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Julie Tucker: Behind The Scenes

Julie Tucker fixed

Written By Dani Hawkett

At the Pan American Maccabi Games, many people will cheer for their favorite players or teams. Only a few will consider the people behind the scenes who help keep the players healthy. 

Meet Julie Tucker, a certified athletic trainer for Maccabi USA. Tucker has been a part of Maccabi USA for 10 years and an athletic trainer for 12. 

While Tucker was growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, she had no idea what athletic trainers were. She discovered them at West Chester University in Pennsylvania and switched her major from business to athletic training (with a minor in exercise science). 

“It sounded cool,” she said, referring to athletic training. 

After graduation, Tucker realized there weren’t any athletic trainers in Maryland’s public school system, so she created athletic training programs for them in two counties: Montgomery and Howard. She also revamped the one at Sandy Spring Friends School, the private school where she works. 

Her first experience working with Maccabi USA was at the 2013 Maccabiah in Israel. After that, she was hooked and continued to travel with the Maccabi USA teams. 

“I love Maccabi because it allows me to… do something I normally wouldn’t do,” Tucker said. “It also allows me to voice things that I’m passionate about as well as advocating for athletic trainers in the medical profession.” 

When Tucker isn’t traveling with Maccabi USA, she works with rugby teams: The Rugby Advantage and Atlantic Coast All Stars. In fact, this September, three months before she flies to Argentina for the Pan American Maccabi Games, she will travel to France with the Atlantic Coast All Stars, a collegiate men’s team that will compete at the World University Rugby Invitational Tournament.

In addition to rugby, Tucker enjoys working with athletes in other contact sports, including ice hockey and football. But her own sport was gymnastics.

“If I knew of the Maccabi Games” back when she was growing up, Tucker said, “I would have tried out for gymnastics!” She competed until high school when an injury ended her career.

Looking ahead, Tucker would advise those who want to step into the field of athletic training to “be patient, listen to advice, network, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”  To the athletes, she would say, “Be sure to look around and enjoy any moment and soak it up like a sponge.” 


Dani Hawkett lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and is a recent graduate of High Point University in North Carolina. Follow her at