency Rooms, Orthopedic offices, Physical Therapy Clinics, Theater and Dance companies, NASA, Recreational Sports, Industrial Settings, and much more.  Due to their knowledge and experience, Athletic Trainers have become more widely utilized for helping their patients stay active and healthy from injury.

  • For security purposes, we ask that you not use your VCU email address or eID password when creating an account on websites external to VCU.
  • All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. The links provided are not affiliated with VCU or VCU Recreational Sports.
  • If you require accommodations to access this content, please email Ashley Shepherd

Virginia Commonwealth University
Division of Student Affairs
101 S. Linden St.
Richmond, VA 23220

(804) 827-1100
recsports@vcu.edu

About Recreational Sports

VCU Recreational Sports offers a diversity of programmed and informal recreational, fitness and sports activities for the VCU community.

Page last updated 08/14/2018

View graphic version