Athletic Training Skills: Definition, Examples And Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Training individuals to be better athletes requires a special set of skills that aim to improve fitness. You might want to learn these skills to perform well in your job. A clear understanding of these skills and their various applications can help you customise your techniques for different individuals, which could provide better results. In this article, we review some athletic training skills, including definitions and examples, and analyse methods for improving on them so you can help your clients more effectively.

What Are Athletic Training Skills?

Athletic training skills are methods that athletic trainers use to improve their clients' athletic performance and physical health. Trainers may also use them to aid in maintaining the physical health of people recovering from surgery or a physically debilitating injury. Independent and public trainers extend their athletic training techniques by working with their clients on a one-to-one basis or through group classes at a local gym.

Examples Of Athletic Training Skills

While trainers may have many skills in training athletes, here are some common competencies:


Communication skills are a key asset for athletic trainers. Whether you are teaching the proper way to lift weights or conveying the importance of healthy eating, your ability to communicate is vital to developing effective skills in the health industry. This involves much more than just verbal communication. For example, you can utilise your writing skills to maintain client progress records and exercise regimes.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

Attentive listening

As an athletic trainer, it is important to cater each individual training program to your client's physical needs. Remember that each person has a unique goal they are working towards, such as building stronger muscles or strengthening their ligaments. Therefore, it is necessary to remain aware of the specific problem that your client is trying to solve. This can help you create an exercise routine that may help them reach their aims.

When you follow your client's individual needs to create their action plan, you also assure them a safe workout, since some injuries may not permit certain movements. This can help you create a programme that best suits your client because it complements their specific goals, strengths and weaknesses.

Time management

Building a workout schedule might be one of the first things an athletic trainer does when starting work with a client. Having time management skills allows trainers to estimate how long each round may take so they can support more clients and give each one enough attention. It is important for athletic trainers to manage their time well, as it is crucial to increasing their client base while still giving individuals a meaningful experience.

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples


On occasion, a fitness trainer might explain a certain exercise, such as a squat, to their client. To make sure the form is perfect, the trainer may ask the client to perform the exercise so they can observe and assess their technique. This helps the trainer understand what works best for that individual since everyone has different needs and abilities. Noticing any physical discomfort early can help you alter the workout to match the client's limitations and avoid further issues.

Critical thinking

There could be instances where an athletic trainer is unfamiliar with a particular fitness goal that a client has and might not know the answer immediately. Still, it is important for trained professionals to rely on their critical thinking abilities to develop innovative solutions to help the client get what they need.

For example, if a client is in pain when trying to run, an athletic trainer might ask the client about their current running program. If the pain is due to overexertion or improper form, the trainer might find new stretches the client could do or recommend they switch to another exercise like swimming instead.

Related: Critical Thinking Skills: Definitions And Examples


It is important for athletic trainers to know how to handle their clients properly to meet their health and fitness goals, especially those who are recovering from injuries or surgery. It can also help them when engaging in physical activity or exercise.

If a client is exercising after a recent injury, the trainer can help them avoid further injury by using good coordination techniques. For example, if a client is having trouble lifting weights and needs assistance, they can make use of their trainer's good coordination skills to avoid hurting themselves as they work out.

How To Improve Your Athletic Training Skills

Training skills play an important role in improving a person's overall fitness ability, both physically and mentally. That is why it is crucial to improve these skills continually. Here is how you can do it:

1. Communicate effectively

By speaking clearly, you become a more efficient communicator, which may help you train clients and relay information skilfully. By focusing on the words you employ and their enunciation, you can improve your verbal delivery for maximum impact on your clients. So, remember to speak clearly and repeat instructions, if necessary.

2. Listen attentively

This is a key skill for not only trainers but anyone who wants to be successful in developing customer relations. It involves giving your full attention to what a client is saying, asking important and pertinent questions and processing their answers carefully.

Always make sure to remove any distractions, including mobile interference, and give all your consideration to every word your client says. Doing so can help ensure you understand their problems and goals. This may help you assist them better by showing that your focus is on their personal development.

3. Observe other trainers

Studying how other trainers work can help you be a better trainer for your clients. You can observe how these trainers work with their clientele to better your own training techniques. Additionally, if you want more tips on improving your training skills after the observation stage, try networking with other trainers for even more advice, as many of them could have some insight on exactly what might help you develop even further.

4. Practice your routine

Practising the fitness routines you create can increase your appreciation of how strenuous and time-consuming the training programme is for your clients. This information can help you understand what parts of the workout routine require alteration. It can also help you get a better sense of how to manage your time efficiently.

Ways To Use Athletic Training Skills At Your Workplace

To help you perform your job better, here are some examples of how you can use your training skills at your workplace:

  • Better client communication: To overcome feelings of intimidation while talking with clients, most workplaces encourage trainers to engage customers in a dialogue about their various fitness requirements and how they plan to meet them. Listening actively to your client may give you an idea of what you can do for them during your training sessions together.

  • Track your client's workout: Athletic trainers are highly aware of how each of their clients' workouts progress across sessions. This involves being fully cognizant of how they are reacting to an exercise or the pain that comes from it. This can then help you figure out how to improve their workout plan to prevent any serious injury from happening.

Ways To Highlight Your Training Skills

Here are some ways you can emphasise your training skills:

On your resume

When highlighting your training skills on your resume or cover letter, try to display your strengths clearly. Emphasise how many fitness clients or recovering patients you have helped to rehabilitate or train, which muscles of their body you have aided in strengthening and the different methods you have used over time to help them progress.

In an interview

During your interview, use statistical data and fitness reports to discuss how you have been able to help clients see their progress. Be sure to talk about the overall planning process and explain your role in helping clients reach their fitness goals by utilising realistic methods that have proven to be effective.

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