Sue Falsone is getting some attention this season as the first female head trainer for a major league baseball team. As she says, she's always been female. So it's only new for the people who are hearing about her for the first time. A trade publication, Advance for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine, delves deep into her story. She's 37, began working with the Dodgers as a physical therapist a few years ago, and became the head trainer — the person who runs on the field when a player goes down, and oversees the health of 25 players offstage — this year. She is also a vice president for Athletes' Performance, a company in Phoenix.
Falsone is certainly proud to be the first female head athletic trainer in major pro sports but admitted it wasn't a specific goal. "I never thought about it. People always ask me, 'How did you get to that spot?' But it really wasn't part of my ultimate plan. I knew I wanted to do something different and always push myself to be a great clinician. I just like to be challenged. But this position didn't really cross my mind. And the concept of being the first female -- that's definitely not why I accepted. It just felt right. A lot of things were aligned from a personal and professional level. It so happens I'm the first but that's actually surprising to me since it's 2012. If it hadn't lined up with the rest of my life, I wouldn't be doing this."
Nevertheless, what she is doing has inspired other women across the country. "I honestly wasn't prepared for all the attention that has come with me taking the position," Falsone shared. "I thought it would be a story for a little while, but not to this extent. I just received a letter from a 17-year-old girl who has always wanted to work in sports and now feels like she can. I've gotten hundreds of messages like that between Facebook, Twitter, handwritten letters and emails. I just didn't expect so much response and it's been really amazing."
She also explains things to reporters slowly and clearly, which is good.