Athletic Trainer Boggled by Starting a Small Business

In 2017, I realized that if I did not find a way to make my own income, I may be unemployed, without an income, at some point during my career. I was either going to have to learn how to become a business owner or commit to traditional athletic training employment for the rest of my career.

I began listening to the ATvantage Business Podcast. It was my go-to resource for starting an athletic training business. I spent my summer listening to it.  

At the time, I had an interest in educating coaches on CPR and First Aid. It was going to be my first attempt at owning a small business.  

It is difficult to learn how to wear both hats.  

An Athletic Trainer and a business owner.  We know that the physician standing order is important to the way we perform athletic training, but it becomes confusing when Athletic Trainers want to become business owners.

What skills belong to the standing orders and which are safe to start a business with?

I did not know if I even needed a physician standing order to carry out this type of business. The lines became blurred between instructor, Athletic Trainer, and business owner.  Honestly, the time and energy that went into answering that question discouraged me completely from starting the business.

I became confused and frustrated trying to learn the answer on my own.

The ATvantage Business Podcast did a great job of emphasizing the importance of physician standing order, but it did not answer the question about what type of businesses an Athletic Trainer would need a physician standing order for.

I took small business development classes from my local technical college to learn about the approaches to starting a business that I felt were missing from the ATvantage Business Podcast. I ended up securing a new job and put the small business on the back burner.

I was beginning to feel like the athletic training profession had nothing new to offer Athletic Trainers who wanted to become business owners. The pandemic made it clear to everyone how insecure our employment is.

In 2020, the NATA offered its first Timely Topic Session, called “The AT and Entrepreneurship”.  I was eager for information and genuinely wanted to learn from the guest speakers who had successfully built their own businesses.


I asked questions to the speakers.  I wanted to know:

  • Who are the athletic training entrepreneurs already finding success?
  • Which athletic training entrepreneurs should we be rooting for?

The moderator did not ask my questions to the speakers, so I did not get my questions answered.


One of the speakers was asked about how to approach the physician standing orders when starting a small business. The speaker’s reply was simple. “Yes, I have a medical director.  I asked, and they said “Yes”.” 

I can only imagine the frustration of the Athletic Trainer who asked the question to the speaker. Only to be told the answer we have heard over and over.  The one that leaves you with more questions than answers. 

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

In the end, I still have not found a good answer to the questions about small businesses and physician standing orders.   But, I did make some new mentors who I am excited to learn from.

Everyone must start somewhere. The sites below are truly passionate about the success of Athletic Trainers in all settings.  Check them out to learn more!

Visit the NATA Events page to learn more about the Timely Topics series.
Visit FIU Athletic Training to learn more about entrepreneurship education.
Visit the Business ATvantage Podcast.

Copyright 2021 Lindsey Rozinski

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