Job Search

How Can You Become a Sports Therapist in 7 Steps?

SMARTherapy Washington Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine

Becoming a Sports Therapist in 7 Steps: Expert <a href="">Guide</a>

Are you passionate about sports and helping others? Do you have a keen interest in anatomy, physiology, and injury prevention? If so, becoming a sports therapist could be the perfect career path for you. In this expert guide, we will walk you through the seven essential steps to becoming a successful sports therapist.

Step 1: Understand the Role of a Sports Therapist

Before embarking on your journey to becoming a sports therapist, it is important to have a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities involved. A sports therapist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries. They work closely with athletes and sports teams to assess, diagnose, and provide therapeutic interventions to promote optimal physical performance and reduce the risk of injuries.

Step 2: Obtain a Relevant Degree

To become a sports therapist, you will need to obtain a relevant degree in sports therapy or a related field. Look for accredited institutions that offer programs specifically designed for aspiring sports therapists. Some of the top institutions in this field include the University of Sports Therapy and the Sports Therapy Institute. These programs will provide you with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to excel in your career.

Step 2.1: Coursework and Practical Training

During your degree program, you will study a range of subjects including anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, injury assessment, and exercise rehabilitation. You will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through practical training and clinical placements. This will allow you to apply your theoretical knowledge in real-life scenarios and develop essential skills under the guidance of experienced professionals.

Step 3: Gain Practical Experience

While a degree is essential, practical experience is equally important in the field of sports therapy. Seek out opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships, volunteer work, or part-time jobs. This will not only enhance your skills and knowledge but also provide valuable networking opportunities within the sports industry.

Step 3.1: Internships and Volunteering

Consider reaching out to local sports clubs, athletic organizations, or rehabilitation centers to inquire about internship or volunteer positions. This will allow you to work directly with athletes and sports teams, observe professional sports therapists in action, and gain valuable insights into the day-to-day responsibilities of the role.

Step 4: Obtain Professional Certification

While not mandatory, obtaining professional certification can greatly enhance your credibility and employability as a sports therapist. There are several organizations that offer certifications in sports therapy, including the American Sports Therapy Association (ASTA) and the International Federation of Sports Therapy (IFST). These certifications typically require you to pass an exam and demonstrate your knowledge and skills in the field.

Step 5: Build a Professional Network

Networking plays a crucial role in any career, and sports therapy is no exception. Attend industry conferences, seminars, and workshops to connect with other professionals in the field. Join professional associations such as the National Sports Therapy Association (NSTA) to gain access to valuable resources, job opportunities, and continuing education programs.

Step 5.1: Mentors and Mentees

Seek out mentors within the sports therapy community who can provide guidance, support, and insights into the industry. Additionally, consider becoming a mentor yourself to aspiring sports therapists. Not only will this allow you to give back to the community, but it will also help you solidify your own knowledge and skills.

Step 6: Continuously Update Your Skills and Knowledge

The field of sports therapy is constantly evolving, with new research and techniques emerging regularly. It is crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field. Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences to expand your knowledge and skills. Take advantage of online resources, such as webinars and podcasts, to stay informed about the latest trends and advancements in sports therapy.

Step 7: Pursue Specializations and Advanced Training

Once you have established yourself as a sports therapist, consider pursuing specializations or advanced training in specific areas of interest. This will allow you to further enhance your skills and knowledge and potentially open up new career opportunities. Some popular specializations in sports therapy include sports massage therapy, manual therapy, and strength and conditioning.

Step 7.1: Continuing Education and Advanced Certifications

Look for advanced certification programs or continuing education courses that align with your interests and career goals. These programs will provide you with specialized knowledge and skills that can set you apart in the field of sports therapy.


Becoming a sports therapist requires a combination of education, practical experience, and continuous learning. By following these seven steps, you will be well on your way to a successful career in sports therapy. Remember to stay passionate, dedicated, and always strive for excellence in your practice.


Q: How long does it take to become a sports therapist?

A: The length of time it takes to become a sports therapist can vary depending on the educational path you choose. Typically, it takes around four years to complete a bachelor’s degree in sports therapy, followed by additional certification and practical experience.

Q: What skills are required to be a successful sports therapist?

A: Successful sports therapists possess a combination of technical skills, such as injury assessment and rehabilitation techniques, as well as strong interpersonal skills to effectively communicate with athletes and sports teams. Additionally, critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to work well under pressure are essential skills in this field.

Q: Can I specialize in a specific sport as a sports therapist?

A: Yes, many sports therapists choose to specialize in a specific sport or athletic population. By focusing on a particular sport, you can develop in-depth knowledge and expertise in the specific demands and injuries associated with that sport.

Q: Is it necessary to have personal athletic experience to become a sports therapist?

A: While personal athletic experience can provide valuable insights and empathy when working with athletes, it is not a requirement to become a sports therapist. The most important factors are a strong educational foundation, practical experience, and a passion for sports and helping others.

Sarah Thompson is a career development expert with a passion for helping individuals achieve their professional goals. With over a decade of experience in the field, Sarah specializes in providing practical advice and guidance on job search strategies, cover letters, resumes, and interview techniques. She believes in empowering job seekers with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the competitive job market successfully.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *