Sports Medicine

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Articles on Sports Medicine:
   Major in Sports Medicine
   A future in Sports Medicine

Major in Sports Medicine

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“You may never play in the Super Bowl or have your own shoe. But you can still do whatever you do in the name of Jesus and give God praise for the ability to do what you do.” ~Active Faith Christian Apparel Company 

Though many of us are passionate about sports, only .005% of the U.S. population are professional athletes. However, there are endless opportunities for employment when it comes to athletic-related careers. For example, most careers pertaining to sports medicine have a projected job growth increase of at least 20% over the next five to ten years (compared to the average increase of 8%). A sports medicine major is the place where sports and science merge. Sports management (should this be medicine??) is the area of medical practice concerned with the optimal functioning of the human body, and the prevention and treatment of injuries related to physical activity. This interdisciplinary major, closely related to kinesiology, takes a closer look at effective sports training, the diagnosing and rehabilitation of injury, sports nutrition and strategies for safe exercise. This program will prepare you to work with amateur or professional athletes in a number of professional settings.

Sports medicine majors tend to be active individuals who are passionate about sports. But being a sports enthusiast isn’t enough. Sports medicine is a popular major, and the job market is competitive. An interest in science coupled with a genuine desire to help people will fuel success in any sports medicine career. In addition, there are other desirable skills and traits for a major in sports medicine. People skills and the ability to function as a team player are definitely important as you work in group settings with diverse populations. Tied closely with this are the interconnected traits of confidence and professionalism. It’s also vital that you possess strong communication skills, including active listening and the ability to offer clear, specific instruction. In order to diagnose and treat sports-related injuries, you’ll need to be clear-headed, and to possess critical thinking and good decision-making abilities. Empathy and patience will set you apart with clients, and being prepared for emergencies and calm under pressure will benefit those you serve, as well. And finally, this is a career where it definitely pays off to be fit, strong and dexterous.

While completing core classes, a sports medicine major can expect to take a wide selection of science courses such as biology, chemistry and human anatomy and physiology. Depending on your program, it may be possible to choose a specialization such as strength conditioning or athletic training. Other classes you might take include:

  • First Aid
  • Sports nutrition
  • Exercise physiology
  • Lifetime fitness
  • Sports injury management
  • Neuroscience

A sports medicine major is a great foundation if you’re planning to pursue a career like sports physician, biomechanist, physical therapist or sports psychologist. These careers require higher level degrees and some sports medicine majors do arrive at these prestigious destinations. But graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine find satisfying careers in other areas, as well. Some of the most common career outcomes include athletic trainers who work with coaches and teams, and personal trainers who work with individual athletes. Other areas of career interest including:

  • Strength/conditioning coach
  • Kinesiologist
  • Massage therapist
  • Sports coach
  • Scout/recruiter
  • Physical therapy aid

As you can see, the prospects are immense. Perhaps your love of sports is just the beginning of the story God is writing in your life. Maybe he is leading you to step into sports medicine as your college major!