Sports Medicine

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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!

 

 

 

 

A future in Sports Medicine

By Jennifer Bailey

Are you passionate about sports? Are you interested in a health-related career that allows you to work with athletes? If you answered yes, then this might be the career field for you!

One thing you will want to do early on in your decision-making process is decide what you want to do with a degree in sports medicine specifically, as this will affect the type of degree program you will go into. Career options include being a trainer for a college or professional sports team, a personal trainer, a research scientist who specializes in sports medicine, a sports nutritionist or a sports physical therapist. Each one requires a different sports medicine degree or focus.

Overall, sports medicine focuses on helping people improve their athletic performance, recover from injury and prevent future injuries. This is a fast-growing healthcare field, because health workers who specialize in sports medicine help all kinds of people, not just athletes. Sports medicine is closely related to kinesiology, which is human kinetics, as well as exercise physiology. In this field, you'll use scientific and medical knowledge to help others by identifying, assisting, rehabilitating and preventing injuries.

The career path you take will depend on your interests, both short and long term. Many careers in this field require advanced degrees, and certification can improve your chances of landing a great job. So, you will also need to determine which level of sports-medicine degree you want to obtain for your chosen career: associates, bachelor's, master's or doctorate. For example, it is likely that there are bachelor sports medicine programs in your area, but sports medicine programs offering doctoral degrees are less common and you may need to relocate for school. If your end goal is to become a personal trainer, an associate degree is sufficient, though it's not usually necessary. If you want to become an athletic trainer, a bachelor's degree will suffice. However, those who want to be sports nutritionists may need to earn a graduate degree, depending on state requirements.

You may consider volunteering with the medical personnel who assist your school’s sports teams. You can observe the work they do and learn more about what a career in sports medicine entails and see if this would be a good fit for you.

You'll find all sports medicine degree programs are a combination of fitness and anatomical science. These programs prepare you for careers in athletic training, teaching, massage therapy and medicine. You'll receive extensive hands-on experience through a mixture of lab assignments and field practice. The courses you will take will depend upon the level of degree you're pursuing.

As athletes at the professional, college, and high school level continue to push their bodies to perform better, faster, and stronger and, as the popularity of personal trainers and nutritionists increase, there will be a lot of opportunities for employment in this healthcare field.

As mentioned, a bachelor's degree gives you the foundation for your career in sports medicine or to pursue further educational goals. Some of the classes you can expect to take include biology, human anatomy, human physiology, nutrition, exercise physiology and neuroscience.