Andy Hosler, Head Athletic Trainer, Nashville Predators
PHATS: What made you want a career in the athletic training profession and how did you get your start?
AH: During undergrad, I was watching a Red Wings game and saw “some guy” run out due to an injured player being down on the ice. I thought how great it would be to be able to watch hockey for a living. I was also leaning towards the medical profession which led me to athletic training/sports med.
PHATS: You’ve had 15 years of experience in Professional Hockey but come from a background of working with athletes in many different sports. What are the advantages of working with all different types of athletes?
AH: I always knew I wanted to end up working in hockey but was required to be exposed to a lot of sports during undergrad. I came from a small internship program and I wanted to work as much as I could, which put me working multiple teams. Being in a small program was conducive to having the ability to work multiple sports over a semester. I think the advantage is seeing different types of injuries and working with different types of athletes. Some things I have picked up from other sports have been useful for my current position.
PHATS: Nashville finished up their 2019-2020 season in the “Bubble”. What surprised you most about life in the bubble?
AH: I think the biggest surprise was how well it was managed up there. The chaos leading into the bubble was a bit overwhelming at times, but once there, the Docs in Edmonton did a great job and it seemed a bit easier. We were able to focus more on hockey and less on COVID policies and procedures.
PHATS: Will you change how you prepare for the 2020-2021 season as a result of the time you spent in the Bubble?
AH: I don’t think I would change much of my preparation. I think it’s a matter of feeling a bit more at ease because we, as an organization, have gone through it already. I think knowing that things change quite rapidly puts me in a different mindset. Going with the flow more often then sticking with a plan. I may be more fluid with my planning, knowing that it may change.
PHATS: Nashville is a favorite city to visit for many! When the season and travel resume what would you recommend a visiting staff does if they have some time to see the sites?
AH: With COVID I have avoided anything to do with crowds and found outdoor areas a bit more appealing. The obvious answer is whatever new Country Bar has opened on Broadway but I’m a big fan of Radnor Lake, Edwin Warner, and Centennial Park (the Parthenon). If you’re into Country Music, the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must or even a tour of Ryman Auditorium is pretty cool too.
PHATS: For those just starting out as athletic trainers, what is the best piece of advice you were given when you began your career?
AH: Athletic Training has changed so much over the years even since I started 20 years ago. One thing I learned fast when starting out is to be seen and not heard, work hard and don’t complain about the grind. I was also told to only take positions that will challenge you and advance your skills verses just taking something that seems appealing but potentially mind-numbing.
PHATS: What advances in your profession have been the most beneficial to you?
AH: The biggest advancement in my skills have occurred because I had to deal with things that I have never experienced. Being in the position of not knowing how to deal with something created quick learning situations that have stuck with me over the years. In regards to courses; I’d say Dr. Ma’s Integrated Dry Needling Course was a game changer.
PHATS: Do you have a professional mentor or Athletic Trainer you admire?
AH: One of my first Hockey Mentors was Dave Carrier, previous Michigan State Hockey ATC. He helped me through a lot of situations while in the minors. Dan Redmond, my previous boss in Nashville, taught me a lot about the NHL. We didn’t see eye to eye all the time but I built a lot of my knowledge base off of what he did all of those years. I admire many NHL ATCs, especially the guys that have extended past the 20-30 year mark. I find that pretty amazing as the grind seems heavier each year. I have had a lot of other mentors during my transition into being an NHL Head ATC that have given sound advice over the years and am grateful for it.
PHATS: What is one thing other Members would be surprised to know about you?
AH: An odd, somewhat uninteresting fact is that I built and developed a Self-Filtering Hydrocollator that is still patent pending and likely will never officially be patented due to manufacturer interest and expense.
Tell us about yourself, your family and your hobbies.
I’ve been married since 2012 and have a 7 and 2-year-old. I enjoy building/home projects and woodworking. Love golf and beer league hockey but haven’t done it much over the years. I’ve also gotten into Fantasy Football over the last few years.
All photos courtesy of Andy Hosler