While professional athletes do a lot on their own to perform at the highest levels, they are also helped by many sports medicine and exercise science professionals who are able to keep them on the field, court, ice, track, or swimming pool despite the punishment their bodies are frequently exposed to.
High-profile athletes such as Serena Williams, Ronaldo and Tom Brady tend to have an army of medical professionals ready to render treatment so that these sports stars can continue to perform and entertain us. Below are three professionals whose work is crucial in this regard.
Many famous pro athletes have turned athletic trainers due to their intimate knowledge of the sports they played. They usually return to school to learn more about sports medicine; however, some of the best trainers have focused solely in their field without having participated in a professional capacity.
In 2011, Sue Falsone made history as the first woman named to the position of head trainer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ariko Iso previously made headlines as the first female trainer in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two teams went on to enjoy winning seasons under the supervision and care of these trainers.
Sports Medicine Nurses
Not all sports medicine specialists are physicians; in fact, many athletes who play in the National Football League are actually nurse practitioners who have completed graduate school and doctor of nursing practice programs. A specialist who earns a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree will improve his or her chances to work with patients who are professional athletes. They may join a sports franchise as dedicated staff members, or they may work at a sports medicine clinic contracted by a professional team.
Professional athletes do not exercise like you do. Exercise physiologists pay close attention to the physical training routines performed by athletes; their analyses helps to determine the effect specific exercises have on the body.
Physiologists consider many factors when they put together training regimes for athletes, whom they care for as if they were patients. Climate, altitude, nutrition, and the potential for muscle fatigue are all factors they take into consideration.
In the end, the next time you see your favorite NFL quarterback getting sacked and being able to run the next play without even stopping to breathe, you should think about the medical professionals who help athletes achieve their maximum performance.