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Treat the Pros as an Athletic Trainer

Treat the Pros as an Athletic Trainer

Stephen Borkowski, Monster Staff Writer

People Skills a Prerequisite

Good people skills are critical for athletic trainers who hope to work with pro athletes. “The guys have to be confident in our decision-making processes for them — we’re affecting their livelihoods,” Worley says. “Your ability to relate to people and to be honest, sincere and trustworthy — you can’t fall short if you’re a person who demonstrates that.”

More on Athletic Training

Salary: $21,940 - $57,580
Min. Education: Bachelor's Degree
Related Careers: Fitness Trainer, Physical Therapist

People skills also come in handy as aspiring trainers build their professional networks. While athletic training positions exist in high schools, colleges and clinics, Leverenz says getting a position with a professional sports team isn’t easy. “You have to establish yourself doing some summer internship work,” he says.

Networking was essential to Cohen’s success. After a flurry of resumes sent to NFL teams generated a flurry of rejections, a professor told him, “It’s who you know.” He met someone in the Baltimore Orioles medical department who helped him get his first internship. “Two years later, I was working for him in the Gulf Coast League,” he says. He advises students to look into the internships and shadowing opportunities offered through the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society.

Having Fun Yet?

“If you’re looking to go to work 9-to-5, then you’re looking in the wrong career,” Worley says. “It’s truly a 24/7 job when we’re in season.” But for Worley, the rewards of his position outweighed the long hours. “It most definitely is a dream job…to be a contributor to having those guys play 82 games a season — that’s very rewarding.”

Cohen agrees. “It’s a great job, but you have to be prepared to come in, roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. I can’t think of a better job for me. Show me another job where you can get paid to travel around the country and watch baseball.”

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