Welcome to the Inside Athletic Training series with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society
As part of this series, both Major and Minor League Baseball athletic trainers, and PBATS alumni, will be sharing both personal and professional information about themselves, in order to help younger athletic trainers understand the life of a professional baseball athletic trainer, the variety of roads traveled within this profession, recommendations across a wide variety of topics, as well as some information about how these pros worked their way into professional baseball.
For this week’s Q&A, we sat down with Seattle Mariners athletic trainer Amanda Lee.
What is a typical in-season day like for you as an athletic trainer in baseball?
A typical in-season day for me is often a long one! If the game starts at 7:05pm, I will show up around 11am to start getting ready for the day. This may include any left over paperwork from the night before, meetings, organizing, and rehab program planning. The players start rolling in anywhere between noon and 2pm so I am available for treatment at any given time. Pre-game activities often include treatment, pitchers throwing program and conditioning, cage work, defensive work, BP, and then more treatment and getting the guys ready for the game! I might be able to sneak in lunch in-between all of that! I roll out to the field about 15 minutes before the national anthem where I then stay in the dugout throughout the length of the game where I am equipped and ready for any minor or emergency injury. After the game I head back to the ATR where I do any remaining treatments or injury evaluation necessary and then finish my day off with all of my reports/notes and cleaning up the ATR to prepare for the next morning!
What is your favorite aspect of athletic training in general?
My favorite aspect of athletic training is getting to play a crucial role in keeping athletes healthy and on the field. In the unfortunate event of an injury, it is such a rewarding feeling to help the athlete through every step of the rehab process and watch them as they successfully return to play.
What is your best advice for young athletic trainers looking to get into baseball?
My advice for any young athletic training wanting to get into baseball is never give up. Getting a job in baseball is competitive, but if you know this is truly the path you are called to take do whatever you can to better yourself and get as much experience as you can and then try again the next season!
How did you get your start as an athletic trainer in baseball?
As soon as I became interested in athletic training in high school, I knew I wanted to work in professional baseball (thanks to Sue Falsone). One night I saw the breaking new on ESPN that Sue had become the first female athletic trainer in any of the big four sports, I instantly set a goal that I was going to become the second. My University did not have baseball so we had a clinical rotation available at a University down the road to get baseball experience and as we all know, in order to work in baseball you need baseball experience! My senior year after meeting all of my requirements for clinical rotations I wrote and sent in a paper as to why I would love and need that opportunity. Unfortunately, I was not given the position so I took matter into my own hands. I did an immense amount of research and got contact information and sent in my resume and letter of interest to all of the local AA teams near me. I was willing to help as little or as much as anyone needed or would have even just taken a phone call with some advice! By the grace of God, the Dodgers AA team reached back out (which was right down the road from my University and home town) and asked if I would like to come in for an interview! I was offered a non-paid seasonal internship position where I attended every home game until graduation where I finished out the second half of the season traveling as well. This was the pinnacle for my career as I learned so much and was placed exactly where I needed to be. After that season, I was offered a position with the Dodgers organization (actually paid this time!) From there I took a sport with the Mariners where I have been going on 5 seasons now.
How important is learning at different levels of baseball (intern, A, AA, AAA) to becoming a successful athletic trainer at the highest level?
I feel like each level has something to offer and allows different experiences, however I also do not feel that it is necessary for an ATC to reach every single level before making it to and becoming successful at the highest level.
What is your favorite moment as a baseball athletic trainer?
My favorite moment as a baseball athletic trainer would have to be my first official year in baseball with the Dodger organization. It was the first step in reaching my goal, I had the opportunity to work with and learn from amazing athletic trainers, major and minor league players, and got to go to the world series that year.
What are your main hobbies outside of work?
My hobbies outside of work include working out, I really enjoy boxing, and getting to spend as much time with my nieces and loved ones as possible!
What is a book (or two) that you’d recommend to upcoming athletic trainers and students?
Truthfully, I am not a fan of reading.. The only books I tend to pick up and not be able to put down these days include mostly personal development books that have nothing to do with athletic training! But, if anyone has any recommendations let me know.
A huge thanks to Amanda for contributing this information to the series. And please check back next week for another edition of the Inside Athletic Training series. If you’re interested in more content related to athletic training, please check out the Inside Athletic Training podcast on Apple Podcasts here.