What is Howard College’s Athletic Training/Sports Medicine all about? It is about learning the prevention, care and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, administering first-aid, dealing with people, establishing and keeping time schedules, studying extremely hard in the classroom, and learning to cope with change.
Student athletic trainers work with head athletic trainer, John Overton throughout each academic school year. Larger numbers of student athletic trainers indicates that interest in being involved in athletic training at Howard College is increasing each year, and the quality of people applying for the student athletic trainer positions remains high.
This is an excellent opportunity for these young people to see if they wish to, and can deal with, people and their health problems. This could possibly lead to a career not only in athletic training and other sports medicine, but also possibly in another allied health field.
Howard College’s Athletic Training Program works with the Hawk baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s rodeo, and the cheerleader squad.
The college also offers an outreach program for athletes in grades 7-12 from Coahoma, Forsan, WestBrook, Stanton, and Garden City School districts. This program is for the prevention, care and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Howard College’s athletic training program also helps the Big Spring Independent School District as needed.
The college offers an Associate of Science degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Athletic Training to better care for the Howard College athletes, enhance the Outreach Program, and prepare the student athletic trainers for a possible career in athletic training/sports medicine or other allied health field. The student athletic trainers will be eligible to obtain required supervision hours toward taking the State Licensure Exam while in the program.
"Academics are very important." Overton said, “ I believe that the student athletic trainer should, need, and will perform to the best of their ability in the classroom. They need to understand that just an education will not always get them by in today’s world. They need to get the highest education and grades possible so that they can get that good job and keep it.”
Competition is fierce for student athletic training scholarships at four year universities and colleges. Many times academics is the deciding factor as to who receives a scholarship. Student athletic trainers are required to attend classes regularly and perform to the best of their ability in the class room.
Howard College’s athletic training program is an apprenticeship type of learning. Athletic Trainer John Overton believes in and provides a hands-on style of education for his student athletic trainers.
“As soon as we cover a certain area of athletic training, and I am satisfied that they can perform in that area, I let the student handle a lot of the actual activities. I am there for observation and recognition of possible injuries, to provide guidance as needed, to see that the student athletic trainers work for their full potential, and to ensure the athletes are taken care of properly.” Overton explains.
Student athletic trainers enroll in specially designed classes that cover injury prevention, recognition and management of injury prevention, recognition and management of injuries, taping, wrapping, first-aid, rehabilitation, and the business organization of athletic injury management.
The athletic training program works under the supervision and direction of several team physicians, dentists, and optometrists, including Dr. Raj Reddy, Medical director; Dr. PK Reddy, Dr. S. Subbaraman, Dr. Clark McDaniel, Dr. Reg Cranford, Dr. John Myers, and Dr. D.H. McGonagill.
Without these professionals helping the quality of athletic training services would be drastically hurt. They provide preseason examinations, office visits, emergency room visits, game coverage, and many more services with the well being of the athlete in mind. These professionals and their staff work hard to provide these services for the athletes at all hours of the day and work especially hard to schedule around the student athlete’s class time to keep them from missing too much in-class instruction.
These dedicated student athletic trainers put in many long hours and are at times on 24 hour call. Howard College’s student athletic trainers work hard and take great pride in the athletes and the athletic program at Howard College and the outreach program. Caring and doing the right thing is most important to them.