Article reposted from VNN
He’s on the sidelines at every football game. He attends practice every afternoon. He doesn’t coach but his role is just as important to the team.
Meet Nicholas Saldivar, a licensed and certified athletic trainer.
Saldivar, 25, joined the Bulldogs family in August. He studied athletic training at the University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate, and then attended Houston Methodistt Hospital in Sugar Land for his post-graduate education. He also interned with the San Antonio Spurs.
“It’s been busy,” said Saldvar, who is from Grand Prairie and attended South Grand Prairie. “Football season is the busiest time of the year due to the late practices throughout the week, occasional Saturday practices, two nights of football games [JV and Varsity] that make for long days, and the constant potential of many injuries occuring due to the amount of players on both JV and Varsity.
“But I enjoy being in the middle of all the hustle and bustle that goes on constantly at NDHS. It keeps me on my toes.”
Saldivar said his hours vary at ND. On non-game days, it’s usually 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on football game days, it’s 10 a.m. to as late as midnight, depending on the travel.
“I work with all sports,” he said, “but mostly the sports that are in season [currently football, volleyball, cross country and tennis].”
Saldivar said the football injuries vary from concussions to broken bones to ligament sprains and muscle strains. He said the student-athletes at North Dallas are in “very good shape.”
“Everyday I encounter something different,” he said. “It’s a constant grind for them to become better athletes, and improve their skills day in and day out, so being in the best shape possible is what they strive for.”
Asked what he enjoys most about his job, Saldivar said, “I enjoy the spontaniety of my job but also the self-satisfaction from helping athletes recover from their ailments. Like I said, no two days are the same, everyday is different. I can come to work one day and have an injury-free day but other days, I might have multiple athletes come to the athletic training room because of an injury they’ve sustained.
“When they come to see me, they [and their coaches] expect me to get them back on the field as quickly as possible. The rehabilitation and treatment process may take days to weeks to even months, but in the end when they do get back to playing pain-free, with my help, is what I find to be the most self-rewarding feeling.”
Nicholas Saldivar shows his NBA championship ring from the San Antonio Spurs.
Saldivar said one of his greatest moments as a trainer with working as an intern with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013-14 season.
“That happened to be the season they won the NBA finals,” he said. “Having the opportunity to work with the likes of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker on a daily basis is an experience I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. Being rewarded with a championship ring doesn’t hurt.”
Saldivar works with student trainers at North Dallas. His advice for students who wish to become a train is to have a positive attitude and not be afraid to get your hands dirty.
“Being an athletic trainer, especially in the high school setting, doesn’t always involve the cleanest roles and responsibilities,” he said. “You often work with sweaty [and smelly] athletes, cleaning up what those athletes leave behind in the athletic training room, and nose bleeds and open wounds that need tending to.
“But overall, being optimistic and wearing a smile is what will ultimately get you through even the most toughest days and stressful times as an athletic trainer.”
Nicholas Saldivar works with Adin Morris during the scrimmage against Hillcrest in August.