What is a Sports Trainer?

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A sports trainer has an important job within a sporting team. It is often a requirement of the sport that a qualified sports trainer is present with a team to treat and aid in preventing injuries.

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What is a Sports Trainer?

If you have ever wondered what the individuals in Fluro shirts who run onto the sports field when a player is injured are – Most of them are qualified sports trainers.

A sports trainer is a vital member of a sporting team support staff who helps to ensure sport is as safe as possible and improve athletic performance. Their major roles are injury prevention, injury management and crisis management within a sporting environment. Sports trainers are highly qualified sports first aid experts that aid in providing preventative measures prior to competition, first aid treatment and emergency care during an event and post competition care when needed.

Trainers play an important role in Australian sporting communities as they are specifically trained to prevent and treat sports specific injuries.

Sports trainers are utilised in a variety of sports and sporting environments. They ensure that there is quick and effective first aid response when needed.  In recent years, sports trainers have been in high demand as more teams and sporting codes are putting more emphasis on the need for qualified trainers to aid in the physical care of athletes.

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Duties of a Sports Trainer

  • Communicating with players and coaching staff about players injuries
  • Treating on-field injuries
  • Provide sports strapping and massage to decrease likelihood of injuries
  • Aiding in the rehabilitation process after injuries
  • Providing preventative treatment to ensure past injuries do not reoccur
  • Referring individuals to appropriate allied health professionals
  • Providing guidance on warm up and cool down practices such as stretching
  • Transporting or organising transport for injured individuals to seek further treatment
  • Comply with specific sporting codes and regulations
  • Educating athletes and individuals in anatomy and correct body movement
  • Educating players about the importance of nutrition and correct eating habits

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Sports Trainer levels

There are 2 levels of sports trainer qualifications.

Level 1 Sports Trainer – Assists in the prevention of injuries and provide initial injury management in sporting scenarios. Level 1 trainers hold a minimum of a sports trainer level 1 qualification, provide first aid and CPR certification.

Level 2 Sports Trainer – A level 2 trainer has all of the qualifications that a level 1 does, with an increased knowledge and skill set learned through industry experience and a more advanced trainer course. The level 2 course aims to improve a trainer’s knowledge and ability to provide more advanced services. Level 2 sports trainers hold a minimum of a sports trainer level 2 qualification, provide first aid certificate, Advanced CPR certification, concussion management and spinal management.

All sports trainers are well equipped to provide athletes and sporting teams with the first aid treatment and preventative measures needed to improve performance.

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Code of Ethics

Sports trainers are generally affiliated with an organisation that aids in ensuring that all trainers participate in a similar manner and ensure that trainers follow protocols. Many Sports trainers (Including Complete Body Dynamics Trainers) in Australia are affiliated with Sports Medicine Australia (SMA).

SMA outlines that the Code of Ethics a sports trainer must abide by are:

  • Apply his or her knowledge and skills to help make sport and recreation safer. This is achieved by implementing appropriate injury prevention regimes; applying appropriate initial injury management procedures; and referring injuries as necessary, to a more qualified health professional for further advice and management.
  • Clearly understand their defined roles and responsibilities and work within the limits of their qualifications and hence not assume roles outside of those pre-determined ones. In keeping within the limits of their qualification, the Sports Trainer must, if appropriate, refer to a more qualified health professional.
  • Assure athletes and yourself that your actions are at all times unambiguously professional and appreciate the importance of seeking to defuse anxiety and apprehension before touching an athlete by means of verbal explanation of your intention.
  • Provide definite skills and knowledge to sport clubs and/or sporting events.
  • Not offer themselves as a primary health care practitioner

If a Sports Trainer is found to be acting outside of the above guidelines they will be investigated by Sports Medicine Australia and possibly have their certification and accreditation revoked.
Source: https://sma.org.au/membership-benefits/sports-trainer-code-of-ethics/

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A sports trainer plays a vital role in the performance and health of an athlete and should be utilised within a sports team or at sporting events to provide first response care to any individual in need.

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