AthletiCo Provides Athletic Trainer to Chicago Cubs
LaGrange Park native works with Cubs athletic training staff to keep players active
AthletiCo athletic trainer, Dave Smetana, will be watching this year’s MLB season with more than just a fan’s eye. As the athletic training intern for the Chicago Cubs, Smetana will be spending the season working under Cubs Head Athletic Trainer, Mark O’Neal, and Assistant Athletic Trainer, Ed Halbur, to keep the team on the playing field.
Smetana, who lives in Chicago, works for AthletiCo Physical and Occupational Therapy. Since 2007, AthletiCo has been the Official Provider provider of Physical Therapy for the Cubs. Jason Bannack, AthletiCo’s Director of Athletic Training Services, explains how AthletiCo prides itself in partnering with professional organizations such as the Cubs not only from a sponsorship and marketing perspective, but also from a service approach.
“Our partnerships with professional organizations are mutually beneficial,” says Bannack. “AthletiCo is able to provide clinical and field staff to assist with the rehabilitation and fitness needs of each team, while at the same time giving our staff opportunities that are aligned with their individual vision for employment and development.”
Working with O’Neal and Halbur this season will give Smetana the chance to expand his skill set with one of the elite sports medicine teams in Major League Baseball. The knowledge and relationships that he will develop will be able to directly impact Smetana’s care of student-athletes and the clinical patient population.
“Having the opportunity to work with and learn from Mark and Ed will be invaluable to my development as an athletic trainer and will provide me with a great bank of knowledge for the future,” says Smetana, a LaGrange Park native.
A graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in kinesiology, Smetana obtained his master’s degree in athletic training from the University of Hawaii and is currently working on receiving his certification as a performance enhancement specialist from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past two years, he has worked for AthletiCo at their LaGrange Park facility and at Lyons Township High School.
“Working for AthletiCo, I have been very fortunate to be placed in great learning opportunities,” says Smetana. “Not only am I becoming a better athletic trainer, but showing up to work every day at Wrigley Field and assisting is a job that every athletic trainer would love to have.”