A sports therapist is a licensed practitioner who treats injured athletes with muscular complaints that affect the back, mobility, posture and more. An injured athlete can go to a sports therapist to restore full-performance ability. Sports therapists also advise athletes on injury prevention. A degree in sports therapy rehabilitation is a science-based curriculum that can take anywhere from two years to become a therapeutic assistant to more than six years for a doctorate degree.
Choose a career focus. Sports therapy has a variety of areas of expertise, including sports massage, exercise science and kinesiology, mind and body, training techniques and sports psychology. Each area has its own course prerequisites.
Earn an undergraduate degree. To treat people with a medical problem, you need a college degree. To become a physical therapist and work one on one with patients, you need an undergraduate degree in a major like biology, chemistry, physics or exercise physiology. Undergraduate programs in sports medicine are often offered as part of an exercise science or kinesiology program.
Get an advanced degree in physical therapy. The American Physical Therapy Association has a list of schools in most states that offer a doctor in physical therapy degree. You will be required to do clinical work and treat patients while under supervision.
Seek accreditation. Accrediting organizations certify professionals in specific specialties who have achieved a certain amount of education and work experience. There are a variety of organizations that award accreditation in sports therapy, including the American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise and the National Athletic Trainers Association. Each organization has its own requirements for membership.