Texas Wesleyan offers many degrees for students, but what is the back story as to why students chose their degree? John Walsh, senior athletic training major, has a clear reason why he chose to be in the athletic training program at Wesleyan.
Walsh grew up in Bixby, Okla. and started wrestling when he was 7 years old.
Walsh said he wrestled his way all the way to college, earning a spot on the Labette Community College men’s wrestling team in Parsons, Kan. It was there he realized athletic training is the degree he wanted to choose.
“I went to junior college for wrestling and I got hurt,” Walsh said. “I had to do my rehab with athletic trainers, and after being told I can’t wrestle anymore due to numerous injuries throughout my wrestling career, athletic training is what I wanted to do.”
Walsh said he found out about Texas Wesleyan through his athletic trainer at his junior college, and he decided to attend.
“This is my third year at Wesleyan, and I came here for the athletic training program,” Walsh said.
Walsh said right now he is a level four athletic trainer, and mainly observes but next semester he will be more hands-on.
“Next semester I can examine, treat and help athletes in the rehab process like a normal trainer would do,” Walsh said.“My last semester is basically getting used to being an athletic trainer because as a senior I have already taken all my athletic training courses.”
Walsh said Kyle Morgan, Wesleyan’s head athletic trainer, has been his preceptor and mentor since he arrived at Wesleyan.
“Kyle has always been there to answer any of my questions,” Walsh said. “He is there to talk to, even if it’s not related to athletic training.”
Walsh said he has to get a certain amount of clinical hours each semester for his degree.
“I have to have 300 clinical hours this semester, and 300 next semester,” Walsh said. “For my clinical rotation criteria, I had to help assist in a pad intensive sport so I worked at Centennial High School in Burleson for their football team.”
While being a student athletic trainer, Walsh said his most severe and memorable injury he has seen so far was an injury at one of the high school games.
“A kid at the school had a concussion and I had to hold his head still for 30 minutes till the EMS team arrived,” Walsh said. “Holding the head is the most important job while stabilizing the c-spine of an athlete.”
Walsh said as a student trainer at Wesleyan, he has assisted with men’s soccer, softball, baseball and this year he will help out with the women’s basketball program.
Walsh said after graduating from Wesleyan with his athletic training degree, he will probably go into graduate school.
“I want to be an athletic trainer at the college level, and most colleges want someone with a master’s degree,” Walsh said.
Makelle Akin, senior history major, played on the softball team last year and said she appreciated Walsh’s efforts as their assigned student athletic trainer.
Akin said Walsh went above and beyond for her team.
“He was willing to stay after or come in before in order to get an athlete ready for a game or practice,” Akin. “Aside from that, John, Alicia and Kirsti were some of our biggest fans and it was pretty cool to see how excited they got when someone made a good play.”
Chelsea Boles, junior exercise science major and outfielder on the softball team, had Walsh for a student athletic trainer and said having a good trainer is beneficial for making sure athletes get the treatment they need.
“Having someone you know you can rely on to help you when you get hurt makes you more comfortable to actually go ask for help,” Boles said. “Whereas other trainers who are rude make you not want to ask them to help you get better.”
Akin said all the trainers are a huge part of the sports teams and help them become successful.
“He never complained about having to access or stretch anyone,” Akin said. “You could tell he really cared about us and would ask everyday how the injury was.”