Follow him @mitchhauschildt
RockTape: Why did you get into athletic training?
I was playing football (offensive line) at the University of South Dakota. I had several knee injuries. Seeing and experiencing firsthand the process of treating injuries and helping athletes to return to their activity after an injury was fascinating to me.
Today, I’m fortunate to work in a pretty unique position – as an injury prevention and rehab specialist in the college setting. I work with athletes from 17 different sports and I rarely perform any sideline coverage. The majority of my time is spent screening athletes for injury risk, programming for them based on that information and then performing rehab on athletes with complex injuries. My job challenges me on a regular basis with new and unique injuries / issues. I love that I get the opportunity to support and mentor young athletic trainers that are just entering the field.
My first AT job out of graduate school was at a hospital-based rehab and sports training center where I gained a lot of experience and confidence in the field. When my position was initially created, I jumped at the chance to work in a similar role – but in the college setting.
RT: Where do you look for inspiration in your field?
Russell Orr. He is an ATC / Strength Coach at EXOS. I first began working with him when I was in graduate school and I was interning with the New York Yankees. At the time, he was their minor league strength coach. Over the years, he has taught me a lot about sports medicine, raising my family and life in general.
I recently read the book “Learned Optimism” by Martin Seligman. It’s a great read on how to change your self-dialogue when encountering adversity. It has helped me with not only handling my own adversity, but helping my athletes deal with the adversity of injuries and other setbacks.
RT: When it comes to self-care & rehab, what concepts do you focus on for yourself?
For self-care, I use a lot of vibration and tape. I love vibration for stimulating the nervous system (crucial for me, dealing with MS) and down-regulating pain and soreness. I also really like kinesiology tape for soreness and improving my overall movement skills and posture.
RT: What was your first experience with us?
I was a customer first! As an AT, I was using another brand of tape and it kept falling off of my athletes and it really frustrated me. I had a physical therapist friend who recommended RockTape to me and the quality hooked me! Later, I was introduced to the RockTape methodology and I was completely in with both feet.
RT: Name another RockTape FMT instructor who taught you something that blew your mind.
I have learned so much from so many! I credit Dr. Perry (Nickelston) with getting me interested in teaching for RockTape, as he introduced me to the education team and gave me a chance.
I give Adam Wolf credit for changing the way that I view movement in a lot of ways. Tony Mikla has taught me a lot about training methodology and how to approach life and business in a very collected and analytical way. Dr. Shanté Cofield (the Movement Maestro) opened my eyes to using social media to network and dive deeper in the industry. Dr. Courtney Conley has completely changed the way I view the foot. Joe LaVacca helped me understand pain and how our emotions impact it. I can go on and on and on about this group!
RT: What’s your favorite course to teach?
I still love teaching FMT Basic and Advanced, our first and most foundational course. The concepts changed my life six years ago when I first became introduced to it and it’s still changing the lives of clinicians who take it every month. There is so much information packed into those two days and I love sharing it with attendees.
RT: What tools do you use in your practice?
I use pretty much all of the RockTape and TriggerPoint tools in my everyday practice. I use kinesiology tape to improve swelling, posture and performance. I use Blades, Pods and Floss to change tissue quality and tone. I use TriggerPoint rollers and balls to encourage self-care for my athletes and vibration tools to impact the nervous system.
I use them all extensively, but I would say that tape is probably the winner. My favorite applications tend to be for postural control. These applications typically get to the root of a lot of pain syndromes and enhance performance through improved joint position sense / increased endurance.
RT: If you could change one behavior of your clients, what would it be?
I’d like to see my young athletes be better about self-care. They can take care of a lot of issues and injuries if they would simply take a few minutes every day to take better care of themselves, but they are young and generally resilient, so most of them don’t feel the need to take the time to do it.
RT: Where do you think athletic training is headed?
We’re seeing a huge shift toward industrial and tactical spaces. This is great because it gives athletic trainers a new field to work in, generally paying very well. Because of this, we can see a shift out of more traditional settings (college and high school athletics).
On the other side of the coin, this shift concerns me – high school and collegiate athletes need the care of high quality, seasoned ATs, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to hire good people for those jobs due to longer and more demanding hours.
RT: In the spirit of women’s history month, name a great female AT & why she rocks the job.
Morgan Cox. She worked with our staff years ago and went on to become the head AT for Football at Southern Illinois University and has since moved to Tulane to work with their football staff. She is a young woman working in a very male dominated field and holding her own. She’s going places.
This Athletic Trainer Is Out-Running MS:
Mitch’s Marathon Training