One of the biggest thrills you can get as a physical therapist is working with athletes. Athletes are always wanting more sports physical therapy jobs to open up because of the nature of sports. Athletes are constantly trying to push themselves to new levels. Doing this requires training harder and harder. Naturally, this training creates imbalances that lead to injuries. No matter how good rehab is with an athlete, there is nothing stopping them from injuring another part of the body. The need for your services is constantly present with athletes.
From your perspective, once you find the right place for you out of the sports physical therapy jobs, you will get more fulfillment from your work. The reason for this is because athletes have constant goals they are aiming for. Being hurt is a huge disruption for athletes because they can no longer train the same way. It gets the attention of any athlete, and they are often willing to do anything to come back from their injury.
What Does Sports Physical Therapy Consist of?
Sports physical therapy job is similar to most sports physical therapy jobs, but there are a few difference that is important to point out.
- Listening Skills
- The ability to work with short timelines
- Excellent manual therapy skills
- Understanding of Athlete Mindset
- Knowledge of the Demands of the Sport
The ability to listen is the most important thing that you need to have. This to get and keep sports physical therapy jobs. You need to listen well to be a competent healthcare provider in any setting, but in sports, it is even more critical for a few reasons. If you don’t understand an athletes situation, you can mess them up. Let’s say they have a game the next day, but you did not listen to them, and you give them a treatment that takes longer to recover from. Now you are the reason for decreasing performance instead of improving it.
The Ability to Work With Short Timelines
Working with short timelines is enormous part or working with athletes. The reason is that athletes often need to play through injuries. Your job will not always be to make the injury go away for good unless it is a bye week or the offseason. Sometimes your job will be to get the athlete through to the next game. You have to be able to know what can be done in a week when you need a month.
Excellent Manual Therapy Skills
Athletes are going to expect you to know how to do things like Active Release Technique, massage, muscle activation technique and other techniques that require putting your hands on athletes. If you rely on modalities or things like ice, an athlete may feel like anyone can do that. You build your real worth by proving that you can do good work with your hands.
Understanding the Athlete Mindset
You need to be able to emphasize with and realize what an athlete is going through day to day. If they are hurt mentally, they could be borderline depressed if the injury is not dealt with carefully. That athlete has been working hard to have a high season and all a sudden an injury could steal that away.
You also need to be aware of which athletes look to take shortcuts and which ones are the over workers that don’t know how to rest. You will end up dealing with both, and you need to understand the mindset. The overworked needs to be told to relax more, and the lazier will be up working early.
Knowledge of The Demand for The Sports You Work With
If you work with sprinters, for example, you are not going to have many catastrophic injuries, but you will see a lot of overuse problems. Things like shin splints and hamstring injuries. Knowing this is important because it will help you to put together better gameplans. If you don’t understand the demands of each sport, you will be shooting in the many dark days.
Why Sports Physical Therapy Jobs Are Hard to Get
A big reason that sports physical therapy jobs are so hard to get is that the demand for them is high, but the supply is not. Sports Physical Therapy Jobs are considered to be the best because the path gives you a chance of working with pro athletes. The problem with the system is that is that there are only so many sports teams. Anytime you have a high demand and low supply; the supplier gets to pick and choose who they want.
Places to Look for Sports Physical Therapy Jobs
These hot jobs are not just going to be handed over to you, To do this well it requires continually checking these job boards to see if one pops up. When it does pop up, you want to be ready with your resume ready to go.