“As soon as we join the circle, the head trainer, a tall athletic woman named Atala steps up and begins to explain the training schedule”
— Katniss on Atala
Atala Derick is the head trainer for the Hunger Games. Her job is to explain the point of each station, the possible ways to die in the arena, and to get the tributes in shape to compete. It is said in the that Atala can whip even the weakest tribute into shape, which is a simaler way in Laurel Flamsteed was described.
Atala is first seen when Katniss and Peeta join the other tributes for training. They stand in front of her in a semi-circle. She welcomes the twenty-four tributes and then explains to them about the different stations set up around the training center. She, as usual, reads through the list of stations and gives some advice. She then releases the tributes to train. While training, two tributes start fighting. Atala is heard blowing her whistle to get their attention and tells them to get back to training.
Atala reappears in Catching Fire when Katniss and Peeta return to train in for the 75th Hunger Games. Again, she welcomes the tributes and then directs them in their training. She, as usual, reads through the list of stations, and then releases the tributes to train.