Welcome back, and thanks for your interest in Inside the Game #007. Last week in the we sat down with Jon Kotredes of the Washington Nationals for installment #006, you can find that here. This week, we had the opportunity to speak with one of Jon’s colleagues Kirby Craft, also of the Washington Nationals athletic training staff.
Kirby currently works as the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League Athletic Trainer. Before starting his career in baseball, Kirby earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh – Bradford.
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?
Kirby Craft: After I completed an internship in physical therapy, I knew I wanted to do something similar but more involved with athletics. When I entered college, it became apparent to me that athletic training was exactly that route.
PBATS: How did you get your start in baseball?
KC: My college baseball coach knew an athletic trainer in the Indians organization and put me in touch with him, helping me set up an internship (turning into 2 internships) with that organization.
PBATS: What is your favorite part about being an athletic trainer?
KC: Being closely involved with sports and athletes was my goal. As an athletic trainer, I get to do exactly that, and I now have valuable medical knowledge that I would not have gained in other fields.
PBATS: What is your favorite memory from working in baseball?
KC: The first time I saw a player that I worked with make it to the major leagues.
PBATS: What are your goals for your career in athletic training?
KC: Staying on top of the always-growing research in the medical field, whether it be learning a new manual technique or following the latest concepts behind a rehab plan. I strive to be the best athletic trainer I can be, and staying up to date on medical information is vital for that.
PBATS: What are some of the most interesting parts of your job that most people might not be aware of?
KC: I think many people are not aware of the extent of medical and personal care that we actually provide. As an athletic trainer in baseball, your job is almost limitless in the fact that you are an extension of the physician, physical therapist, EMT, and psychologist. Athletic trainers have the ability to help in so many ways.
PBATS: What is a typical day at the park like for an athletic trainer?
KC: A typical day is most definitely busy, filled with pre workout prep, treatments pre and post games, covering the workout and game, setting up doctor appointments when necessary, and everyone’s favorite: documentation.
PBATS: What are your favorite things to do in the off-season?
KC: My favorite thing in the offseason is definitely spending time with family and friends, taking trips to places I have never been, and just relaxing and taking advantage of the downtime.
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?
KC: My advice would be to seek out an internship. Not only is it a good entrance into the game, but it will give you a chance to see if the job is something that you will enjoy. If anything, it can open some great doors for many opportunities.
A huge thanks to Kirby for taking some time to join us for Inside the Game #007. 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!