Trainer Jen Detweiler (by Addie Chester)

Trainer Jen Detweiler Combines Her Love of Sports with Medical Profession

By Addie Chester

If an athlete sprains their ankle, tears a muscle, or hurts themselves in any way while playing, they would visit their athletic trainer. Our athletic trainer here at Delta is Jen Detweiler. 

Jen has had a history of athletic training and has brought her knowledge to Delta to help our athletes. 

Jen grew up in Fountain City, Ind., which is a small town just north of Richmond. Jen described herself as a “tomboy” from an early age. She loved to play with her brothers, ride bikes, and enjoy time outside. 

She attended the University of Indianapolis with a nursing major. After just two years, she decided to transfer to Ball State University in Muncie. She said that after finding out Ball State’s nursing program was on probation at the time, she changed her major to athletic training. 

“I knew that I wanted to stay in the medical profession and I love sports, so AT sounded perfect,” she said. “To be honest, I really didn’t know a lot about the profession when I chose the major!” 

Her decision to switch her major has obviously paid off. She loves her job and everything it includes. 

“What’s not to love when you get to be around athletics and combine that with helping athletes stay healthy and/or returning back to sports from an injury,” she said. “I love the relationships you forge with athletes and coaches. You become one big family.”

Detweiler family

Trainer Jen Detweiler celebrates the sectional basketball title with husband Mark Detweiler, the head coach, and their young son, Carter.

She is definitely not wrong about the one big family part. Jen’s husband, Mark Detweiler, is a teacher and boys’ basketball head coach at Delta, and their son, Carter, is a first grader at Royerton Elementary.

Carter is at the high school after school every day goofing off and interacting with the athletes. Jen explains how convenient it is for her and Mr. Detweiler to be working in the same place, especially for Carter. 

“It’s nice to be on the same schedule with Carter,” she said. “It helps because he just rides the bus to the high school and stays there until one of us can go home.” 

Jen is hoping to finish out her career at Delta and be able to watch Carter grow up there. 

Most would think the job would be simply helping athletes heal. But, there is a lot more to Jen’s job. 

“AT is a multifaceted profession,” she said. “It involves injury prevention (taping, stretching, rolling, making splints or pads), injury evaluations, injury rehabilitation, communication with coaches, parents, and athletes, documentation, injury screenings, concussion evaluations, I’m a preceptor for Ball State, ordering supplies for all seasons for the AT Room, and sports psychology.”

All of these responsibilities make for a busy job. However, besides managing these responsibilities, she still finds time to create a bond with each athlete she helps.

Football practice
Trainer Jen Detweiler watches football practice from the sidelines.

“I spent a lot of time with her while doing rehab on my foot,” says Mallory Schwer, a sophomore who is a three-sport athlete. 

Along with Mallory, Palmer Samuels, a freshman, had an injury that required a long period of rehabilitation so he spent many hours with Jen. Palmer tore a ligament in his knee last October during football season. 

“She did lots of stretches to see if my ACL was loose and gave me a plan on what to do to recover well. She also gave me crutches,” he says.

Jen has helped many more athletes and created a relationship with all of them. 

Outside of her job as AT, Jen has many hobbies. Her job keeps her busy, so she doesn’t have much free time. However,  when she does, she enjoys travelling, swimming, and spending time with her family. 

“I’m also a huge Def Leppard fan, so I usually see them in concert every year,” she says.

Getting to know Jen isn’t a choice if you are an athlete. You are bound to need her help and knowledge at some point. 

“She is a great person to be around and really cares for her athletes,” says Mallory Schwer, “I’m grateful that Jen is our athletic trainer.”