How a Career in Baseball Prepared Me For a Doctor of Athletic Training Degree
One afternoon in the summer of 2022, I found myself sitting in my office in Lakeland, FL realizing I needed something new in my professional and personal life. At the time, I didn’t know if that something new was a challenge, a pivot in mindset, or a fresh mission for growth? Moving through my 10th season as the Medical and Rehabilitation Coordinator and 15th total with the Detroit Tigers, I felt I had achieved a level of confidence in my tasks and position. Maybe it was time to practice what I preach with my staff by getting “comfortable with being uncomfortable” again?
As athletic trainers, especially in professional baseball, we are asked to run at a high level of precision with the ability to adjust. We are constantly on the clock for our players and organization, and it can become difficult to create that allusive work-life balance. Being available to our Clubs is engrained in our fabric and all clinicians in the game have made significant sacrifices to become leaders in the profession. After deep reflection of my own situation, it became clear to me that my something was going back to school for a terminal degree in our profession, the Doctor of Athletic Training.
Being away from formal education for over 15 years, this decision came lined with fear, anxiety, and excitement of the unknown. I began asking the normal internal questions. Would I have the time to do this? Would I be able to give enough of myself to the program? Would I be spreading myself too thin? Would I succeed in this challenge? These concerns were quelled quickly knowing I had one major prep-course going into the DAT Program: working as an Athletic Trainer in Professional Baseball. I knew I would be able to utilize my time management skills, my collaborative mindset, and my personal interaction strengths that I have spent years developing in a Professional Baseball Athletic Training Facility to meet this endeavor head on.
The Doctor of Athletic Training Program that I gravitated to was with Florida International University. Because DAT programs do not have strict oversite from professional accreditation entities, they are able to enhance the value of the athletic trainer by the program and professors leaning into the skills and expertise they bring to the table. Due to my role with my organization, I was looking for a place where my collaborative nature would be nurtured and developed. Florida International University afforded me the ability to continue my “day job” while enhancing my leadership skills, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a global vision of the athletic training profession. I have already begun seeing a more holistic version of myself as an athletic trainer with a renewed sense of pride and passion for the profession.
The Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society was founded to serve as an educational resource for Major League and Minor League Athletic Trainers. PBATS has played a significant role in my development as an athletic trainer and their constant support of the Minor League Athletic Trainer helped put me in a position to take on this challenge. Being able to speak with peers and colleagues in baseball who are looking to begin, are on, or have completed a similar journey have given me the support I need to stay focused and driven.
Culture is created by the content of a collaborative group, not by a single person. Similarly, an advanced degree is earned by a single person, but the journey requires the support and encouragement of many. Professional Baseball has taught me the focus and skills needed to succeed, while PBATS has instilled the values of education and advocacy. Athletic training is not just a job or a profession, but a calling. My career in Professional Baseball with the support of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society has afforded me the ability to heed the call of practitioner-scholar.
Corey Tremble completed his 15th season with the Tigers Organization in 2022, marking his tenth as the Minor League Medical and Rehabilitation Coordinator. Following the 2017 season, the Tigers Organization named him the Dwight Lowery Player Development Person of the Year and he was named the Medical Coordinator of the Year by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society in both 2021 and 2022. For more information about Corey Tremble and his life as an athletic trainer, please tune into INSIDE ATHLETIC TRAINING: A PBATS PODCAST where Corey will be a guest on January 26th.