February 28, 2003 - by
Beth Wade Working Around The Clock In Pursuit Of Her Degree

Feb. 28, 2003

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Tell me a little about your major?

My major is athletic training. I started out as a math education major but I really started to get interested in athletic training after taking my first class. I have always been interested in the field through my involvement with sports. I officially changed my major to athletic training in the spring of my sophomore year and right now I am taking all the classes so I can graduate in the spring. I can’t actually get into the program to do my hours until fall because student-athletes aren’t supposed to be able to pursue this degree due to the time constraints that go along with playing a sport and getting your mandatory hours in athletic training. It just doesn’t work balancing the two. Currently I am trying to get my 60 hours of observation done and that is supposed to be finished in an eight-week span. So anytime I do have a break, I have to find a way to get those hours in, which is so difficult with my schedule.

Since you redshirted, how will that work out with your athletic training major next year?

It is going to be different next year as a grad student. That will help a little since my classes will all be at night. During the day I will be able to do my hours part of the day and then be out at softball the other part of the day before going to class at night. It works out better actually. It really isn’t all figured out yet because I don’t think they have ever had an athlete who is currently playing pursue this degree. The reason I can get in the program is because I redshirted and this will be my fifth year but usually athletes with eligibility are not admitted. Robin Gibson, Angela Sehgal and Josh Nichter have all been great working with me since my situation is unique. I think we are in uncharted territory right now. It looks like I will probably work at a clinic in the morning when I get started in August.

Take us through your typical day?

I have been working with the off-season conditioning program with football and that starts at 5:30 a.m. I go to weights from 7:30-9:00. Then I have class from 9:30 to 12:00 and work in the training room from 12:00 to 2:00. I go straight from the training room to softball practice, which begins at 3:00. On Tuesday’s, that’s my bad day, I have night class from 5:15 to 8:30 at night. At the end of Tuesday I am dead tired and then I have to be up to make it to off-season drills by 5:30 a.m. There are days I have trouble keeping my eyes open. Usually Wednesdays are the roughest. I am making it though and we are almost done. After spring break I will be done with all my observation hours. I will have more time to study and work on my grades.

It is difficult but it does help you budget your time. You know there are just so many hours in a day and you have to be efficient. Whether that’s efficient at cramming or whatever. You just can’t put things off until tomorrow because you won’t have any extra time that day either. Balancing your schedule is the most important thing. I have to write everything out so you know what you have to do. My planner is my best friend.

Even the days when I don’t have class, I am getting my hours in the training room so there really isn’t much of a break. Playing games on the weekend really is my break. I don’t have classes or observation hours so it is all about the game. That is my relaxing time. I forget everything else and just go to the ball field and play.

How do you prioritize your life with so much going on?

My number one priority is softball. School is always important and it is a huge priority in my life but I feel like there is just a year and a half left in my collegiate career to play softball. After that I have the rest of my life to work or pursue a master’s degree. Softball is really important to me right now. I am lucky also when it comes to school because a lot of it comes pretty easy to me. Some require more work and studying than like Josh Nichter’s orthopedic assessment class is really hard. The oral exams in that class require so much more preparation than a multiple-choice test. That is one of the reasons the class is so demanding.

What is the light at the end of the tunnel?

I want to become a certified trainer and maybe get a job with a college team or in a clinical setting. I don’t want to be done with athletics after my softball career. I want to be around athletics whether it is as a trainer or as a coach. I think being an athlete will provide me with some insight if I do eventually work with student-athletes as a trainer. I know what they are going through. Having been on both sides of it, I feel like I will be better equipped to relate to them and clearly explain what is going on. I will also be able to tell who is just trying to get out of practice because I will have seen all the little tricks at one point in time.

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