I've Got Skills: Physical Therapist Vs Athletic Trainer

Learn the similarities of treating Soldiers and NHL players with the Philadelphia Flyers Trainer.

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McCrossin: My name is Jim McCrossin. I’m the athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach for the Philadelphia Flyers. And I’ve got skills.

Any athletic trainer is really care and prevention of our injuries.

“If it gets too bad, let me know.”

We’re the team with inside the team that nobody really sees. I want Angie’s experience to coming to see NHL hockey to see what we do one that she’ll never forget.

Hi how you doing, Jim McCrossin.

Diebal: Major Angie Diebal.

McCrossin: Angie, welcome to the Wells Fargo Center, home to the Philadelphia Flyers. This is where we work out before and after a game. Players who don’t play at all have to work out during the game. What we want our players to do is be the most fit they can possibly be if they get called to play in tomorrow night’s game. The locker room is home. This is where it all is. This is the medical room and this is where it all takes place. You’re an athletic trainer too?

Diebal: Correct.

McCrossin: So you’re PT/ATC? What inspired you to become a PT?

Diebal: I think the fact that I saw all these injured people as being an athlete myself. And athletes would go down on the field, and I was just like oh that kind of stinks. I couldn’t help them, I wanted to help them so bad, you know?

McCrossin: Right, right.

Diebal: And so I was like you know what, I’m gonna learn how to fix them.

McCrossin: What catapulted you into the Army?

Diebal: My dad. Yeah. My dad was in Vietnam, he was an MP.

McCrossin: Okay. Good stuff.

Diebal: And I just always wanted to go into the military.

McCrossin: There you go. Perfect. It’s one of the better things about the NHL is that we’ve got guys from all over the world. We’ve got guys from Finland, Slovakia, Russia, North America, Canada. It’s great. It’s a great blend.

Diebal: Basically in training today I watched Jim tape a lot of the athletes and stretch a lot of the athletes.

McCrossin: He likes the flex tape. And how much support does that give?

Diebal: Yeah.

McCrossin: He likes the heel lock and J and J. And that fits comfortably and it’s capable for him.

Diebal: Okay.

A lot of the things we do at West Point are pretty much the same, treat the athletes, you know we do a lot of taping of the athletes, injury prevention as far as if they’ve had a previous ankle sprain, tape that up and get them back out into the game. And he does a lot of the same things. Obviously the injuries are a little bit different.

You all do any of that Kinesio taping?

McCrossin: Yeah we do, we do. Actually we do that quite a bit. It’s amazing the drainage you can get with Kinesio taping.

Diebal: Exactly.

McCrossin: You wanna go out to the bench and get a quick tour? What happens outside the rink.

Diebal: Sure.

McCrossin: The good thing about being a trainer is I get the best seat in the house. I’m right on the bench and it’s really watching how the injury occurred. The most common injury we can have in here is foot injuries. Guys’ll wind up taking the slap shot and they’re trying to block the puck.

Diebal: Right.

McCrossin: And it creates some havoc with their feet.

Diebal: Oh definitely. I was able to watch pre-skate and that is something that’s not, not a lot of people are able to do. Jim was able to introduce me to several of the players and that was just an awesome experience in itself.

McCrossin: Charles, this is Angie. Angie, Jody Shelley.

Diebal: Hi. Nice to meet you.

McCrossin: Angie’s a Major at West Point. She’s a physical therapist up there. So down here to hang out for the day and learn about, a little bit about what we do.

Shelley: Don’t let him bring you down.

Diebal: Okay. What’s the best part about working with the Flyers?

McCrossin: You’re working with highly motivated individuals and you know you’re gonna have a full buy in if they wanna get healthy.

She’s working with soldiers. They’re thoroughbreds also. She treats her soldiers as we would treat our players.

Diebal: I really found that the athletic training skills that I have really helped in Iraq soldiers who were trying to go out and do a mission or whatever and they needed an ankle wrap. You wrap their ankle for the mission and they went out and they did it, you know.

McCrossin: Yeah.

Diebal: So there’s so many similarities. When I was on the bench I pretty much got to experience the whole atmosphere of just being right there with the team.

McCrossin: You know being at the game and seeing the game played, seeing the ups and downs of the game, that was great.

Diebal: I could definitely see a tremendous crossover. It’s pretty much the same job, just a different environment.

McCrossin: Angie, I just want to say thanks for coming and spending the day with us.

Diebal: It was incredible. Thank you so much for having me.

McCrossin: See you soon.

Diebal: All right, see ya.