By Brenda López Monsiváis
When Ivan Rodriguez found out that he still needed to complete a three-hour course at UT-Arlington, it didn’t take him long to reach out to his alma mater, North Dallas.
Varsity baseball coach Steven De La Cerda and Rodriguez talked about Rodriguez possibly doing an internship with the ND athletic trainer Nick Saldivar. Now, Rodriguez and former North Dallas teammate David Hernandez are currently serving internships at North Dallas.
“I was excited to hear about ND alumni wanting to come back to where it all started for them and wanting to learn from me,” Saldivar said. “I’ve never been a mentor before so being able to teach them things I’m passionate about has been fun and rewarding for all of us.”
Rodriguez, 22, is studying Kinesiology at the University of Texas at Arlington. He plans to graduate this spring, and continue his education by seeking his Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) at UT-Arlington.
“My first year of college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. I was going to do nursing. I wanted to do something in the medicine field but wasn’t sure what exactly,” said Rodriguez, a 2014 graduate. “It wasn’t until last semester that I decided to pursue athletic training.”
During his time at North Dallas, Rodriguez played catcher on the varsity baseball team all four years, and received All-District honors the first three years. He also participated in the swimming team his junior and senior year, making it to regionals twice.
Rodriguez won the Bulldog of the Year Award for both sports his senior year. He also won the prestigious Paul Delfeld Award as North Dallas’ top male athlete. He lists his senior year as his best year in high school.
Rodriguez now looks ahead, and hopes to work as an athletic trainer at a Dallas ISD school in the future.
“As a long term I like the high school setting. So far, the internship has proven that high school is the correct place,” Rodriguez said.
During his first three years at ND, the student-athletes were not able to get help from an athletic trainer because North Dallas did not have one. In his senior year, the student-athletes were finally able to get assistance during school hours.
“I think it’s really good that ND has an athletic trainer because I see a lot of athletes come to Coach Sal and ask for aid. We didn’t have that when I was here,” Rodriguez said.
Saldivar will supervise Rodriguez until May when he has completed his internship and proposal, a broad learning topic that he comes up with, which is then broken down into five objectives that he learned throughout the semester.
“One of our very first things we discussed as an intern was my proposal, my proposal is about the whole evaluation of an athlete,” Rodriguez said. “For example, what to do when an athlete gets hurt in the field, the first thing to ask is about their history, then we head into the rehab process, and learn about taping techniques etc.”
Saldivar has seen a positive attitude from Rodriguez since day one.
“He’s been doing well, he really seems interested in the profession and asks good questions,” Saldivar said.
“I like that Coach Sal asks me random questions about athletic training because those are things that I should know and helps refresh my mind,” Rodriguez said. “It’s good that he quizzes me because it gives me a chance to go back and look over my stuff and helps me prepare for my master’s program.”