Athletic Trainer at Athletico
“I love to help people.”
As a child, Joshua Morales dreamed of working with exotic animals and envisioned himself becoming a zookeeper. However, life had a different plan for him, leading him towards an entirely different but equally fulfilling path - athletic training.
Growing up in Southern California, in a close-knit suburban community with approximately 120,000 people, Morales had a heart for the local church community. While his childhood dreams were not initially connected to sports or medicine, life had interesting twists in store for him.
It wasn't until Morales entered college that the world of athletic training came knocking on his door. With no prior exposure to the profession and a lack of athletic training programs in his high school, he stumbled upon his newfound interest during a sports medicine class project at Moorpark College. This serendipitous encounter ignited a spark within him, propelling him on a path that would forever change his life.
"I had no idea what athletic trainers were before college. We didn't have one in high school. But during that project, I felt a connection, and that's when I realized this was what I wanted to do," Morales shared.
Driven by his newfound passion, Morales pursued his athletic training education at Moorpark College for three years before transferring to Cal State Northridge (CSUN) for further studies and completing his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. He later continued his educational journey at the University of Toledo, where he received his Master’s Degree.
What Morales loves most about his profession is the people he interacts with - the athletes. As an Athletic Trainer, he finds immense fulfillment in helping high school athletes through their injuries and supporting them throughout their journey in high school sports. Despite the challenges that come with dealing with injuries, Morales's unwavering dedication to his athletes keeps him fueled and passionate about his role.
“Seeing the impact of getting someone from the most terrifying times of their life, back to seeing them play their game is one of the most rewarding joys of the job,” Morales said.
Morales’s vibrant and outgoing personality sets him apart as a unique athletic trainer. His boundless energy and positivity have made him cherished among peers and friends, forging lasting connections within the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) and beyond.
Throughout his career, Morales has experienced unforgettable moments, from triumphant victories to daunting challenges. One such moment involved responding to a severe brain bleed caused by a concussion. His quick actions and expertise in handling the situation showcased the indispensable role of athletic trainers in safeguarding athletes' well-being.
Among the many people Morales has worked with, two mentors stand out: Cherisse Meichtry and Steve Grech. Cherisse, fondly called "momma Cherisse," was his first mentor at Moorpark Community College. Cherisse guided Morales more into the athletic training world and helped him gain a better knowledge of the profession. Her guidance and faith in Morales pushed him beyond his limits, molding him into the skilled professional he is today. Steve Grech, Head Athletic Trainer at CSUN, was part of Morales’s last rotation before his BOC exam. Morales said Steve “left an enduring impact, holding him to high standards and preparing him for the real world.” Because of these mentors, Morales feels confident in his skills today as an athletic trainer.
As Morales continues to evolve professionally, he is considering the possibility of pursuing a doctorate, aiming to expand his knowledge and contributions to the field of Athletic Training.
Joshua Morales's journey is a testament to the transformative power of passion, dedication, and the impact of athletic trainers on athletes' lives. As he continues to empower athletes and redefine the world of athletic training, Morales stands as an exemplary figure, inspiring all those around him.
Written by Allison Ragland