There are some tips in this article that can help you understand how to become an athletic trainer. Read on and find yourself on the road to becoming an athletic trainer.

How To Become An Athletic Trainer

Famous philosopher and poet, Friedrich Nietzsche quoted, ‘That which does not kill me makes me stronger’. There is immense truth behind his statement and it applies to a majority of working professionals who work extremely hard to get ahead in their life. While talking of extremes, a special mention must be made of athletes and athletic trainers who are involved in various fitness fields. Since we’re dealing with the latter, let us give you a brief description into their function. Athletic trainers help athletes in preventing, treating and rehabilitating injuries. They administer first aid and supervise physical therapy programs. Mind you, these coaches can train all levels of sportspersons and hence can work in schools, universities or even in professional sports teams. There is a difference between a personal trainer and an athletic trainer – while the former concentrates more on fitness, the latter focuses on delivering health care services. If you are interested in becoming an athletic trainer, go through this list of requirements and eligibility criteria.
Becoming An Athletic Trainer
Irrespective of what you do in your primary education, the minimum requirement is a four year undergraduate degree from an accredited college in the field of athletic training. This course trains you under physicians so that you can identify and treat physical injuries. Fid aid and care are also included. A graduate degree in the same is preferable. After this, a 2-year study under an instructor is undertaken that covers nutrition, psychology, therapeutic exercise and human anatomy. Post this, ATC (Athletic Training Certificate) or a license from the accredited athletic training institute of your country must be acquired. Of course, all these criteria can be done away if you have already proven your mettle in a certain sport. If you were a district level player then you can easily coach school students while universities could be an option if you have played a particular sport at the national level. The basic idea is that the know-how that comes from training cannot undermine the knowledge that comes from experience. So, if you have had a stellar career in a sport at any level, you can use all your basic knowledge of physical fitness to train the aspirants around you.
Courses Required
  • Athletic Training Certificate Courses: These take approximately three to six months to complete and comprise of modules such as sports and hand injuries, ethics for professional training, anatomy dissections and so on.
  • Associate of Science Degree in Kinesiology: This program enables a student to pursue subjects such as exercise science, kinesiology and athletic training. Both practical and theoretical knowledge is imparted during the period of the course. 
Skills Required
  • People’s Person: A trainer faces a variety of people on a daily basis and being able to deal with all of them in an appropriate and dignified manner is a must. Communication and social skills are of utmost importance.
  • Organized: There can be several disagreements with other coaches, but carrying out your nature of work in an organized manner and being responsible for them is one of the skills necessary for an athletic trainer.
  • Physically Fit: This comes as no surprise! An athletic trainer must be inspiring and motivating, along with having a considerably well-built and fit physique. Flexibility, strength and stamina are also necessary.
  • Time Management: Ability to manage time wisely is a crucial skill. Sometimes, a physical trainer might be involved in several things at the same time. Coaching different varsity players, cheerleaders, sportspersons etc can be a challenging task!
Roles And Responsibilities
  • The major function of an athletic trainer is to help in the treatment and prevention of physical injuries such as sprains, muscle tears, hamstrings etc. Bandaging, wrapping and affixing braces to prevent injuries and working on athletes’ muscles before and after events comprises of the basic job description.
  • Helping in developing training programs along with the help of physicians and other healthcare professionals is also important. This can be done for specific individuals or for entire groups.
  • Nutritional diets and meals for athletes are decided by their trainers. A full schedule must be planned according to an individual’s body type and the amount of workout done.
  • An athletic trainer must stress on the importance of protective gear in sports. The responsibility of giving details of the training equipment to the athletes also rests with their trainers.
  • Emergency is accounted for by the trainer. This means, first aid and ambulance services must be arranged for in times of need. Any internal or external health related problems can surface while the athlete is on the field and being prepared for such times is an important part of a trainer’s role. 
Career Prospects
It must be noted that this is a high-profile job that pays well. But in order to survive, handling the pressure must be taken into consideration. There is a wide scope for these professionals and their clients can include sports teams, schools, colleges, clinics, health clubs, corporations and hospitals etc. Once a name has been built, the trainer can always freelance and even pick clients.
If you love sports and are really excellent at one or few of them, then do not hesitate in becoming an athletic trainer. It is high status, yet demanding career path.

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