111 : How To Get A Job After College Athletics w/ Former Duke Basketball Player, Tricia Liston

Tricia Liston is a former Duke women’s basketball player and is 8th on their all-time scoring list.  Upon graduating from Duke, she became a WNBA champion after being selected as a first round draft pick by the Minnesota Lynx.  Tricia also played in Italy, Spain and Korea throughout her professional basketball career.  Tricia currently specializes in job placement for former college athletes at Drum Associates, which is a full-service recruitment firm.  The focus of our conversation in this interview is on starting your professional career after retirement from sports.  I came across Tricia's work in this Chicago Tribune article.

Below are other talking points we cover in our conversation:

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  • What went into Tricia's decision to retire from basketball.

  • How Tricia managed back pain since her senior year of high school.

  • The toll playing all year round takes on a professional athlete.

  • The uncertainty surrounding the decision to retire from sports.

  • How playing overseas prepared Tricia for a life after sports.

  • What Tricia’s transition to life after basketball has been like.

  • How Tricia works around her back pain in workouts today.

  • They key to staying healthy and on the court at Duke.

  • Athletic skills that translate into the workforce.

  • Tips for building your resume in the absence of significant internship experience.

  • Example resume bullet points for athletes.

  • What sets athletes apart in the corporate world?

  • How to market your coachability.

  • Combatting applicant tracking systems.

  • How employers use social media when screening candidates.

  • The top three things athletes should be doing to set themselves up for success after their athletic career.

  • The advantage athletes have in building a network on LinkedIn.

  • Adjusting to the corporate environment as an athlete.

  • Advice for figuring out what you want to do.

  • How to utilize the services of Drum Associates in your job search.

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105 : Why Practice Doesn't Always Make Perfect & Recovering From 4 ACL Reconstructions w/ Christen Biskelonis DPT

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Christen Biskelonis is a Physical Therapist who overcame 4 ACL reconstructions and is the CEO of Journey Physical Therapy LLC.  We were connected by one of my childhood friends after she expressed her passion for injury prevention and safe body mechanics to him.  After talking about her own experience with ACL injuries we dive deep into what puts athletes at risk for suffering this type of knee injury.  Since Christen was local, we tested out my new camera by recording a couple videos on the red flags for at-risk athletes. Christen teaches us about proper landing mechanics and how to strengthen your hamstrings which are both major contributors to ACL tears (below). 

Are You At Risk?

Some Exercises you can do at home to help prevent an ACL injury from ending your season:

Equipment seen in this video:

The right way...

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The Wrong Way...

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Below are more topics of conversation Christen and I talk about in episode 105:

  • The story of Christen's first ACL injury (right leg), which occurred when she was just 14 years old while playing basketball.

  • What is was like being in a full leg brace and in a wheelchair on the first day of high school.

  • The story of Christen tearing the same ACL in the first basketball practice back from the original injury after doing a layup.

  • Why her second reconstruction, which required a pre-reconstructive surgery was the worst of all her surgeries.

  • Why surgeons tend to lean towards patellar tendon grafts for professional athletes and their role of mechanoreceptors.

  • The role of growth plates for young athletes and ACL surgery.

  • The story of Christen's third ACL injury (left leg) and an athletic trainers role in saving her leg.

  • The roles each knee ligament plays in stability.

  • What sparked Christen's interest in physical therapy.

  • The current state of health care and it’s impact on physical therapy.

  • What to look for in a rehab facility.

  • Why you shouldn’t wait until you get hurt to see a physical therapist.

  • The importance of stretching, rest and hydration.

  • Red flags for ACL risk factors.

  • Why teenage girls are at the greatest risk for ACL injuries.

  • Assessing ACL risks through movement screenings.

  • Why there are so many non-contact ACL injuries among NFL players.

  • The role music played in Christen’s recoveries.

  • Why practice doesn’t always make perfect.

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Download Episode 105 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud

103 : Changing The Landscape of Adaptive Sports w/ Pro Basketball Player, Ryan Martin

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Ryan Martin is a professional basketball player, President of the Ryan Martin Foundation, motivational speaker and a coach.  Ryan was born with Spina Bifida and, at the age of two, had both of his legs amputated to prevent complications with infection. 

Basketball transformed Ryan's world from "wheelchair bound" to bound for college, bound for professional basketball, and bound for traveling overseas. In 2007, Ryan joined the professional basketball league in Europe, completing 10 seasons in both Spain and France. This season Ryan is playing for the New York Rolling Knicks of the NWBA.

Before Ryan went pro, he attended college at Southwest Minnesota State University and led SMSU to the NWBA National Title Game in 2001. He graduated in 2002 with a degree in Secondary Education with a minor in Sociology. After graduation, Ryan joined the Phoenix Wheelchair Suns and played in the 2005 NWBA All-Star games.

Along with establishing his foundation, Ryan is a consultant for the NCAA on their Inclusive Sports Model. A large portion of our conversation in episode 103 was dedicated to learning about the tremendous work Ryan is doing with the NCAA to improve adaptive sports opportunities in college athletics. 

Below are some additional topics covered in episode 103:

  • Explanation of spina bifada

  • Ryan's upbringing and what is was like for him to be adopted into a family with other children with special needs.

  • Ryan's work with veterans, teaching them to play basketball and their transition process.

    • "Its not about how you got there, its about how you deal with your situation"

  • Why Ryan feels his disability has opened more doors than have been closed for him.

  • The importance of reaching your maximum potential and seizing the opportunities that come your way.

  • The role of effort in overcoming obstacles.

  • Rules and regulations of wheelchair basketball.

  • Why height is still unbeatable in wheelchair basketball.

  • The unique challenges presented to the athletes who play wheelchair basketball.

  • How sports helped Ryan build confidence and fit in and how he is trying to pay it forward today.

  • Ryan's message about bullying.

  • Why how you carry yourself is how you are perceived.

  • Current projects Ryan is working on through the Ryan Martin Foundation.

    • Creating adaptive sports programs throughout the NCAA as a means of creating diverse environments.

  • Adaptive sports program starting up at the University of Connecticut.

  • The potential societal impact of adaptive sports.

  • Staying healthy in the sport of wheelchair basketball and maximising longevity.





Download Episode 103 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud