How to Have a Successful Spring Training Season: Advice from 4 Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers
Spring training is a time for preparing new and seasoned players for the dozens of games scheduled over the coming months. As it can be a mentally and physically intense few weeks, requiring full attention from athletic trainers, we’ve gathered advice from four professional baseball athletic trainers to help keep your spring training season on track for success.
Though this collection of advice is from professional baseball athletic trainers, the wisdom can be applied to any level of any sport!
#1 – Stay on top of new technology and trends.
Corey Tremble, Medical & Rehabilitation Coordinator for the Detroit Tigers, a valued HydroWorx customer, shares about the importance of incorporating and utilizing the latest techniques for optimizing performance and recovery during a podcast interview with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS):
“There’s been a bigger push with technology as far as player tracking. So now we’re trying to figure out readiness scores, fatigue levels, and hydration levels. And on top of it we’re really pushing recovery. So, there’s so many more different modalities that we’re encompassing in our athletic training facilities that are really pushing recovery. There’s constant innovation going on and it’s driven because of the professionals in PBATS and MLB that feel we need to give our athletes everything possible to make sure that they’re putting out the best product and that they’re safe and healthy when they go out and take the field.”
#2 – Remember to take care of yourself.
Masai Takahashi, ATC, Assistant Athletic Trainer for HydroWorx customer Boston Red Sox, gives this piece of advice for upcoming athletic trainers during an interview with the Board of Certification for The Athletic Trainer:
“Practicing in professional baseball is very tough physically and mentally. Taking care of your own body is very important for you to be effective and have the energy to go through everything involved in this position. One of our massage therapists told me to take care of my body 11 years ago when I was promoted to the Major League for the first time. Back then, I really did not take that advice seriously. Now, I live by his words. My advice to young ATs is to take care of your own body, so you can continue to help others.”
#3 – Be efficient with rehab and recovery programming.
Richie Bancells, Head Athletic Trainer for HydroWorx customer Baltimore Orioles, shares in an article why using hydrotherapy can be such a great recovery and conditioning modality for spring training:
“Water is the perfect isokinetic device in terms of resistance. If you ever moved around in a pool there are two things about it: the resistance is equal throughout the entire range of motion unlike using a dumbbell where that resistance actually changes in terms of forces.”
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#4 – Collaborate with other specialists to create the best possible treatment plan.
Sue Falsone, worked as the Head Athletic Trainer and physical therapist for the L.A. Dodgers, a HydroWorx customer, for six years and was the first female head athletic trainer in any of the four major professional sports in the United States. Now, the owner of Structure and Function, a healthcare education company, she equips clinicians with the skills they need to improve rehab and recovery outcomes. She offers this advice for healthcare professionals to work together successfully:
“We need to learn to leave our letters at the door. I don’t care if you are a PT, MD, AT, SC…whatever the letters are after your name, leave them at the door. Walk into the room prepared to collaborate and respect other people’s opinions and points of view so solutions can be created in the best interest of the athlete. There is no room for ego. Seek to understand and seek to understand what the other professional is doing and how what you are doing can help bridge the gap between the two goals.”
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