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What is a Sports Trainer and What Does It Take to Become One?

With the growing global popularity of sports like football and basketball, more people are becoming proactive about their physical conditioning. This has opened up many opportunities for health care professionals working in the fitness industry. One trend that stands out is the increasing demand for trainers, which means more sports trainer jobs are available. If you are looking to break into the fitness industry, you should consider this position.   

What is a Sports Trainer?

A sports trainer is a health professional who specialises in providing preventative services, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, emergency care, and clinical diagnosis for people of all ages and athletic capabilities. This means that sports trainers have a wide and highly varied client base, which includes people with sedentary lifestyles. 

However, athletes stand to benefit the most from their services. Sports trainers are usually the first to come to the aid of an injured athlete to offer first aid and assess the injury. Working closely with physicians, coaches, and even the athlete’s family, they can help determine if an injured athlete is fit to return to action.

What Does a Sports Trainer Do?

A sports trainer works with physical therapists, doctors, and coaches to provide the best health care possible for athletes. On any given day, they will be tasked to do the following:

  • Assessment of injuries and providing emergency aid
  • Protecting or preventing injuries by applying tape, bandages, or braces where needed
  • Creation and implementation of injury prevention and rehabilitation programs
  • Providing sports training services
  • Writing instructions, creating reports, attending meetings, and doing other administrative tasks

Having such a broad scope of work, sports trainer jobs are in high demand in K-12 schools, high schools, colleges, hospitals, fitness centres, doctor’s clinics, professional teams, and other organisations with health care teams.

Sports trainers may be asked to perform a wide variety of tasks such as teaching classes so kids at school would have a better understanding of how to achieve and maintain their fitness goals. They could also conduct workshops on various sports medicine programs.

Outside of the sports world, they could help companies train their employees on ergonomics and the prevention of work-related injuries. They could even have a career in the military, dance companies, performing arts, and even medical sales. 

What are the Qualifications of a Sports Trainer?

As with all occupations in the health care industry, sports trainer jobs require formal education, mostly focusing on anatomy, biology, kinesiology, nutrition, sports medicine, and other related subjects.

Once a degree is earned, certifications from relevant organisations in the state are also required. In some cases, maintaining certification means more educational training. Some companies even prefer to hire sports trainers with a masters’ degree, so this option is worth considering also.

Soft skills such as the ability to communicate effectively, make sound decisions, and manage difficult situations are also needed to be effective in this role. In addition, the most successful sports trainers are sociable and have a genuine desire to help clients. They have a passion for education, fitness, and sports.

These traits, combined with technical skills, will be helpful when facilitating the communication between coaches, physical therapists, athletes, and the families of athletes. It also allows sports trainers to guide their clients into the best position to recover from an injury, excel in their sport, and find more success professionally.

Author: Ester Adams