Welcome back, and thanks for your interest in Inside the Game #005. Last week in the we sat down with Josh Seligman of the Milwaukee Brewers for #004, you can find that here. This week, we had the opportunity to speak with Rob Nodine, long-time member of the Seattle Mariners athletic training staff and former member of the PBATS Executive Committee.
Rob currently works as the Mariners assistant athletic trainer. Before starting his career in baseball, Rob earned his undergraduate degree from UNLV.
Check out the interview below and let us know what you think in the comments section.
PBATS: When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in athletic training?
Rob Nodine: I had always wanted to work in the health profession as long as I can remember. When I got serious about it was while taking AT 101 in my 1st semester at UNLV.
PBATS: How did you get your start in baseball?
RN: I worked baseball while at UNLV. I first interviewed with Rick Griffin (Seattle Mariners Head ATC) and accepted a position with the Riverside Pilots in 1993.
PBATS: What is your favorite part about being an athletic trainer?
RN: I enjoy working with the athletes and the challenge of the long season and keeping the players healthy during the marathon season. I enjoy the numerous facets of the position. It is more than only an ATC position it is counselor, confidant, and motivator.
PBATS: What is your favorite memory from working in baseball?
RN: I have several. The first memory was working in the minor leagues and enjoying all the stops in the 14 years of Minor league baseball. Second, winning a championship while in the Eastern League in 2000. Third, being promoted to the Major Leagues in 2007. And last but definitely not least is having the privilege of serving on the PBATS Executive Board for a maximum term of 6 years as the AL Assistant ATC Representative.
PBATS: What are your goals for your career in athletic training?
RN: Serve the players in their health and performance needs on a daily basis to the best of my ability. Continue to represent the Seattle Mariners. Aspiring to be a Head ATC at the Major League level. Enhancing the position of ATC at the Major/Minor league levels for those who follow in the baseball profession.
PBATS: What are some of the most interesting parts of your job that most people might not be aware of?
RN: I would have to assume that with the new interest in health and performance of our players we are getting more attention in the public eye as to what we do on a daily basis. What some people don’t know is the time that we all put in daily in the athletic training room to keep our players on the field. Our positions have gone from a seasonal position to a full time position. We do just as much in the off-season to prepare for the upcoming season i.e. preparing for Spring Training, contacting players, free agent evaluations, etc.
PBATS: What is a typical day at the park like for an athletic trainer?
RN: During the season in preparation for a night game I usually arrive at the stadium at 11:30-12. The day begins with preparing the training room for the various therapy sessions that we will have that day. Most of the players arrive around 12:30 and our daily exercises regimens for the players begin and last till they go on the field for batter practice at 4. During BP we usually speak to the visiting ATC’s to make sure they have everything they need in the visiting athletic training room and make them aware of the physician coverage for that night. After BP we have a pregame meal then prepare the players for the game. 7:10 GAME TIME! After the game we attend to the players post game exercises and address anything that happened during the game that needs acute care. The last portion of the day is filled with clean-up, record keeping, and creating the Daily Injury Report for our Field Manager and various front office personnel.
PBATS: What are your favorite things to do in the off-season?
RN: I love the outdoors. I like to hunt, fish, golf (if weather permits), and spend time with family.
PBATS: What advice would you offer young people, college students or anyone looking to get their start in athletic training and the game of baseball?
RN: Go for it! Have an open mind, be patient, be assertive, communicate extensively, practice public speaking, and realize that the players come first.
A huge thanks to Rob Nodine for taking some time to sit down with us for Inside the Game #005. Please let us know if you have any specific questions that you’d like to see answered throughout this series. Feel free to tweet at us at @PBATS using the hashtag #InsideTheGame. Or head on over to our Facebook page and share some ideas for future features!