Trainer Feature: Dave Crewe

Editors: Note: March is National Athletic Training Month, and to celebrate the occasion put together a collection of features showcasing the Wolves’ training staff at work. Part II focuses on Assistant Athletic Trainer and Assistant of Sports Performance Dave Crewe, who is in his fourth season with the Wolves.

Timberwolves Director of Medical Operations/Head Athletic Trainer Gregg Farnam said one of the biggest strategies the team has implemented over the years for keeping players healthy is an integrated approach. The Wolves have people on staff who can help with athletic training, strength and conditioning, rest and recovery, and more.

Dave Crewe is a prime example of that on the Timberwolves’ staff.

Crewe, now in his fourth season with the team, is the Assistant Athletic Trainer and Assistant Of Sports Performance. He works with Wolves players in several different areas on a day-to-day basis, helping assist and aid them in whatever they’re tasked with on a given day.

“I float back and forth on what’s needed most,” Crewe said. “Some days are heavier treatment days. Some days are heavier strength days. I do my best to make sure the guys stay proactive each day whether it’s a recovery day, a strength day, a heavy treatment day. Basically what I’ll do is start in the training room and make my way down to the weight room right before practice. So, keep guys moving and do my best to make sure they are staying proactive and seeking the best help they can get.”

Crewe, like Director of Sports Medicine Koichi Sato, has a background that meshes with other sports. He spent three years with the Kansas City Chiefs prior to joining the Wolves staff and became experienced in the way an NFL franchise handles its athletic training routines.

He received his bachelors degree in Exercise Sports Science – Athletic Training in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He received his masters degree in Rehabilitation Science from California University in Pennsylvania.

Crewe is heavily involved in getting players prepared for practices and games, and he’s there during rehabilitation stints as well. He worked closely with team physical therapist Andre DeLoya during Ricky Rubio’s recovery from ACL surgery, and on any given day you’ll see him working with different players in the weight room or on the trainer’s table. But Crewe also is part of the players’ postgame routines.

Players do differing workouts after games depending on their workloads. If a player is in the game 15-20 minutes or more, they might focus more on recovery sessions to get their body prepared for the next outing.

If they don’t get to that type of minute count, they might do more in their postgame routines. This is implemented to make sure guys who aren’t getting run on the court won’t lose their conditioning, and as we’ve seen it makes a big impact on when they do get back into the rotation. Rookies Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad and Robbie Hummel are all examples of this. They’ve collected their share of games in which they don’t play this season, but whenever any of them have been called up on they’ve been ready to go. Dieng, for example, went from little-used to playing nearly 40 minutes when Nikola Pekovic suffered his ankle injury. He stepped in without missing a beat.

“For lower minute guys, guys that aren’t getting as much playing time, we put a lot of emphasis on postgame conditioning,” Crewe said. “So whether that happens immediately after the game or the following morning. There are several protocols we used to keep the guys heart rates high throughout the week and make sure they’re maintaining a high level of performance.”

He’s also part of that process on the road, and that’s often times tricky. During trips or during Summer League, trainers will be very creative in how they set up their recovery treatment rooms for the players.

“But it’s good, because it helps keep things fresh for the guys,” Crewe said. “It changes up every day, so it’s not the same old conditioning session every time.”

Crewe said the addition of Mayo Clinic Square across the street will be a helpful addition to the process when it opens up in 2014-15. The benefits will include being all in one place, so the transition from treatment to workout to recovery will be much more seamless.

“Mayo sounds like they’re going to have some great facilities to utilize, too, in regards to recovery,” Crewe said. “So we’re really looking forward to that. I think its’ going to help the players when the season comes.”


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