Oliver earns athletic training internship with Houston Texans

Friday, January 20, 2017

TYLER – Cody Oliver came to UT Tyler to pitch for the Patriots baseball team but would also become an important member of the Men’s & Women’s Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Men’s Soccer and Softball programs as a student athletic trainer.

A Hudson native and two-time American Southwest Conference All-Academic selection, Oliver transferred to UT Tyler from Angelina College as a left-handed reliever who pitched for the Patriots during the 2014 and 2015 seasons and is now embarking on an internship with the Houston Texans as he pursues his master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin.

We caught up with Oliver and UT Tyler head athletic trainer Andrew Cage to talk about his time in Tyler as a student-athlete, student athletic trainer and kinesiology student that prepared him to work in the NFL as a Training Camp and Pre-Season Camp Athletic Training Intern.

@UTTYLERPATRIOTS: What did you learn through the UT Tyler Athletic Training Program that has you confident that you’re prepared for your opportunity with the Texans?

OLIVER: “I feel the UT Tyler Athletic Training Program has prepared me for this opportunity with the Houston Texans by allowing me to put in to motion what was learned in the classroom. Andrew Cage and his staff were supportive and pushed me towards excellence. Andrew’s philosophy is you don’t learn by watching, you learn by doing. Andrew would put me in real-life scenarios where I had to make real-life decisions based on how I evaluated an athlete’s injury, progress from rehabilitation, and the communication process with coaches and other personnel. Being exposed to the reality of an athletic trainer helped better my understanding and confidence for this job.”


@UTTYLERPATRIOTS: What perspective do you have as an athletic trainer having been a student-athlete? How does that help you on a daily basis in athletic training?

OLIVER: “Being a student-athlete and athletic trainer has its benefits, especially from the psychological side of the job. Few people really see or understand how much of the mental aspect we deal with athletes. We see athletes at their most vulnerable time dealing with an injury and it’s hard to cope with that at times. For me, experiencing both sides of the issue, I can better empathize with the athlete. I know what it’s like to be injured and dealing with the harsh reality that you can’t play. I also know the reasoning from the other side that this is just a bump in the road and that working with the athletic trainer will improve your road to recovery and that you will get back to playing.”


@UTTYLERPATRIOTS: What about athletic training do you like so much to make it into a career?

OLIVER: “I absolutely love being around athletes that want to compete and have that drive to be the best. It keeps me around athletics and this is a way to give back for all the people that supported me along my journey of athletics and athletic training. You must a servant’s heart to be a good athletic trainer. For me, it is so rewarding to see an athlete that you have worked with diligently go out and perform. Seeing them compete in the sport they love and succeed is a wonderful feeling.”


@UTTYLERPATRIOTS: What about your experiences as a student-athlete and trainer do you appreciate the most?

OLIVER: “The experience that I appreciate the most from my time as a student-athlete and athletic training student is dogpiling on the mound after we won the 2015 ASC Tournament. That’s a moment I will cherish for a lifetime. It was the reward from all the hard work and dedication that everyone put in from the time we stepped on campus. The UT Tyler baseball team is a family and we treated it as such. That was my senior season and I was finally able see all the work that I put in on the field to be a quality pitcher and work in the athletic training room to make sure my brothers were healthy pay off. I also greatly appreciate all the people that I have encountered that have influenced my experience and growth. If it were not for those people believing in me, I wouldn’t have the opportunity I have today.”


@UTTYLERPATRIOTS: What were you impressed with from Cody during his time helping your department as a student athletic trainer?

CAGE: “During Cody's time here, I was always impressed with his desire to better himself.  He tried to make a point of seeking out ways to improve as an athletic training student, and that stuck out to me.”


@UTTYLERPATRIOTS: How do you think his experience as a collegiate athlete will shape his athletic training perspective as he progresses in the field? 

CAGE: “I think coming from an athletic background allowed Cody to empathize and relate to the patient population he will end up working with. Once Cody becomes a certified athletic trainer, he is going to be able to draw off of his experiences as a student-athlete whenever he is in contact with his patients.”


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