Gary's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Opportunity Youth Roadtrip

GARY VITTI

Head Athletic Trainer
Los Angeles Lakers

“If you don't have a passion, find one. The world is one big puzzle, and you've gotta find where you fit into it.”

INTERESTS:

Medicine Sports

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Dedication Goals Opportunity Hard Work Hobbies & Pastimes Confidence Perseverance Determination Failure Struggle Success Fulfillment Support & Encouragement Self-Reflection Acceptance

FOUNDATION:

Working with Others

BIOGRAPHY:

  • He originally chose to get his bachelor's degree in meteorology, because he'd heard it was an occupation with a "big upside."
  • After three years, he realized he had no passion for meteorology; one of his friends recommended that he go into sports medicine.
  • The athletic training program at the University of Utah was already full, but the head trainer agreed to let Gary audit his classes.
  • The head trainer quickly realized that Gary was more dedicated to the program than any of his students and got him into the sports medicine program.
  • By a stroke of luck, the New Orleans Jazz relocated to Salt Lake City; Gary started working for them part-time while finishing his master's degree.
  • All the while, he was making contacts within the industry, so in 1984, when the Lakers' head training job opened up, his name was at the top of the list.
  • Says that by working hard, always following his heart, and never settling, he positioned himself to take fortuitous opportunities.
  • Believes that the key to pursuing your passion is always keeping a short-term goal, a mid-term goal, and a long-term goal.

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