In sports, a coach is a person involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople. A coach may also be a teacher.
Britain took the lead in upgrading the status of sports in the 19th century. For sports to become professionalized, “coacher” had to become established. It gradually professionalized in the Victorian era and the role was well established by 1914. In the First World War, military units sought out the coaches to supervise physical conditioning and develop morale-building teams.
A coach, particularly in a professional league, is usually supported by one or more assistant coaches and specialist support staff. The staff may include coordinators, strength and fitness specialists, and trainers. In elite sport, the role of nutritionists, biomechanists and physiotherapists will all become critical to the overall long-term success of a coach and athlete. They work on the over all responsibility of their athletes.
An athletic trainer is a certified and licensed health care professional who practices in the field of sports medicine. Athletic training has been recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) as an allied health care profession since 1990.
As defined by the Strategic Implementation Team of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) in August 2007:
“Athletic training is practiced by athletic trainers, health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and quality of life for patients both of the physically active and sedentary population. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations and disabilities.”
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