What Comes Next

A fun song from the musical Hamilton, “What Comes Next” is the line we are focused on for the start of the 2021 leadership in AT podcast series.

Thanks Patrick Ohaver for putting it all together.

King George; What Comes Next

What comes next?? 

You have wanted to move up to a leadership position in the company, the school, or even a professional organization.

Just as a young America made the leap into independence, now you are given the opportunity to lead.

That is the question on this episode..

Do you know how hard it is to lead?

Patrick– As Former supervisor for a hospital Outreach based program I was given the task of leading approximately 25 athletic trainers. Some of these athletic trainers were my peers and that in itself is a difficult part to lead your own peers.I really resonated with this song in Hamilton as I knew it would be difficult to lead however I did not realize the full extent until I was in that situation. It is difficult to lead and not just your peers but to lead a cohesive group of athletic trainers.

 I was fortunate enough to have mentors that were in leadership positions and I observe them through my career taking mental notes on what I would do in certain situations how I would overreact how I would respond however I learned so much during my tenure as the supervisor of Athletic Training Services and dealt with a lot of specific leadership challenges. 

Patrick — Another point in King George's song what comes next really struck me was when your people say they hate you don't come crawling back to me. Now as a recovering people pleaser, I strive to make everyone feel Equitable and try to look for the win-win. However, during my time I discovered win-win just doesn't work out sometimes. When you have to lead a large group you are not going to please everyone now. I would not say that my employees “hated me “ however some decisions that were made did not meet with high favor.

I can recall a time when we sent out an employee satisfaction survey. It was a sort of 360-degree look at our leadership team.

 Through the eyes of the employees and I was expecting an overall positive response however, the amount of negative response was shocking and really caused a point of reflection and revaluation of my leadership style and our leadership team’s style.

 I was fortunate enough to work with two other athletic trainers in the leadership team. We assisted each other and each had our own strengths and weaknesses in the leadership team. However, that employee survey was a watershed moment for me and my leadership style.

Have you had an employee survey or an evaluation done on you that was not what you expected and did it change your outlook?

George Washington states – “Winning was easy, leading is harder”-

This point in the musical also echoes a similar thought that getting to the top may be easy however leading is harder.

Leading your peers is very difficult. We can look back at a recent Facebook post in the Secondary School group where an employee was ranting to her “friend” who was in an administrative position about the organization. I am not sure what was said or how it was said however the other party deemed it necessary to inform her superiors and her subordinate was reprimanded.

There's a good book called “From buds to boss” by Guy Harris and Kevin Eikenberry.  It's a good book and help me get some perspective in my early supervisory times.

Being the boss isn't all Fame and Glory. Some people want that prestige and that title however, if you're not prepared, then it may be more of a detriment than an aid.

Call to action:

Were you ever on your own?  I recently heard from a long-time listener Caleb who was out in China as an AT and he was on his own for a while.  Share your story with us.

Contact Us

Patrick – Twitter

John – Twitter

Jeremy – Twitter

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The Places You Will Go – 626

Searching for a career people consider The Places You Will Go as a determining factor.

That may be upward along the corporate ladder or it may be outward around the country or around the world.

the places you will go

Josh and Jamie share the places you will go with AT service

John Ciecko does a lot of traveling. Some of it is personal, some is business. Some trips are, of course, both.

He talks to Josh and Jamie Woodall about the places that AT service has taken them.

Here in this 30-minute podcast, we do not get to discuss all of the places they have gone but their favorites are:

Talledega for Josh

Superbowl in Atlanta for Jamie

Hit the Hill day in Washington DC

How can AT take you places?

Josh says it is simply through service and volunteering. Becoming part of the local, state or national governing bodies is a great way.

Jamie got roped into being the PR person becauseJohs needed help. She has now completed her full term as PR chair for the NATA as well as serving on other committees both locally and nationally

Caleb Lott is an AT in China and listens to the show regularly.

Where has Athletic Training taken you?

I would love to hear your stories of cool or unique adventures in Athletic Training.


Jeremy Jackson

Josh Woodall

Jamie Woodall

Jeremy JacksonHost of The Sports Medicine Broadcast

John Ciecko – jciecko@bloomfield.org

Alisha M Penningtonalisha@theatvantage.com

Mike McKenney – m.mckenney@northeastern.edu

Mike Hopper – Mike.Hopper@bishoplynch.org

Clint Sanders – clint@dragonflyathletics.com

These people LOVE Athletic Trainers and help support the podcast:

Frio Hydration – Superior Hydration products.

Donate and get some swag (like Patreon but for the school)

HOIST – No matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

MedBridge Education – Use “TheSMB” to save some, be entered in a drawing for a second year free, and support the podcast.

Marc Pro – Use “THESMB” to recover better.

Frio Hydration – Superior Hydration products.

Donate and get some swag (like Patreon but for the school)

HOIST – No matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

MedBridge Education – Use “TheSMB” to save some, be entered in a drawing for a second year free, and support the podcast.

Marc Pro – Use “THESMB” to recover better.

Only One You – 596

Join us as we read the children's book Only One You

“It’s time,” Papa said. 
“I think it is,” Mama agreed.
“Time for what?” Adri asked
Papa’s voice softened, “To share some wisdom.”

Only One You, John Ciecko, Mila, Linda Kranz, Jeremy Jackson, Leadership in AT

Welcome to AT Leadership

In the book Only One You life lessons abound.

“Always be on the lookout for a new friend.”

John and Jeremy have no connections 4 years ago. Just social media friends.

We have grown to be trusted friends. I would let John stay at my house for a week if he was in Houston.

I have begun texting a group of guys each week so that I am being intentional about building relationships. I schedule that text early in the week so that I know it is going out.

“Look for beauty wherever you are, and keep the memory of it with you.”

For John, this page of Only One You reminds me to keep the memory of the good moments or wins or championships for when times are tough (tough teams, injuries, coaches, etc.)

This line speaks to me to not take pictures of everything, but be in the moment and take a picture in my head. create the moment instead of focusing on the perfect shot

“Blend in when you need to. Stand out when you have the chance.”

John: Leadership Capital – Know when to speak up but know when you sit back and listen. For me, those that stand out have egos. This never helps with relationship building.

“Let others speak your praise” – Kevin Parker

“Find your own way. You don’t have to follow the crowd.”

Jeremy: When I started in 2012 there was maybe one other sports medicine podcast focused on Athletic Trainers. I did not sit back and wait for someone else to start one. From October 2013 through October 2019 there have been over 524,00 downloads of the Sports Medicine Broadcast.

Blaze a path as an athletic trainer. Get unique certifications, specialize and set yourself apart.

“Personal development as professional development.” – Kent Games

“Know when to speak; know when to listen.”

This goes back to “blending in” Speaking is important but only after you have all the information. Listening is the most important aspect of leadership.

Mark Knoblauch told me: “The ATs who get angry and get into arguments are the ones who are usually inexperienced and have a need to prove themselves.”

Or there is the Fight Club quote: “Most people do not really listen they only wait for their turn to speak.”

Only One You, John Ciecko, AT Leadership, Go 4 Ellis, Ellis Maer

“No matter how you look at it, there is so much to discover.”

Both John and Jeremy agree “One of the things I’ve learned doing this podcast is that; there is always more to learn. Every time I think I've figured things out, I realize there’s something else I need to know.

“If you make a wrong turn, circle back.”

John likes this quote from Only One You. He knows mistakes happen in our daily and professional life. Leat's learn from them and “circle back.”

Repeat podcast guest Brandy Currie says reflection is key and she does it daily.

Then there was the time my son dropped a googly eye into his ear…our circling back was to buy an otoscope.

“If something gets in your way, move around it.”

Jeremy: Usually when I am given a rule my first thought is how can I get around this… not always the best way of thinking, but I tend to look for other options.

John: Realize things change, schedules change, obstacles will occur but relax, detach, adapt and overcome.

This is another opportunity to reflect and circle back on how things can change and listen to all of the details before speaking.

“Set aside some quiet time to relax and reflect every day.”

John: This is one of the most important things to me in that every day I get time to myself. Most of the time I have to make it whether that’s getting up at 4am to work out or scheduling time on my calendar to actually sit and read. We also covered this with “Learn to Say No” and Prioritize and Execute.

John LOVES to read, so sometimes he wakes up early, goes to the gym and rides the bike so he can sit and read

“Appreciate art. It’s all around you!”

Have fun during games, enjoy the small things and enjoy when your athletes achieve their goals.

“Make wishes on the stars in the nighttime sky.”

John: Have a vision, set goals create your value.

Jeremy: Take time to look up and see the stars.  The small things that are always there. Do not look past what is in front of you.

My wife does this with our youngest…just sits back and watches.

I often ask my family to not say I can not wait until “_______” is over. there is way too much to miss.

Closing out Only One You

“‘Thanks for listening,” mama said. 

“We hope you will remember.” Papa winked and whispered, “We know this is a lot for you to think about.” 

Adri did a backward somersault and smile. He was excited to go out into the world with what he had just learned. “‘Wait for me!” he shouted to his friends.

Before he swam away, he turned back to his parents and said, “I will remember.” 

Mama kissed Adri on the top of his head. 
“There is only one you in this great big world,” she said. “Make it a better place.”

Check out the Facebook Live stream


Thanks to each of our AT Leadership Guests







Contact Us

John Ciecko – @JohnCiecko

Jeremy Jackson

Let our financial supporters know you listen

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Donate and get some swag (like Patreon but for the school)

HOIST – No matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

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Marc Pro – Use “THESMB” to recover better.

Only One You, John Ciecko, AT Leadership, Jeremy Jackson, Linda Kranz

Leadership Myths – 595

“Today, when leadership is discussed, we usually purport to be discussing what leaders do, rather than what they say, as if this were a more clear-eyed approach. The truth is that when we look closely, we see leadership as much in what our leaders symbolize as in what they accomplish. 

Whatever the case, our obsession with leadership seems to be constant, if not growing.

The mythology of leadership, however, will be a growing source of frustration if we don’t come to some more clear-eyed sense about why this is so and why it matters to us.”

A quote from ‘Leaders; Myth and Reality’ a cornerstone as we discuss Leadership Myths.

What about Leadership Myths?

We wrongly believe that what happened in one leadership instance can be replicated in another. This leads to the three myths, which helps us navigate the understanding of leadership.

The first of the three is the “Formulaic Myth.”

  • Ignoring the reality that leadership is contextual, we feel that leaders stick to a strict checklist, leading to success.

The Second is The “Attribution Myth”

  • When we view leaders in hindsight we see that their vision or mission can far outweigh those that surround the leader themselves.

Third Leadership Myth: Results Myth

  • Delivering results is all that's required for positions of power and accolades

About Tory Lindley

Tory has been a guest on the SMB during his presidential bid, at Convention in New Orleans, Discussing Strategic Alliance, and recently with Alisha Pennington in Las Vegas

Leadership Myth, Tory Lindley

2011 Hall of Fame inductee into Illinois ATA

Published over a dozen times

GLATA Awards – Golden Pinnacle

Head AT of the year

Tory and his wife Beth have three children: Jonah, Evan and Genevieve and a dog, Myles (Tory’s morning running partner).

Is the “Formulaic Myth” is effective in leading others?

Neither John nor Tory believes this method produces good consistent leadership. Tory feels the opposite is true for him.

Leadership needs to be based on the people group and the topic.

Knowing your audience or followers is critical to the success of leaders. The leader is believed to be only marginally more important than the quality of the followers.

What is Leadership Culture?

Tory does not like to use the word “culture” because it is often not clearly defined. Instead, he talks about the environment you create around you.

It is essentially the same concept but with clearly defined actionable steps to improve and grow the team.

Define What You Value

Does your “culture” define what you value?

Does it reward and celebrate achievement?

Is it clear?

Is it scalable or reproducible?

Do the actions of your community continually remind you of your expectations and the environment you are creating?

Watch the interview on Facebook


Contact Us:

Tory Lindley – tory@northwestern.edu

John Ciecko – @JohnCieko on Twitter

Jeremy Jackson

Spend some time with our financial supporters

Frio Hydration – Superior Hydration products.

Donate and get some swag (like Patreon but for the school)

HOIST – No matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

MedBridge Education – Use “TheSMB” to save some, be entered in a drawing for a second year free, and support the podcast.

Marc Pro – Use “THESMB” to recover better.

Leadership Myths, Medbridge; CEUs Online CEUs; affiliate link

Learning To Say NO – Kent Games – 589

Learning to say no can literally set you free. A friend of mine typically responds to requests with, “However I can help.” As Athletic Trainers, we are in the service business, so we tend to say YES to everything.

I was asked recently, “Jeremy, would your coaches fight for you to stay employed here?”

I am trying to find ways to be helpful and to build relationships without taking on someone else's job responsibilities. I am learning to say no. But am I learning to say no gracefully?

Kent Games; Kenneth Games; Learn to say know; learning to say know; John Ciecko; Leadership; Sports Medicine Broadcast

About Dr. Kenneth Games

On his website, Kent Games describes himself as a breakthrough, leadership, and transformation coach. 

After nearly ten years working in healthcare and higher education, he decided to fulfill his vision and pursue a career helping others identify and fulfill their life's dreams, desires, and visions.

Learning to say no; kent games; John Ciecko; Dr. Games; Leadership; Sports Medicine Broadcast; Jeremy Jackson

Learning to Say No

For many, leadership may imply the imposition to say yes.
Yes to new tasks. 
Yes to new projects. 
Yes to more jobs and gigs. 

Last year we learned with the Dichotomy of Leadership that a hard line on one topic can cause you to burn the candle at both ends, resulting in burnout.

Tribe of Mentors – Tim Ferriss

A Tim Ferriss podcast highlighted the “no” responses to his invitation to participate in his book Tribe of Mentors.

Tim asked hundreds of entertainers, athletes, CEOs, speakers and guests what makes them tick. 

His “no” responses were so graciously worded, that he put them in the book anyway! It was a way to highlight how some power brokers eloquently decline invitations to projects.

John reads a couple of these responses throughout the podcast.

What are some practical steps?

Dr. Games discusses the importance of acknowledging the invitation and showing gratitude, as evidenced in his automatic email reply.

Learning to say no; kent games; ; auto responder; prioritize; dichotomy; gratitude

John Ciecko also discusses how he recently took his email app off his phone to allow him to be more present.

For John and Dr. Games, this contributes to a reduced feeling of anxiety because he is not constantly checking and waiting for something to pop up.

In the AT facility

“I can give you five minutes of my time right now. If you need more than that, you will need to come back in one hour (or when the practice rush is over).”

After hearing this, I discussed how we can implement it into our daily practice to better serve each athlete who trusts us with their care.

Why YOU should Learn To Say “No”

To give your attention and energy to the situations that deserve it.

If an opportunity does not line up with your “why” and your value system then gracefully say no.

Contact us:

Dr. Kent Games – Kenneth.Games@indstate.edu
Twitter: @GamesKenneth
Instagram: @KentGames

John Ciecko – jciecko@bloomfield.org
Twitter – @JohnCiecko

Jeremy Jackson


Frio Hydration – Superior Hydration products.

Donate and get some swag (like Patreon but for the school)

HOIST – No matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

MedBridge Education – Use “TheSMB” to save some, be entered in a drawing for a second year free, and support the podcast.

Marc Pro – Use “THESMB” to recover better.

Leaders Mythology – 586

John Ciecko joins the Sports Medicine Broadcast to help us understand some of the Mythology surrounding leaders in our leadership in AT series 2.0.

Jon Macgregor; Matt Weston; Functional; Hamstring; Progressions; Portland Timbers; Mythology; leaders

What is the Mythology surrounding leaders

Our cornerstone book this time around is by General Stanley McChrystal: Leaders Myth and Reality. You can pick up a copy using my affiliate link below if you are like John and like to mark up and sticky-note books.

Or you can try Audible and get a free book or hit up the public library and see if they have it.

What is leadership today? 

Leaders are the subject of constant scrutiny… and study. Too many of us are seduced by the mythology of what good leadership looks like… and we miss the reality. As a result, our models for identifying, educating and evaluating leaders falter or feel incomplete.  We intuitively know that leadership is critical to success in the modern world, but we don't really understand what leadership consists of.

Prolouge from Leaders: Myth and Reality

Watch it on facebook


Where is the rest of the Leadership Series?

  • Leadership Mythology – John and Jeremy
  • Learning to Say NO – Dr. Kent Games
  • Bad Leaders – with Dr. Rene Shingles
  • Heroes – Kevin Parker
  • Three Myths of Leadership – Tory Lindley
  • Only One You – John and Jeremy

What is the book about:

This book is a take on the Roman historians Plutarch (’Ploo-tark’)  “Lives” where he compares and contrasts different Greek and Roman figures. 

McChrystal pairs and examines 12 different “leaders” as well as the life of Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Confederate Army during the Civil war.

Our favorite sections of the book

John likes Coco Chanel

Coco – “Creative and innovative people must rely on others to sustain their vision.” 

“We seem to follow leaders who put the mission first because we all make trade-offs and life is rarely simple or idealized. We want to be happy in our work, athletes also want to win, soldiers want to survive the battle and businesspeople want to prosper. – We sometimes take a leader's vision over their style.”

Jeremy enjoys the historical account shared throughout the book.

Takeaways from last year:


  • Educating Others (my job, my expectations, my intent…)
  • Listening
  • “Leadership Loop”.


  • It is easy to NOT take ownership
  • It is easy to keep the status quo.
  • Be prepared for anything – the start of year expectations
  • Applying knowledge from a book is hard for me without some sort of book study group and “seeing” what it looks like

Jeremy Jackson

Jeremy Jackson

John Ciecko

These people LOVE Athletic Trainers and help support the podcast:

Frio Hydration – Superior Hydration products.

Donate and get some swag (like Patreon but for the school)

HOIST – No matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

MedBridge Education – Use “TheSMB” to save some, be entered in a drawing for a second year free, and support the podcast.

Marc Pro – Use “THESMB” to recover better.

Frio Hydration – Superior Hydration products.

Donate and get some swag (like Patreon but for the school)

HOIST – No matter your reason for dehydration DRINK HOIST

MedBridge Education – Use “TheSMB” to save some, be entered in a drawing for a second year free, and support the podcast.

Marc Pro – Use “THESMB” to recover better.

What Mythology of Leaders have YOU discovered?

Send us an email, tweet us, message us on facebook…just get us your responses.

Leading into Retirement – 483

Are YOU Green and Growing?

Larry Cooper returns to the Sports Medicine Broadcast talking about how he is Leading into Retirement (and still leading ATs after retirement.)

Brandy Currie just explained why experience is not the best teacher rather reflection on experience.

Leading Into Retirement; Larry Cooper; DragonFly Max

Larry Cooper is reflecting on his leadership in Athletic Training over the years.  John Ciecko has plenty of questions for Larry about leadership failures and successes.

Join our journey to grow our influence as Athletic Trainers, as co-workers, spouses and parents.

Want to contact Larry?

Message him on Twitter

Email Larry

Want to listen to the whole series?

Extreme Ownership

Director of Sports Medicine Kurt Andrews

Goal Setting in Athletic Training with Brandy Currie

Athletic Director Ross Cooper

Manger of Athletic Training with Christina Eyers

Leading Into Retirement with Larry Cooper

Dichotomy of Leadership

Need some CEUs:

I wold love to meet you at an upcoming NATA Convention.

But if you can not make it to convention you may be able to win free registration during NATM annually on the Sports Medicine Broadcast

OR you can sign up for MedBridge using the code “TheSMB” to save some, help out the Sports Medicine Broadcast and be entered to an annual drawing for a second year free.

Medbridge; CEUs Online CEUs; affiliate link


I really do love hearing from you about things that helped, did not work, or how you can help improve others practice as ATs.

So hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, Email

Athletic Trainer to Athletic Director – 477

How can I become an Athletic Director?

Many ATs have moved on to Administration.  Ross Cooper is an Athletic Director and Athletic Trainer for Detroit County Day Schools.

John Ciecko gets to the point to figure out how he got there and how you can follow Ross's path.

Ross Cooper; Athletic director; AD

Here are a few key points from Ross Cooper

  • Experienced ATs already perform many of the duties of an Athletic Director
  • You have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone
  • Exposure to multiple leaders and leadership styles is beneficial
  • Self-Reflection is crucial
  • Relationships with each person are important – never know who is watching
  • Be a good listener

Ross also mentioned he took the schedules and policies and made them all digital.  Using a system like Dragonfly MAX can help an Athletic Trainer reduce paper work, streamline the PPE process and improve communication with coaches, parents, and athletes

Want to reach out to Ross?

Connect with him on Linkedin

Email him

Have some praises?

Send them to John on twitter

Got complaints?

I'll take those


Director of Sports Medicine Kurt Andrews – 469

Who is Kurt Andrews?

Director of Sports Medicine for Sporting KC Kurt Andrews is a husband, Athletic Trainer and pursuer of knowledge.

Kurt Provides leadership to the Sports Medicine team that protects and prepares the Sporting Kansas City soccer players.

As director you also have to plan and prepare them team, practice procedures and EAPs and coordinate Doctors, PTs, EMTs, Massage Therapist and all other medical team members.

Kurt also is a leader in PSATS or Professional Soccer Athletic Trainers.

Leadership Series

John Ciecko assembled an outstanding lineup to cover the various aspects of Leadership in AT.

Check out our whole #LeadershipSeries as we apply these principles to Athletic Training and various settings.

Books we recommend

Leadership Series; Extreme Ownership, John Maxwell

Extreme Ownership

Dichotomy of Leadership

21 Irrefutable Laws of leadership

Podcast Sponsors

Dragonfly Max

Hoist logo; rapid hydration

Frio Hydration

School Health

Contact Us

Kurt Andrews

John Ciecko 3

Jeremy Jackson


Developing Leadership in Athletic Training Programs – 432

John Cieko and Cathy Supak join the Sports Medicine Broadcast to help us understand ways to develop student leaders in Athletic Training.

Recently we talked with Johnny Gomez, Mary Miller, Mike Harrison, and Chay Nersesian about Team Building in Athletic Training student programs.  one of the topics they mentioned was having student leaders and giving them ownership.

John has begun lecturing at workshops on leadership and Cathy has been developing leaders in AT for many years.

Join us and grow your program to where you want it to be over the course of time.

There are no overnight successes.

Show Notes


John Ciecko

Cathy Supak