Austin Lamar is a high school sports enthusiast with dreams of merging his current passion for sports with his future passion for medicine. In this teen Q&A, Austin sits down with Dave Groeschner, Senior Director of Athletic Training for the San Francisco Giants.
What is your background?
I’m originally from Connecticut. I went to University of South Carolina and studied athletic training as my major. Got certified after I graduated college and worked at a High School in South Carolina as a teacher for 6 months as athletic training then got the job with the minor leagues for 4 years before coming to the San Francisco Giants.
What do you do with the players?
Athletic Trainers help heal athletes from musculoskeletal injuries. We treat injuries sustained during sporting events, athletic training and physical activities, and also assist with preventing injuries. As an athletic trainer our job is to mostly prevent injuries hopefully. We work directly with athletes if they’re feeling sore or we have to get them ready for a game. Really, it’s working with each player on a daily basis and try to make them feel as good as they can so they can preform as best as they can. Whether that is stretching, doing exercises, treatments.
What made you want to be an athletic trainer?
I played a lot of sports growing up and had my share of injuries but I wanted to have a career in sports and figured out how to be involved professionally after being hurt a lot. After all my injuries, I knew I couldn’t be involved as a professional player but I wanted to be involved collegiately. Being an Athletic Trainer is something I really enjoy.
What is the hardest part of working with athletes?
There’s no real hard part. Perhaps, the travel and being away from my family, the long days can be hard but there’s so many good things I deal with. It’s a job like anything else, you can get worn down and tired. The negative is offset by positive.
I am interested in pursing athletic training as a career. What advice would you give a current high school student interested in pursing this?
I suggest getting as many experiences as you can with different sports and different teams. Make sure it is what you want to do. I personally like all kinds of sports. I worked with soccer, baseball, basketball, track. I’ve always been a sports person growing up. different teams, athletic trainers to make sure this is really what you want. This profession has long hours, I travel a lot - it’s working hours before, during and after the game.
I love baseball and the athletes and the San Francisco Giants is a great organization.
About Dave Groeschner
Dave begins his 2nd season as Senior Director of Athletic Training for the Giants and 23rd season overall with the Giants. Dave was the Head Athletic Trainer for 11 seasons from 2007- 2017. Groeschner spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons as the Giants Assistant Athletic Trainer in his second stint with the Giants after having spent the 2004 season as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Chicago Cubs. Groeschner previously had spent four seasons in a dual role as the Assistant Athletic Trainer and strength and conditioning coordinator for the Major League club. He served as Athletic Trainer for the triple-A Fresno Grizzlies during the 1999 season, after logging two years at single-A San Jose and one campaign at rookie-league Bellingham. Groeschner served as the Giants Minor League Medical Coordinator during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Dave served as Athletic Trainer for the 2007 All Star Game in San Francisco. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of South Carolina. Groeschner is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and is licensed in the State on Arizona. He and his wife, Aimee, and daughters, Katie and Karmyn, reside in Mesa, Ariz.