Applying lessons learned as an athlete to a profession in PT

Meet Master of Physical Therapy first year student, Jasmine Mander.

Jasmine is a former captain and midfielder for the UBC Thunderbirds women’s soccer team that won the National Championships in 2015.

Jasmine with Andrew Latham, a Coach Educator who was part of Jasmine’s national certification process

How are you connecting your background in sport coaching and Physical Therapy?

I’m a Canadian and US Soccer Federation B National Licensed coach – I was both lucky (and naive) enough to complete these courses prior to turning 20 – a little record that I get to hold in North America that I’m sure will be beat by some of the other young coaches emerging in our community. Throughout the year I may work with anywhere from 3-5 teams, and I’m currently coaching with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Fusion FC. Some of my responsibilities include planning the season curriculum, leading training sessions, organizing travel tournaments, and communicating with families weekly.  It is not uncommon to lead a session for 6-8 year olds and then 16-18 year olds one hour later. Having the ability to wear different hats and consider age appropriate language, feedback styles, and developmentally appropriate training are aspects I’m finding may be relevant when working with different populations in the health care profession as well.  I’m also finding the MPT program is allowing me to reflect on my own coaching and if I spend enough time considering physical periodization, injury prevention and recovery – for example, the program has already served as a catalyst to ensuring players complete a baseline concussion test.

Why are you pursuing a career in Physical Therapy?

Like many former athletes in this year’s cohort, my interest in Physical Therapy stemmed from being a patient all too often – it wasn’t until my varsity career at UBC was winding down that I began to place a new importance on my health with the vision of what it may look like after university – it was during this time I gained a deeper appreciation for the role Physical Therapists play in supporting daily living, and recreational activities.

What are you looking forward to most during your time in the program?

As part of the Northern and Rural Cohort, I am particularly looking forward to our placement opportunities next year. While it’s been less than three months, I’m learning more about some of my incredibly accomplished and intelligent classmates and I’m looking forward to growing our relationships during the only time in our lives where we may be subject to each others company all day!

Do you think your experience as an athlete will shape your practice?

I’ve been lucky to have been influenced by some great coaches like Jason Jordan at Fusion FC and Emma Humphries when she was at the Vancouver Whitecaps.  An important thing I learned from them is to ensure people are always the priority – they never treated us like x’s and o’s on the field. I was fortunate to play under the guidance of Marisa Kovacs, we won a National Championship within 6 months of her coaching at UBC and I really think the environment she created had everything to do with it. I will look to follow these great coaches’ model into the health care profession and consider each patient as a person as well.