Learn more about Shattuck-St. Mary's Director of Sports Medicine in the latest installment of the Sports Medicine Blog.
A native of the East Coast, Joe Sawicki came to Shattuck-St. Mary’s with a passion for sports medicine and working within the boarding school environment. Now in his fifth year at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Mr. Sawicki continues to bring great care to SSM athletes.
Q: What spiked your interest in athletic training and sports medicine?
A: During the first week of my freshman year, I stumbled upon an opportunity to be a student athletic trainer as my work-study job and immediately fell in love with it. During my junior year, I officially changed my major to Sports Medicine. The opportunity to work with sports was amazing - being around the athletes, traveling with the teams, and helping to keep them in the game spoke to me on many levels.
Q: When did you begin working at boarding schools?
A: During my senior year at Merrimack College, I was introduced to boarding schools when I worked as an intern in athletic training at nearby Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. It was there that I determined that the boarding school setting was right for me.
Q: Describe your position at SSM.
A: My role at SSM is to oversee athletic training as well as strength & conditioning. It has been a uniquely challenging position. The athletic program that SSM runs is nothing like I had ever been a part of in the past. In the typical school setting, there are fall, winter, and spring seasons. There are pre-seasons, in-seasons, and post-seasons. Here there is only in-season with some ebbs and flows of intensity.
Q: How have you stayed active in your profession?
A: I currently serve as the Chair of the National Strength & Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Ice Hockey Special Interest Group and serve on the Board of Directors for the NSCA’s Minnesota chapter. I have presented at many conferences on topics ranging from ice hockey training to concussion prevention.
Q: When you aren’t at the Sports Complex or in the weight room helping teams train, how do you spend your time?
A: In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family. My daughter Emma is a member of the SSM Class of 2020 and my son Aaron is a member of the SSM class of 2023. My wife, Meghan, currently serves the role of Program Director of Ruth’s House of Hope here in Faribault. I am also an avid cyclist. I prefer riding on the flat, straight roads of Minnesota which allow me to push the pace.
Q: And finally…just what is your favorite sport?
A: The truth is I don’t know if I have a favorite. I just really enjoy watching people compete against one another. Whether that is on a field, a running track, or on the ice. I love to watch!