Tips for Getting a Sports Physio Job for the Team of Your Choice

Recently I came across a couple of fantastic resources about getting the sports physio job of your choice. I thought it might be useful for aspiring sports physios, as obviously a lot of people go into the discipline of physiotherapy to work with athletes and sporting teams.

The first resource is an interview with Wendy Braybon, who was the Head Physiotherapist for the Australian Olympic Team for the games in London 2012. She talks about her experience as a physio at the London games, and gives advice for others wanting to get into a position like this (advice starts at around 4:15):


The second resource is by Prof Karim Khan, who has been promoted by Sports Medicine Australia as one of the world’s most entertaining and sought after sport and exercise medicine speakers. He is a sports physician and the editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. He offers the following tips for people looking to get into working as a sports physio (or sports physician) for the team of your choice):

1.    Stand out. Being different from other sports physiologists may mean more than just getting a specialization in the discipline. Standing out means being equipped with experience – and a lot of it. If you are particularly interested in specializing in ankle injuries, get more experience in tackling the different injuries and mechanism problems of this body part to maximize your exposure.

2.    Bring more to the table. Bundled along with standing out, the purpose of bringing more to the table is to add a special value to the services and skills you offer. After gathering more experience in the field, expand on your experience by spending more time with specialists. Be able to get the position not only because of the experience you have but also because you are simply better and well versed at treating.

3.    Pick volunteering opportunities wisely. Choose opportunities which can actually help take you closer to that dream team or dream job you have been chasing after. Also, no task is too small – you are aiming for a job with a team so start working as a team player as early as possible.

4.    Connect with colleagues. Networking should not be confused with the negative connotation attached with nepotism. Be able to connect with people who are influential to the field, in the best manner possible. It may also help to have few different mentors as it may seem too burdensome for a single professional to be your constant FAQs go-to. Be at the right place at the right time – for example local Sports Medicine clubs may have seminars and gatherings in your area. These might just be the perfect way of meeting top-tiered colleagues and professors with great insights and insider tips about the industry.

5.    Be prepared to travel. Since the work place is in the playing field and the team travels for games, working might equate to continuous travel. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone just might propel you into your career peak.

To read more on Karim Khan’s thoughts on getting the sports physio job of your choice, click here.

Amanda :-)

Founder – My Health Career

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  1. Shane Hayes says:

    Good post for all those young physiotherapists out there, a few points that need to be clairifed for better advise:

    Be prepared to travel as Karim Kahn suggests means to find the work, aka current Australian cricket team physiotherapist went to Sri Lanka to work before getting the position. Some physiotherapists have gone to UK find work in sport first and gain the experience. I myself am such a person, struggling with the small part-time or casual sport work i could find in australia, decided to move oversea’s where i could get full-time professional sports work, and gain much more experience in elite sport.

    Like any industry i like to say the most important thing is “It’s not what you know, it’s who you Know”; ok not entirely true. But basically having a good reputation with coaches you have worked with in the past, or you meet through a sports coach you were working with whilst working lower level sports team (eg. state or local team). Coaches in particular sports, is a much smaller and closely knit industry then physiotherapy or sports medicine. Although Karim Kahn mentions network with the sports physicans and those in your industry. I think take a sidestep, and network with the sports coaches. Because as most would of noticed by now, you have probably never seen ‘Australian Wallabies Team Physio” job advertised, because they are not, many of these jobs are recommended or recruited by the Head Coach. Aka they were with the Waratahs in Super Rugby as a physio, then that coach got the job with wallabies and as such the physiotherapist was recommended or requested. In football even more so, because the Head Coach often come as a package, aka where they go in the world they take the same assistant coach, physio, fitness coach. Head Coach being the same as a Director in a business industry (its who you know there too).

    In my profession, only one of my jobs i gained came from a sports physician, however all the rest have come from head coaches recommendations. Even my recent promotion to Head Physiotherapist position came because the Head Coach demanded the directors to appoint me to the position

    Regards Shane Hayes
    Physiotherapist with teams at London 2012 Olympics, Commonwealth Games ect..

  2. liza says:

    Thanks for sharing information it is really useful.

    Advice for Career

  3. Eleanor says:

    Good article :) I like that you emphasised networking, I know it can seem daunting for some people but it really works!

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