College and University

Moving up the ladder: Barta’s athletic training career leads him to Toledo


College and University

Moving up the ladder: Barta’s athletic training career leads him to Toledo

Article reposted from Tomah Journal

Adam Barta never played football as a student at Tomah High School, but now he deals with it every day.

He deals with the effects football has on the body as an assistant athletic trainer at the University of Toledo (Ohio).

Football, Barta said, was just the right fit for him.

“I got specifically into football … because it’s such a fast-paced environment,” he said. “A lot of athletes get injured, it’s a violent sport, it keeps us busy … and that’s why I latched on and have been working it ever since.”

In July, Barta, a 2007 THS graduate, accepted a position at Toledo after graduating from the University of Arkansas with a master’s degree in sports management in spring 2016. He received a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2012.

Barta also worked for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010-11 as an athletic training intern and from 2012-14 as a seasonal athletic training intern. Also, from 2014-16 he was a full-time graduate assistant with the University of Arkansas.

Barta first got involved with sports medicine during his second year at UW-La Crosse.

“When I was first going to school I was kind of looking at physical therapy, I did a little bit of shadowing at a PT clinic, but it didn’t seem right for me,” said Barta. “(Then) I got into the athletic program, and it seemed like the perfect fit — I liked being around athletics and helping people. A bunch of different areas worked for me, and I enjoyed it and it has been a passion of mine ever since.”

While he didn’t begin his training in sports medicine until college, Barta got his first taste of it in high school.

“In high school I did some wrestling and track; I dealt with injuries and worked with an athletic trainer,” he said. “It’s kind of how I got introduced to athletic training — me being an athlete.”

Barta said working with athletes and getting them healthy and back to doing something they love is why he went into sports medicine.

“I like working with athletes; it’s always exciting, and you’re seeing new things every week,” he said. “There’s always something new that you haven’t seen before, and I’m continuing to learn … it’s never-ending.”

The biggest challenge of the job? Time.

“There are 120 athletes and two athletic trainers − a lot of guys get banged up and we’re trying to get everyone better going from week to week, trying to fit them all in … and to give each guy the amount of attention they need … is a challenge,” he said. “Time is the biggest challenge.”

John Walters, Toledo associate athletic trainer (football), said Barta has done well in his first season with the university.

“He’s been doing a tremendous job for us. He started the beginning of July and just came in and hit the ground running,” he said. “He came and learned our sports medicine system and hasn’t really looked back. He has been a great asset, and he has brought a lot of knowledge and experience with him from Arkansas and Seattle and added a lot of value to our staff.”

Barta has a bright future in sports medicine, Waters said.

“He has a very good personality and demeanor and attitude in the training room that allows him to gain the trust of the student athletes that he’s working with,” he said. “He’s very dependable and has gained the trust of his co-workers … he is a guy that I’m confident will continue to do a great job providing health care to student athletes in a collegiate setting.”

Barta said he has enjoyed his time with Toledo this season, especially working with Walters, as his ultimate goal is to become the head athletic trainer in football — college or professional.

“NFL teams have larger staff; here it’s a pretty small staff, but it has been good for me because with (only) me and one head (football trainer), we get to see everything that goes on,” he said. “Working closely with him and seeing what he deals with and with my responsibilities, I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”