Becoming a football trainer is a career that requires the proper amount of education, experience, patience and compassion. Football trainers work with athletes to help them prevent injury and also to treat injuries that have occurred. Football trainers may be responsible for a large group of athletes, so it is important that they have the patience and the skills to properly care for all of them. Aside from injury prevention and treatment, football trainers are often responsible for minor responsibilities, such as maintaining full water coolers and cleaning spills and blood from the field.
Obtain the required education. Becoming a trainer for football, or any sport, requires a specific education at the college level. Athletic trainers in football must complete an undergraduate degree in athletic training or a closely related field, such as kinesiology or sports medicine. Additionally, in many states, they must complete a set number of hours of field experience. Your field experience should be with the football team at the college. More than 300 programs in the United States offer this program with the end result being a four-year degree. Though not required for certification, many top-level trainers have obtained their master's degrees.
Obtain your license as a certified trainer. Forty-seven out of the 50 states require their athletic trainers to be licensed. This requirement is especially critical in the sport of football due to the violent, high-impact nature of the game. Football players are often afflicted with severe injuries that can result in paralysis or even death. To get your license, then, you must have been graduated from a program that is recognized by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, pass an exam and be certified in emergency cardiac care. Furthermore, to get your license, you must pay yearly dues to the organization.
Apply for football trainer jobs at the level at which you want to work. Many high schools with football teams employ trainers, as well as most colleges and all professional teams. You can best find these opportunities by building a network and making connections through the National Trainers' Athletic Association. Opportunities typically are also listed for football trainers on the NCAA website, as well as on other job boards, such as Monster. Your field experience with the football team at your college, as well as your education and license, will well prepare you for a position of this nature.
- Photo Credit man with sprained ankle image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com
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