Editor's Note: This article is part of a series recognizing National Athletic Training Month.
COVINGTON, Ga. — All throughout his childhood, Ty Imler wanted to be close to sports. He played basketball, baseball and soccer growing up and, while attending Loganville High School, he enjoyed a golf and swim career.
Imler is now the athletic trainer at Alcovy High School where he has serviced all of the Tigers’ teams for the past school year.
Imler’s desire to enter his current profession is linked to his passion for sports.
“I’ve always loved sports, so that’s what really drew me to it,” Imler said. “I didn’t play sports in college, but I always wanted to do stuff with sports.” I found athletic training and stuck with that just because I could always be around working with athletes.”
During his last two years at Loganville, Imler connected with the Red Devils’ athletic trainer at the time, Kevin Piland. Piland owned a physical therapy clinic, Atlanta Rehabilitation & Performance, in Loganville, too.
Through that connection, Imler’s piqued interest in athletic training grew. At Atlanta Rehabilitation & Performance, Imler shadowed some of the people who worked there over the summer learning the craft.
Another factor in Imler’s career choice was his love for science. While a student at Loganville, Imler took anatomy classes in which he fared well.
So, Imler decided to combine his two fascinations by becoming an athletic trainer. Next up was pursuing this dream in college after graduating Loganville in 2016.
Piland helped with that, too.
“[Kevin] graduated from Valdosta State and my sister had already attended there so I knew it real well,” Imler said. “So I figured that’s where I’d go and try to get in their program. At the end of my freshman year, I got into the program and that was a big thing.”
While at Valdosta State University, Imler earned a Bachelor's degree in athletic training in 2020 after which he gained a Master’s in 2022 from Auburn University in exercise science.
Prior to joining OrthoAtlanta’s team in June 2022 to become Alcovy’s athletic trainer, Imler had spent two years in the same position for Colquitt County.
As athletic trainer, Imler assists Alcovy’s student-athletes with injury prevention, conditioning, rehab and much more.
In total, Imler has three years experience of being an athletic trainer. And, though he enjoys doing it, there are some parts of the job that’s challenging.
“You might be working with basketball right now and wrestling is somewhere else, there’s football doing workouts right now,” Imler said. “Track and baseball are starting their stuff to get ready for their seasons. You’re having to manage all of that at the same time.”
But that doesn’t take away from Imler’s passion for being an athletic trainer and assisting the student-athletes at Alcovy High School.
“I just really wanted to stick with sports,” Imler said. “I found athletic training and stuck with that just because I could always be around working with athletes. Athletic training just fit what I wanted to do.”