Do you enjoy keeping physically fit and want to help others become fit as well? Then perhaps you should consider becoming an athletic trainer. Did you know that an athletic trainer is actually a health care professional who specializes in fitness techniques? They are trained in first aid and have the ability to care for injured athletes as well as coach on injury prevention. Athletic trainers can also develop fitness routines and inform their clients about warm ups and proper hydration. If you are interested in becoming an athletic trainer, you’ll need to get the proper education and be licensed from an accredited athletic training institution.
You’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent and a college entrance exam (SAT/ACT). Then you can enroll into a four year bachelor’s program in athletic training/sports science. This coursework will teach you first aid and how to identify and treat sports injuries. Coursework also includes, anatomy and physiology, kinesthetics, nutrition, exercise, physical therapy, strength training, rehab and health care administration. You’ll also need to pull an internship for two years supervised by a doctor to get hands-on experience.
Some athletic trainers will continue to the master’s level. This affords you more job opportunities with a higher salary. Nevertheless, you will need to enroll in continuing education to maintain your certification as an athletic trainer. This usually occurs every three years.
Obviously, you must be in the peak of physical health. You must have stamina, flexibility and strength as you will be on your feet all day. You must be an inspiration to your clients. It’s also important that you have excellent communication skills since you will be working with a wide range of individuals including your every day average person, doctors and sports professionals.
Remember that athletic trainers help athletes prevent physical injury as well as work with athletes that have injuries so they deal with internal and external health problems that may continue for some time. Keep in mind that some of these patients may be in pain and therefore difficult to work with. An athletic trainer is also responsible for planning diet and nutrition plans and making sure the patient adheres to this which can be difficult sometimes.
Advances in training equipment are made almost daily so the athletic trainer has to keep up with this. Athletic trainers are responsible for coaching athletes on how to use sports equipment properly and must keep their clients informed of new equipment and how to use it.
Before you register for a program, make sure that you know what venue suits you. Venues available to you include professional sports teams, colleges, high schools, health clubs, dancers, celebrities or even the military. No matter which venue you choose, having a career as an athletic trainer can be very rewarding.