For Meg Dodge, a career in strength and conditioning was born out of an unfortunate situation.
Back when she was playing basketball in the ninth grade, Dodge tore her right anterior cruciate ligament. Other complications from the injury ensued, and that got Dodge to thinking.
“Where I’m from we don’t really have good therapist or good trainers,” Dodge said. “So, I really wanted to learn about that so that I could help future kids my age prevent those injuries.
“That’s what got me into exercise science.”
After graduating from Ogdensburg Free Academy in Ogdensburg, N.Y. in 2014, Dodge went on to receive her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Exercise Science from the State University of New York College at Brockport in 2017. In addition, she earned her Master’s of Arts degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from the University of South Dakota in 2019.
In the midst of that, Dodge had a three-year internship with the Dallas Mavericks. And now, she is the assistant strength and conditioning coach.
“I came here for an internship and it turned into a job,” the 24-year old Dodge said. “I thought I was going to have a small gym with a bunch of high school athletes.”
Dodge joined the Mavs after writing a letter to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, who, like her, hails from Ogdensburg, N.Y. Casey Smith, the Mavs’ director of medical and player health, ultimately hired Dodge.
“Coach Carlisle was the one that helped me get this internship — and Casey Smith,” Dodge said. “I wrote him a letter and he opened my letter and gave it to Casey.
“I think he just saw the Ogdensburg, N. Y. address and was more like, ‘Who the heck is this?’ “
Dodge joins Heather Mau as the two female members of the Mavs’ training staff. Mau is in her first season as the Mavs’ assistant athletic trainer.
“Meg does a great job, and she’s like Heather,” owner Mark Cuban said. “They’re great at their jobs, guys respect them. They bring good, strong, positive attitudes to the locker room and during games.”
A positive attitude that Dodge has parlayed into a job born out of an unfortunate situation.
“It’s always been my dream to one day work with professional athletes,” Dodge said. “But I didn’t think it would happen this young.”