“Athletes are so good at operating at such a high physical level that when they become injured, all of a sudden, they find all they cannot do… we really need to be those people who highlight what they actually can do.” 

stacey hardin

What You will learn

  • Stacey’s approach to rehabilitation for groin injuries
  • How to include subtle, small changes to make the sports environment more inviting for women.
  • Advice on how to integrate the science of long-term health with the art of immediate results in pro sports.

You ever wonder what challenges women face in sport, or how we can elevate women to be more involved in sport? What if I were to tell you that some interventions in sport are not necessarily beneficial for the long-term health of the athlete beyond their career?

In this episode we are going to catchup with a trail blazer in sports, Dr. Stacey Hardin. Stacey is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and an athletic trainer, who in 2018 became the first female Head Athletic trainer in the Major League Soccer.

Prior to her time in MLS, Stacey worked at a sports medicine facility in Los Angeles with professional, collegiate, and retired athletes. She was an athletic trainer at Boston University where she coordinated care for multiple sports teams while also teaching as an adjunct faculty member within the Athletic Training and Physical Therapy programs. 

Stacey is a great advocate for women in sports and leadership. She is also an expert with hip & groin related injuries and has authored several papers for the popular website, Physio Network. Beyond her Head Athletic Trainer role, Stacey held the role of Senior Director of Health & Performance and offers great insight into how we can upgrade the care for professional athletes to think beyond their career and improve overall longevity. 

Listen here – Finding Small Wins Podcast:

003 | Stacey Hardin: Groin injuries, women in sports, and longevity practices in pro sports

Notable Quotes

“Regarding hip and groin injuries, it is crucial to get people to keep on moving and doing as much as they can regardless of their injury.”

stacey hardin

“As athletes, we’re perfectionists, we like having tasks and goals…so I think celebrating the small wins gives us the small steps, to feel like we’re going towards something.

stacey hardin
Photo courtesy of Cody Cunningham codywcunnigham

Key Takeaways:

[1:52] Stacey went to school in Boston, and she talks about her University years.

[2:25] What does Stacey miss the most about Boston?

[3:31] Stacey shares her journey after Boston.

[4:31] How did Stacey get to the point in her career where she currently is?

[5:35] Today, Stacey works mainly remotely.

[6:38] Stacey lists what needs to be considered regarding hips and groin injuries.

[7:48] Stacey talks about the evidence that people should keep moving while recovering from hip and groin injuries.

[8:59] Stacey speaks on the process from injury to returning to the field.

[11:38] Trainers are not doing sufficient work to get athletes as strong as they need to be to meet the demands of their sports.

[12:19] Is there something that PTs can do to prevent hip and groin injuries?

[13:46] Stacey talks about the crucial importance of leadership and communication.

[15:14] How does Stacey define leadership within her framework?

[16:01] Stacey mentions the leaders she admires the most.

[17:03] Stacey talks about her experience being a woman in a field mainly dominated by men.

[21:15] Stacey emphasizes how small steps and changes can make a big difference.

[21:52] What advice would Stacey give to someone struggling to get into sports because of their gender?

[22:44] What motivates Stacey? 

[23:41] Has Stacey ever been in a situation where she felt she lost her way in pro sports?

[25:07] Stacey shares her memories from the ‘bubble’ when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

[30:10] When it comes to rehab, how does Stacey help athletes find small wins?

[31:27] How does Stacey define a small win?

[33:55] At the end of the day is all about caring for other people. 

[38:14] Adam confesses experiencing impostor syndrome.

[41:53] Stacey shares her view on longevity and tactics to promote it in professional sports.

[44:25] How can we elevate and integrate practices and the medicine of longevity into the healthcare of athletes?

[49:33] Decisions must not be rushed; the athlete needs the space to comprehend what is going on and reach the point when it is their decision and not just follow somebody’s recommendation.

[51:19] Stacey answers rapid-fire questions.

Mentioned in this episode

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Adam Loiacono


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