Updated: May 8, 2019
Dave Hieb has been the athletic trainer and head baseball coach at the University of Northwestern - St. Paul for nearly 30 years. Throughout his time at UNW, he has seen hundreds of athletes suffer from injuries. However, each athlete has their own method of coping.
Hieb believes that it is important for athletes to be fulfilled physically, emotionally and spiritually. He states, "A lot of times when an athlete is injured, they are hurting in all three." As a follower of Christ, Hieb's mission is to "develop the ultimate Christian student-athlete." He dedicates his time to helping athletes return to their sport, as well as building up their faith and encouraging them academically. Having stability in your life is important, especially for those suffering from injury. When the physical component isn't working out for you, focus more on the spiritual and emotional components. They are great outlets to get your mind off not being able to practice or play in games.
Furthermore, Hieb says that mental health is so overlooked and has such a stigma attached it. However, what about physical therapy? No one says anything about that. According to Hieb, they are the exact same thing. It's still therapy. He says, "Young athletes don't have it figured out and [they're] stumbling all over [themselves] trying to figure out. You don't have to be on your own. You don't have to fix it on your own. There are lots of good therapists that can help you."
When you know you need help, seek it. Don't view mental illness as a negative subject. It can truly change your outlook on life. Sometimes just having another person to talk to is all you need. As young adults, we already have a lot going on in our lives as we begin to prepare for the future, so it is normal to feel stressed or frustrated. But, don't hold it all in. Talk about it and learn from your experience.
Listen to full podcast version here https://jaedenmetcalf.wixsite.com/sportrecovery/podcast/episode/bfdecb0d/dave-hieb-unw-athletic-trainer-podcast