Athletic training student working with storied OSU wrestling program
Friday, March 3, 2023
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Handballs, resistance bands, even a 4-foot-long flat flexible plastic stick called a Bodyblade are just some of the tools of the trade for athletic training student Cheyann Sales when she is working with OSU’s wrestling team.
Sales, who will graduate from OSU Center for Health Sciences’ Master of Athletic Training program in May, is completing her final clinical rotation — 13 weeks with OSU athletics, primarily Cowboy wrestling.
“OSU has been great. The experience is definitely something different for me as I’ve only been at smaller athletic settings,” she said.
For her, having the quality and quantity of resources, materials and modalities is a privilege.
“The challenge for me is to expand my skills, my knowledge of the tools I’m working with," she said. "I also get to work with a preceptor that challenges me to be better and shows me different ways and different techniques to improve my skills but will also let me take over and really grow.”
Nick Goldstein is the Cowboy wrestling athletic trainer and Sales’ preceptor during her clinical rotation.
“Wrestlers are a different breed. We see a lot of significant injuries — torn ACLs, shoulder and knee injuries are common, eye injuries. A lot of them just stay tough through things,” Goldstein said.
Things like skin diseases and weight restrictions are also challenges of wrestling
that not a lot of other sports contend with, he said.
“There’s a lot of unique aspects for athletic trainers. It gives them an opportunity to see things they may not see in other settings and other sports. You’re kind of a jack-of-all-trades with wrestling,” Goldstein said, but Sales has met those challenges. “Cheyann is great and an awesome worker. She takes a lot of initiative and comes in and is ready to help. She asks questions and is not afraid to go out and do things that need to be done.”
Sales grew up playing sports in Enid, Oklahoma, and moved to McPherson, Kansas, to play collegiate softball at Central Christian College where she was a pitcher and first baseman.
"When I got to college, I found myself spending a lot of time in the athletic training
room, helping our athletic trainer out, and I fell in love with that experience.”
"When I got to college, I found myself spending a lot of time in the athletic training room, helping our athletic trainer out, and I fell in love with that experience.”
“I knew I wanted to do something that would give me the opportunity to be around sports, I love them. I had an interest in the medical field, but I didn’t necessarily want to be a doctor,” she said. “At first, I thought I might want to go into physical therapy, but when I got to college I found myself spending a lot of time in the athletic training room, helping our athletic trainer out, and I fell in love with that experience.”
Wanting to be closer to home, she started looking at athletic training programs in Oklahoma and researched the Masters in Athletic Training program at OSU-CHS and talked with people who had gone through the program.
“My experience in the program has been great, I’ve loved every second of it,” she said. “I’m in a small cohort, which for me was perfect. There’s 11 of us so it’s great getting that family feel, and we get to work with the medical students.”
Sales said as athletic training students at OSU-CHS, they can also utilize OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine resources such as the Simulation Center and learn skills alongside medical students like how to put in IVs and intubation tubes.
“Athletic training is a very broad field. We also do rotations in nontraditional and industrial sectors,” she said.
That includes working with physical therapists and orthopedic specialists. Even places like manufacturing plants have started utilizing athletic trainers to help employees.
“We also did rotations at the OSU Medical Center so we got to see some general surgery, some Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, radiology and family medicine. We got to see all these different settings where athletic trainers are really starting to branch into. It’s great to see the field growing and the opportunities to work and gain experience in these other fields,” she said.
For Sales, though, her passion is working in collegiate sports.
“I still get to be around that competitive edge and energy. Having faced some injuries myself, having someone who played such an important part in getting me back and performing at my best, I wanted the opportunity to do that for my athletes as well,” she said. “Having the opportunity to see my athletes rehab, get better from their injuries and improve their overall performance, that’s the greatest thing for me.”
Still, Sales said she did feel some pressure when she started her clinical rotation with Cowboy wrestling, one of the most storied and celebrated programs in the country with 34 national team championships, 143 individual championships and 53 conference championships.
“I’m going into a Division 1 setting working with some of the top collegiate athletes, it’s a big deal. But they’ve made me feel welcomed. The guys are great, if I’m trying something they give me feedback, understanding that I’m a student and learning,” she said. “To work with a team like OSU wrestling, and I may be biased, but one of the best teams in the nation — it’s super cool that I get to sit here and say I work with Oklahoma State."