Every major professional athlete today knows how important it is to have a good trainer. And if you look back in history, you’ll see that their profession, in one form or another, dates back to the Greek civilization and their organized sports competition, which included the Olympic Games. In case you were wondering how those trainers developed into the ones we have today, here is some interesting information for you.
The Greek and their legacy
As the Athenian society lead to appearance of the first professional athletes in the eighth century BC, the first trainers started appearing as well. Very similar to the modern ones, these people used their knowledge of anatomy, nutrition and physiology to train their students in different sports, to keep them healthy and fit, and to improve their stamina and strength. As they acquired medical knowledge, with time they also helped athletes stay as physically efficient as possible. Basically, they told the athletes when and what to eat, as well as how long and how often to exercise and rest in order to improve their performance and physical development. Probably the most famous of these professional trainers and the person thought to be the father of sports medicine was Herodicus of Megara. Not only was he an athletic trainer, but also a physician who claimed that it was the disbalance between diet and physical activity that caused most diseases. In accordance with this theory, he was also the first person to recommend exercise as treatment, as well as a balanced diet and regular massages with the use of oils and herbs.
The balance between nutrition and physical exercise
According to Herodicus, one of the duties of athletic trainers should always be to make sure that the athletes under their care maintain a healthy diet. This is also something that has developed with time and that has changed through the course of sports history. Athletic trainers all across the globe are always on the quest to find the best possible foods for increasing energy levels and boosting athletic performance of sports players. For instance, when it comes to Australian athletes, they know how important it is to get a good amount of all the essential nutrients from their food. It’s no wonder then that so many of them turn to hemp food in Australia, since it contains a fair amount of protein, which helps build body tissue, while improving their gut health and providing them with the energy they need to do what they do. It also contains carbohydrates, which is what most modern athletes and their trainers try to base their nutrition on. This is because carbohydrates can do wonders for athletes’ performance and endurance. It’s the trainer’s job to know when his or her pupils need which nutrients and which food groups can these exact nutrients be found in.
The western world
It took the western countries centuries to pick up where the Greeks left off. In fact, even though sports became more popular during the second half of the nineteenth century, not many people thought that athletes should receive proper medical care when injured. They mostly dealt with their injuries on their own, and if they had assistance, it was given by their team members, coaches and even spectators who were willing to step up. It wasn’t until 1880’s that professional athletic trainers appeared in the USA. In October 1881, James Robinson was hired to work for the Harvard University’s football team, in order to help them reach their athletic potential without hurting themselves in the process. In 1905, President Roosevelt announced that he would ban football from being played at universities and high schools. The reason for this were 18 deaths and nearly 160 serious injuries caused by the sport. It was this decision of his that made educational institutions realize it was time to make a change for the better and to enhance the safety of their football players by hiring people who, among other things, did the job of athletic trainers.
Athletic training today
In 1950, there was a meeting in Kansas City. It gathered approximately 200 athletic trainers and gave them the chance to discuss their profession and what its future would be. It was at this meeting that the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, or NATA, was formed. This association managed to set standards for everything regarding athletic trainers, such as the necessary education, ways of getting certified, as well as standards for professionalism. Thanks to them, it’s now very clear how you can become a professional and certified athletic trainer. Some of the qualification requirements include graduating with a bachelor’s degree from one of the accredited Athletic Training Programs, CPR and first aid certificate, as well as passing BOC exam. Today’s professional athletic trainers can work anywhere, from secondary schools, universities and colleges, various sports facilities, as clinical personnel such as physician, physical therapist or a physician assistant, but also in hospitals, emergency rooms, and different clinics which offer cardiac rehab, physical therapy or medical fitness. You can find them at police and fire departments and branches of the military, or even performing arts related to music and dancing.
The profession of athletic trainers has progressed and developed as time went by, and today they finally get the recognition and respect they deserve. We are now aware that behind every great athlete there is a trainer putting time and effort into bringing them to greatness.
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family.