Choosing the right sports trainer for you or your child’s athletic goals, can be a very difficult decision. There are so many personal training companies and sports trainers to choose from, but what is the difference between them all? Excellent Question!
In the United States, there is no “law”, per se, that a sports personal trainer or strength coach has to obtain any certain level of education, state license or national certification to work as a “Trainer”. Therefore, anyone really could call themselves a “Trainer”. There are 4 levels of personal trainers and strength coaches that may call themselves a “Trainer”.
Level 1 – No specific post-high school education related to exercise or human movement, or anything similar. This may be the post-high school or collegiate athlete, that has experience as an athlete and been around sports trainers for many years, therefore they have some good exercise ideas that may or may not help develop another athlete. This also may be someone whom has spent many years in the gym working out and have developed some great muscle tone and “athleticism” within their own body, so they have some exercise ideas to introduce to others.
Level 2 – May or may not have any specific post-high school education related to exercise or human movement, but has taken a few week course (at most) and passed a basic personal training exam, through an accredited personal trainer organization. These personal trainers have some knowledge of exercise selection, nutrition, and proper lifting mechanics. They may not know what muscles are specifically working in each exercise, but they will have a basic understanding of why they would choose one exercise over another. Common credentials these personal trainers will obtain are: Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) from various organizations.
Level 3 – 4-year college degree (bachelors degree) (in any subject matter) required. Extensive certification exam taken through an accredited personal trainer or sports performance organization. Continuing education units have to be submitted annually to maintain certification. These “trainers” or sports performance coaches are not required to have extensive anatomy or kineasiology education, but have a pretty in-depth understanding of the body in sports movement patterns and injury pathologies. These sports performance coaches will know what muscles are working with each exercise and why to choose certain exercises over others. Common credentials these sports performance coaches will obtain are: Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) from NSCA, Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) from NASM, and/or Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) from NASM.
Level 4 – Sports Medicine Specialist with a Level 3 certification (mentioned above). Continuing education units have to be submitted annually to maintain sports medicine certification and sports performance certification. This is the best of the best. This is your 5-star “trainer”. When you combine a sports medicine specialist, that has multiple collegiate courses and continually attends post collegiate seminars on anatomy, kineasiolgy and sports-injury pathology, with an extensive sports performance certification, you get an amazing Sports Performance Coach to work with athletes. Results are much quicker, injuries are much lower, and results are permanent! Common Credentials you will see with a level 4 sports performance coach is: National Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC), State Licensed Athletic Trainer (LAT), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES), and/or Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES).
At Efficient Movement, we are Level 4 Sports Performance Coaches! Call us today, to learn more about how our extensive knowledge can develop your athleticism and reduce your injuries! (602) 358-8862
9419 E San Salvador #103
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
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