How to Become A Physical Therapist For Professional Athletes
Physical therapy is a field with a wide range of applications. Many people who get involved with physical therapy have a deep love of athletics, and a desire to help others perform their best.
Most professional athletes and teams employ sports physical therapists to help them avoid injury, heal from injuries and perform better on a daily basis.
You may be wondering how to become a physical therapist for professional athletes? As you can imagine, this is a highly competitive area of the field. In order for you to achieve this, you must stand out from others in your field and pursue this goal aggressively.
7 Tips for How To How To Become A Physical Therapist For Professional Athletes
It’s important to do plenty of research. You can start online, whether on professional sites such as APTA (American Physical Therapy Association), or by reading physical therapy assistant blogs, or sports physical therapy blogs.
The following are some actionable tips on how to become a physical therapist for professional athletes. Obviously you will want to start with some basics, such as a quality education, but in order to seriously pursue professional athletics, you’ll need to get more specific and focused:
1. Attend a good school and excel
If you want to work with professional athletes, you must be good at what you do. This starts with the school you attend. Apply only to schools that are highly regarded. Do your homework. Find people in the field doing what you want to do and find out where they studied.
2. Find ways to stand out
Elite athletes require elite physical therapists. You must practice at a high enough level to get the attention of those in the field.
3. Begin networking early on
This is a case not just of what you know, but who you know. Working and studying hard alone won’t cut it. US News wrote a great article on how to network for students.
4. Start small and work your way up
Unfortunately, you can’t expect to land a choice job working with professional athletes right out of school. If you are wondering how to become a physical therapist for professional athletes, know that you will probably have to start at the bottom.
This may mean getting a position working for minor league or college athletes. This will give you the experience you will need, and ideally help you build connections.
5. Who you know
Anytime you are trying to break into high-profile fields, you have to know people. Again, this does not happen overnight. You have to network, network, network. This is a situation where you have a combination of right people, right place, right time and a little dash of luck.
Figure out where you want to go, find the people that can help you get there.
Be visible by joining relevant organizations, attending conferences and involving yourself in activities related to what you want to do. Seek out people online. Follow their social media accounts, read their physical therapy assistant blogs, comment and contribute.
At the same time, don’t be so laser-focused that you neglect other opportunities. There is more than one route to reach your destination, so be willing to have flexibility.
6. Offer tremendous value
All this talk of networking and finding people to help you get where you want to be is great, but don’t step on others or be selfish in the process. Build your network by being helpful. Do things for others. Be visible and be valuable. Most importantly, be good at what you do.
7. Have patience
Again, working with professional athletes isn’t something that is going to be handed to you. You have to keep your eye on the prize and put in the work to get where you want to be.
Now that you know how to become a physical therapist for professional athletes, you can get started right now toward your goal. Don’t wait. Once you have set your eyes on this field, it’s never too soon to start taking the necessary steps to get there. Again, this is a highly competitive field. The rewards are well worth it.
Most people who want to know how to become a physical therapist for professional athletes are avid sports fans themselves. Whether it’s baseball, hockey, tennis or football, there are many opportunities in this field for success.
Be willing to start small and learn your field inside and out. Over time, you will grow in experience and expertise. Don’t forget to have fun and learn as much as possible while you’re at it, and before you know it, you will have reached your goal.