Name and title:
David Iannicca, MSEd, ATC, CSCS, PES, CES, Certified Athletic Trainer
Describe your setting:
I work in professional baseball with a Kansas City Royals Triple-A affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska.
How long have you worked in this setting?
Eleven years total. I worked two years with the New York Yankees, one year with the Atlanta Braves and eight years with the Kansas City Royals.
Describe your typical day:
My typical day for an evening game (7pm game time) begins around 12:00pm – 1:00pm with preparing the athletic training facility for the day, planning players’ rehab and injury prevention programs, and catching up on other duties such as organizing and preparing for our upcoming road trip, etc.
Players generally start reporting to the stadium around 1:00pm – 2:00pm. Treatments and rehab programs are conducted, in addition to assisting with our strength and conditioning coach for player workouts. Batting practice starts at 4:00pm. During this time I will conduct any on-field functional rehab progressions players may have; otherwise, I am out on the field in case an injury occurs during pre-game. After batting practice I will continue with player treatments/rehab as needed and get players ready for the game. Typically games last from 2 ½ hours to 3 ½ hours on the field.
After the game I’ll continue with post-game injury prevention routines and finish up any last minute treatments before players leave the stadium. Once my work in the athletic training facility is complete, I will enter all my daily notes into the MLB electronic medical records system and send out an end-of-day report to the Kansas City Royals front office, team physicians and other various staff. I generally am finished for the night around midnight.
What do you like about your position?
This is a fast-paced and demanding work environment that challenges you to have a strong work ethic and stay current on the latest research and medical information out there to utilize on our athletes. It provides the opportunity to work with elite players who are looking to improve their athleticism and skills in the game of baseball.
This position has also given me an opportunity to travel all over the United States and visit many cities and states I probably would have never seen or visited. The team and Royals organization are like a family, with the ultimate goal of the players and staff to advance their career to the major league level.
What do you dislike about your position?
The hardest part about this work setting is the time away from home. My family and I reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and although they make several trips to visit throughout the season, my job has me traveling away from home for 6-7 months a year for Spring Training in Arizona and to Nebraska for the current season.
What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young AT looking at this setting?
My biggest advice would be to apply for an internship with a professional baseball team through the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) internship program to get a true experience and understanding what this job setting is like and if it’s something you would really like to pursue. There are a lot of hard working and knowledgeable Athletic Trainers in this work setting who have a real passion for the sports medicine field. A young Athletic Trainer just starting out can learn a great amount from them.