So you'd like to know about how to work for the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society (PHATS)? PHATS is a group that is associated with the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers (SPHEM). The PHATS's primary goal is to promote consistent training and education in the most advanced techniques for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries to professional hockey players. The society supports continued advancement for all its members.
Steps to Becoming a Professional Hockey Athletic Trainer:
- Go to college. Most professional athletic trainer organizations will not accept applicants who do not first hold a minimum Bachelors Degree in athletic training or some form of sports related science (ex. kinesiology).
- Acquire experience. Typically, an internship or research work under a professional will look really good on the resume and help prepare the applicant for future endeavors. Two years of experience in sports psychology, nutrition, kinesiology and similar areas helps make the individual competitive in the field. Research is almost always a plus.
- Get certified. Professional athletic trainers have to have certification, which can vary from state to state.
- Get real-world experience. Real-world experience comes when the individual delves into working with a sports team, in this case, a hockey team. Starting at high school and college levels can help build experience, stress-tolerance and overall job competence. Networking in lower positions can help set the individual up for future high-paying jobs as an athletic trainer.
- Join the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society. This will help with the job networking also, and make sure the individual stays current in their training, as well as present opportunities that could lead to bigger and better jobs.
The PHATS organization functions similarly to other professional organizations. It is a tool used to promote the athletic trainers who become members, as well as the field of professional athletic training and safety in professional hockey playing. There are meetings that allow for the sharing of ideas, techniques and research amongst the members as well, almost always relating to the prevention and care of hockey-related injuries.
For professional Hockey Athletic Trainers who wish to become a member of the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society, there is an online or printable application form. The membership dues vary depending on the individual applicant's experience level.
Individuals who are NHL Athletic Trainers have a membership fee of $30 to become an "Active Member" while NHL Assistant Athletic Trainers will be charged $75 to become "Associate Members." All other athletic trainers are welcome, however, as "Affiliate Members" with a membership fee of $50; however, the organization is reserved for athletic trainers in professional hockey.