Life of a WNBA Athletic Trainer
Just like the Mystics players, the off-season is an opportunity for me to adventure in to another world and enjoy a little down time from being on the road. During the 6 month season, there are no days off. Even when the players get a day off, we come in to do rehabilitation, treatment, and to catch up on paper work. However, off-season is a time for all of us to improve our skills and gain knowledge. Just as hard our players practice to improve their basketball skills, I try to do the same with my sports medicine knowledge and skills.
This off-season I took a few continued education seminars and a fellowship. I started the off-season by going to England for an 8 day Certification in Spinal Manual Therapy. It was an amazing opportunity to for me to add a new tool to my tool belt and learn about the current concepts of treatment to the spine. Then in January, I took an Active Release Techniques (ART) seminar in New Jersey and a cadaver anatomy refresher course at Salisbury University in Virginia.
Earlier this year, I got a unique and incredible opportunity to work at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista California for two weeks. This is where former Olympians and future Olympic hopefuls train to win medals for our country. It was inspiring to see their extreme dedication and work with some of the world’s best athletes from track and field, women’s field hockey, rowing, to Paralympics soccer players. I had the opportunity to see how every sport has its unique set of injuries and training approaches. I had a fantastic time helping these athletes with treatment and rehabilitation and learning from them.
Since 2000, I have been working at Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation clinic (STAR) in Washington DC every off-season. At the clinic, I get a chance to perfect my skills and learn from a diverse case load of patients. When I’m not taking a seminar, I am usually at STAR working off-season. We also utilize the STAR clinic for our players’ off-season rehabilitation needs. During this time, I regularly check-in with our players about their health progression and well-being.
For the past 9 seasons, I have been very privileged to assist the amazing Washington Wizards sports medicine staff during my Mystics off-season as well. Working with the highest caliber men’s basketball players is a challenging and an exciting environment. Consecutively, I get to carry over the current treatment concepts and ideas to the Mystics side during the season to make our players better.
Now we are few weeks away from the first pre-season practice and I am looking forward to taking my off-season experience in to my 7th WNBA season. As the players filter in to Washington DC before the preseason, I will be occupied taking care of some of these players’ injures from playing overseas. I look forward to the beginning of the season; it’s fun to meet all the new players and start on the road to a championship season!