Lasting only five regular-season games at shortstop for the Yankees before his injury woes came back, five-time MLB All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner Troy Tulowitzki retired from professional baseball on July 26th, 2019. Although he was an absolute wizard with the glove and feared hitter at the plate, Tulowitzki missed more than half the season in 2017, sat out all of 2018 and ultimately suffered a shortened career because of chronic injuries.

So what went wrong?

Tulowitzki once said that “some of the injuries, like stepping on someone’s foot, you just can’t control that. But the injuries that I can control are the ones I try to look myself in the mirror and say, OK, you need to get better in this area.”  This is exactly where performance physical therapy, strength training and conditioning come into play. Not all injuries can be prevented, but all athletes can reduce injury risk by working with a sports rehab specialist. It’s within every athlete’s control to work past injury rehabilitation toward injury prevention and ultimately achieve optimized performance.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Working with rehab specialists often has a negative stigma among young athletes. I can even count myself in that category. As a youth ball player with an opportunity to compete at the collegiate level, my knee gave out, which led to surgery and rehab. Prior to my injury, I did not have the proper knowledge base to take care of my body appropriately, and I did not seek assistance from the resources around me. I didn’t hold myself accountable or adjust the variables that were within my power to control. Hindsight is always 20/20, and now it’s my mission to empower young athletes to have more control over their athletic future. I am grateful to be in the position to provide the tools to build stability, mobility, strength, and power.

My best advice to all athletes — don’t wait until you get hurt to become knowledgeable about your body. Work with a rehab + performance specialist BEFORE you’re sidelined. (I happen to know some excellent ones at Clutch PT, and very soon, we’ll be working with athletes at The Arena at 251 West 60th Street in addition to our UES location.) Stop thinking about PT as just a way to recover from an injury. Time spent with the right PT is the best way to never get injured again.  

Dr. James Sinodinos, PT, DPT, CSCS
Athlete Mechanic + Sports Performance Specialist