In the spring of this year, I was back east in Maryland where I grew up, going to a continuing education conference and visiting my parents. One evening, I went out with my parents to a reception and the first thing I heard as we walked through the door was, “Hey, Doc!”

It was a familiar sound and I had heard it for a lot, especially during my high school years. My dad was a high school varsity basketball and softball coach. His players affectionately called him “Doc.” He is a dentist, and his players nicknamed him that the first year he coached and it just stuck.

This particular night, the words were from a 6-foot-6-inch 40-year-old medical doctor. He made his way over to my dad, hugged him and proceeded to tell my dad what an impact he had made on him and so many other kids in high school through his coaching career. This basketball player had gone on to college with a scholarship and played all the way through until he went to medical school. My dad thought the world of him, and it was a fun night catching up with him and his wonderful family.

That evening with my dad, who is now 80 years old, got me thinking about the awesome responsibility a coach has to his players. A coach can bring out the best and the worst in his team. His influence can be instrumental in their lives.

I have seen my dad have a positive influence on his players repeatedly throughout the years, and I am always so amazed at the things they tell him – things you never even knew were going on in their lives. Yet my dad was their rock, their consistent advocate through all kinds of adversity, and he didn’t even know that half of what was going on for them.

Every sport has their great coaches. Football had Vince Lombardi, men’s college basketball had John Wooden and still has Duke’s “Coach K,” and women’s college basketball had Pat Summit. I could go on and on about the greatest coaches of all time, but it is important for you to choose a coach for your physical health, even if you are not playing competitive sports anymore. We all need a person to be accountable to as we attempt to excel at our health objectives, whether we are 16 or 62.

Your physical therapists are just that type of coach for you. They understand how the body works and how it should move every day. That is their expertise. As you negotiate after your breast cancer surgery, your Achilles tendon rupture, or your rotator cuff tear, remember to have a physical therapist as your coach to ensure the best possible outcomes. Physical therapists know what it is to be a coach since they do it every day, so come see your coach and get on track for your health.

Sheree DiBiase, PT, owner of Lake City Physical Therapy, was recently certified by Stanford University for breast cancer lymphedema. She and her staff would love to be your Breast Cancer Coach.

Please join us at our booth this Sunday at 10 a.m. at North Idaho College at the Race for the Cure. We will have free prizes and education on breast cancer and lymphedema care programs.

If you can’t come, please attend our Wednesday night free educational seminar at 6 p.m. Sept. 25, at our office. Please call (208) 667-1988 to reserve a space, because it is limited.