Athletic Trainer Spotlight | Pat Giruzzi of Hamilton College
We sat down with Pat Giruzzi, Assistant Athletic Trainer at Hamilton College, for some insight on what he loves about his career and how he uses Marc Pro to save time.
How long have you been an athletic trainer?
I started at Hamilton College in August of 1998.
What attracted you to the profession?
Growing up, I was always in athletics. I starting playing hockey at the age of 5. When I went to prep school, I played 3 sports including football, hockey, and lacrosse. Injuries started to build up as I continued to play those sports. It was then that I became interested in athletic training. I was attracted to helping other athletes get back to the field quickly. I decided that athletic training would be my academic focus in college.
While I played hockey my first year in college, the Director of Sports Medicine spoke with me and said that I needed 1500 credit hours to work with teams as an athletic training student. I was falling behind with needed credit hours because of the hockey team, and I decided to shift away from playing on the team. I was able to make a deal to work with the hockey team to get more athletic training hours over the next 3 years, and the rest is history.
What is your philosophy in regards to athletic training?
Even though I work many hours, it never seems like work because I love what I do. Everyday varies because of all the different injuries and situations.
The other part of my athletic training philosophy is that I do not believe in ice. I am using the Marc Pro 100% of the time on injuries. We started using the Marc Pro 17 months ago, and I have changed the way I treat athletes in that time because of using the Marc Pro.
What sports do you typically work with?
At Hamilton College, there are 29 varsity teams. I have been covering both Men’s Soccer and Men’s Ice Hockey for the last 18 years. I also work with our Baseball program.
What injuries do you most commonly address?
I have dealt with many different injuries, but the most common would have to be strained hamstrings, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, and many back injuries.
How and when did you hear about the Marc Pro?
I received an email featuring Gary Reinl and Kelly Starrett about the negatives of icing injuries. They discussed using the Marc Pro and I immediately wanted to learn ‘what is the Marc Pro?’. I reached out to Gary and met with him at the NATA meeting and then ordered 5 units to help teams recover after strenuous workouts and both acute and chronic injuries.
How many Marc Pros do you have at the college?
We currently have about 30 units at our school. The Marc Pro has become the key modality that everyone is using. We also have an H-Wave for orthopedic surgical athletes. Our treatment now starts with the Marc Pro because it has cut injury time by half.
How do athletes use the Marc Pro at Hamilton College?
In addition to our training room, we will send athletes home with Marc Pro units. We tell the athletes that they need to wear the device whenever they can when they are in their dorm rooms. We explain that this will improve their chances to recover from their injuries quicker.
What do your coaches and athletes like best about the Marc Pro?
Both the athletes and the coaches have seen the benefits of the Marc Pro. They now know why the top pro athletes are using the Marc Pro, and college athletes should be using these units non-stop. The Marc Pro has been huge for muscle recovery, which both coaches and athletes like for its sports benefits.
How has the Marc Pro helped you in the training room?
It is like having another set of hands it the training room. We can treat more athletes faster with the Marc Pro. It will help them get back to the sport they love faster. It is a true time-saver!
What has been the most surprising thing you have learned throughout your career?
I have been surprised to learn that icing is no longer “the norm.” If you had asked me two years ago, “How would you treat an acute injury?”, I would immediately say, “Ice”. Now, I am only using ice to keep water cold. I have also learned that I can help get athletes back to play so much faster with the Marc Pro.
What is your favorite part about your work?
My favorite part is watching an athlete that has been sidelined with an injury get back on the field and succeed.
Want to hear more? Watch our interviews from the NATA Meeting, where talked with 13 athletic trainers about why they are leaving ice in the cooler and taking a new approach to recovery.