If you’re passionate about sports, fitness, and helping athletes perform at their best while staying injury-free, a career as an athletic trainer might be your calling. Athletic trainers play a crucial role in the world of sports by helping athletes prevent, manage, and recover from injuries, as well as improving their overall performance. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to become an athletic trainer.
What Do Athletic Trainers Do?
Athletic trainers are the unsung heroes behind the scenes of sports teams and fitness facilities. As an athletic trainer, you will:
- Prevent Injuries: Athletic trainers work to prevent injuries by assessing an athlete’s physical condition and creating injury prevention programs.
- Manage Injuries: When injuries occur, they provide immediate care and develop rehabilitation plans to facilitate a speedy recovery.
- Enhance Performance: Athletic trainers help athletes improve their performance through specialized training programs and techniques.
Steps to Become an Athletic Trainer
Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree
Start your journey by enrolling in a college or university that offers a relevant degree program. Fields such as anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, pharmacology, nutrition, and injury prevention are excellent choices. Ensure that your program includes clinical training, as hands-on experience is vital.
While pursuing your degree, gaining practical experience is crucial. Consider working as a personal trainer, joining a gym, or seeking opportunities at physical rehabilitation centers. This hands-on experience will give you valuable insights into the field.
Before you can work professionally as an athletic trainer, you must obtain certification from the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (BOC). This certification demonstrates your competence and commitment to the profession.