The short answer is no. Sure, it helps if your trainer has a background in the sport(s) you play. But as long as they understand how to program for you, the demands of the sport(s), what you need/want to improve on, and your goals for the weight room/sports season, they can help you out.
I have been a trainer for the past 5 years, including 4 here at Inspired. I grew up playing football, basketball, baseball, track and occasionally golfed. I also played and coached college football. Does that make me an expert in football training then? Some maybe would say yes, but I’d say no. But if it does, then why are the majority of my clients not only females, but also play sports that I have never played.
Since I started at Inspired 4.5 years ago, I have trained 20 athletes, including 12 at the Division I level, that played, are playing, or are committed to play a college sport. Actually, all of these athletes are female athletes that play soccer, hockey, basketball, volleyball, golf, lacrosse, track and field or rugby. Yet outside of basketball, track and golf, I have very little, to no experience, in these sports outside of what I have researched and observed. But I have been able to help these athletes get stronger, move more efficiently and become better athletes and excel in their sports.
In the end, it doesn’t hurt for your trainer to have a background in the sports of the athletes they are training but it is not the end all, be all. Good trainers are able to understand what will help the athlete out and implement a plan to help them improve and reach their goals.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.Fred Devito/Sun Tzu