Phoenix Suns Performance Therapist Reveals How Team Monitors Player’s Sleep

Phoenix Suns NBA Draft Lottery Results

Getty Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns reacts after scoring against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Phoenix Suns an NBA team on the rise. Guided by first year head coach Monty Williams, the Suns’ core of Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr., Deandre Ayton and Ricky Rubio could make some noise for years to come.

While those players draw crowds on the court, every car engine needs maintenance and a tune up.

Insert Dr. Amy Atmore, the Phoenix Suns’ Performance Therapist.

In her first year in Phoenix, Atmore is responsible for assisting in the treatment and rehabilitation of injuries along with assisting in the development and implementation of player performance therapy programs.

Having worked as a private sports physical therapist in Los Angeles, California, Atmore has worked in sports medicine for over eight years and treated thousands of athletes at the high school, collegiate and professional levels, including NBA, NFL and MLB athletes.

On a recent episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Atmore and I discussed her role with the team, her background and through her new found success, how she finds time to mentor.

Check out our Q&A below:

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What have you been doing since 2014?

Amy Atmore: Oh my goodness. So five years ago, I’ve been inside clinical practices for about eight years. But in this last year, I finally ventured out to try and do the Scoop B thing; be independent. So I did a little bit of independent contracting work, as a solo/private physical therapist and that was so much fun. This opportunity came about and here I am.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You landed into a role with the Phoenix Suns. How competitive was that process for you to land and as far as the applicants go that you know?

Amy Atmore: Oh my gosh. So competitive during the interview process and the waiting period. I literally went on my calculator and did the statistics like, what were my chances of getting this position? I mean, you could only imagine out of the 30 NBA teams; how many potential positions there were. Here I was, it was a definite dream come true. I have to pinch myself everyday now to see how fortunate I am to be with this organization, on this team during this time and age; during this historical moment so I’m definitely appreciative for that.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: How cool is it working for the Phoenix Suns?

Amy Atmore: So cool and over the last few months I’ve gotten to know and work with all the players and staff. The coaches everybody is phenomenal and I’m not just being cliche about that. Everyone has a phenomenal personality, funny to be around caring and respectful. It’s literally the best staff that I’ve ever worked with.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Walk me through your day-to-day? On a typical Monday or Friday what does your day consist of?

Amy Atmore: That’s a great question. I know that many people in the league could be with me. Each day is a little different, probably categorize them as game days or non game days. Monday today and next Monday can be different. Non-game days we usually have a shoot around sanctions of treatment either before or after their strength and conditioning sanctions. Guys will have individualized court times with the coach and I’ll probably get into the building around like 8:30ish and probably leave around 3. I just kind of put that out there and then game days are usually our busiest days. Games are usually around like 6 or 7 I think is like our latest games. We usually don’t leave until like 10-something after we’ve looked at everybody and put anything into our electro clinical medical record so those days we get done a little bit later. But that’s kind of outlook.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What person have you met where you were a bit starstruck?

Amy Atmore: Oh gosh I mean everybody, I’ll put it this way, like before working here in the league this wasn’t my first time with players in the NBA but definitely meeting all of the starters on our team first it’s like you guys are what makes this organization like each one of these players. Like after each week of getting to see them everyday I definitely got a lot more comfortable and now everyone is comfortable with everybody but there was definitely an initial starstruck if you’re just getting to meet them you’re thinking in your head I’m going to have to see them everyday for the rest of the season/year. Let’s try and create a good relationship here and some trust so we can get you going.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson:
Time zone differences. How’ve you dealt with that traveling with the team?

Amy Atmore: It hasn’t been that bad. I feel like that was the biggest thing everyone was telling me and to be on the lookout for. They also said you’re going to get so tired from the traveling; a little jet lag here and there. The pros outweigh the cons traveling to all of these places, I love it. Although we don’t have a ton of time to explore the city, we do get a couple of hours. I overall love it. Practice what you preach. A toad Trip lasted 7-days, they had to normalize their sleep schedule

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: How do you help monitor their sleep and keep them on top of it?

Amy Atmore: How does that work? Yeah, we definitely prioritize this at the very beginning of the season. In fact, our head coach shared an article written by a doctor on the importance of sleep and it’s the fact that we reiterated it to our players. You can only do or say so much.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: When do you get down time?

Amy Atmore:
Today was a non-game day, so I get down time in the late afternoon and evenings. On game days, we usually have a couple of hours in the afternoon; it’s kind of spontaneous. I think that for most of the job it’s not overwhelming. But when you’re working, it’s filled with activity; there’s definitely some down time in there. You have to love what you’re doing or you’ll kind of get depleted, but it’s there. I definitely get my workouts in.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson:
You’ve got too. It’s important. I know that since you’ve got the Phoenix Suns job your DMs have been crazy.

Amy Atmore:
I just stopped checking them. I pretty much shutdown my social media after I got this job. I’ve now come from having a business to now working for a job that I’ve dreamed of. I no longer have to do that anymore. I have them write me an email. If its a serious inquiry and I love answering questions from students, I don’t have a thing on that, but everything else I usually kind of ignore.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson:
What do you want for students who will one day be in your shoes and on a similar journey to know?

Amy Atmore: One thing that I would encourage you to have to do is just to continue learning. Learning never stops now. As a physical therapist, it took me a while to get here, I was in college like nine years and I got a chance to learn and then the other thing is not giving up on what you are trying to accomplish. Whatever goals you have, I know it sounds cliche, but you just really don’t know how many times I can say this, but don’t give up on what you’re doing. There’s going to be time for you to take an exam and fail it, just trust the process and reach out to those who would be willing to mentor you. Don’t give up, continue to learn.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Sounds easy, tedious and consistent.

Amy Atmore: I would say the people who don’t get to make it are the ones who end up changing the path during the process or they don’t realize that this is something that they want to do. They realize that it’s too much work and they try something different. So for a long period of time, for the longest when I was trying to get into sports in general, like there were no jobs available. So I would just volunteer. If you want something so badly, you have to find a way to get in there. You don’t have to wait for someone to call you. Just make it happen someway somehow. For me, that was just working with players and coaches. Everything just grew from there.