Saturday, December 3, 2011

Five Minutes With ... Travis Wall

Ohio Wesleyan senior men's soccer player Travis Wall
Name: Travis Wall

Hometown/High School: Columbus, OH/Upper Arlington

Institution: Ohio Wesleyan University

Major: Sports Management

Sport: Soccer

I am originally from ... Columbus, Ohio

Why did you choose to attend a NCAA Division III institution?
I chose to attend OWU because I knew that a Division III experience offered up the best combination of academics and athletics than any other school I could have found. Also, playing for Jay Martin was a huge factor in coming here.

How would you describe the philosophy of NCAA Div. III?
I think the philosophy is academics first with athletics a very close second. If there is a conflict though, academics always come first and I think that is an important message to get across.

How has your experience been in balancing athletics and academics at (your school)?
My experience has been great. When we have to miss classes for games, the professors have always been very accommodating and worked with me to help make up the work or notes I missed.

How would you best describe your normal day as a student-athlete at the NCAA Div. III level? I.e. What do you do all day?
I wake up at 8 a.m. to get ready for my 9 a.m. class. I go to two of my classes, then go to lunch with the soccer team. After lunch I go to my last class at 1 p.m. Following that I will hang out in the coaches office with other members of the team or I will head home to try and catch a quick nap before our 4 p.m. practices that we have every day.

Favorite thing about Ohio Wesleyan?
Playing soccer for Jay Martin and the academic reputation that comes attached with a degree from Ohio Wesleyan.

Favorite thing about the NCAC?
The competitiveness of it

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I would like to be a college athletic director or a college head soccer coach.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?
I would love to be Larry David for a day. Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm are my two all time favorite shows and Larry David is the comedic genius behind each one. I think his outlook on everyday awkward situations is hilarious, I often times find myself telling somebody that “that was a Larry David moment” or “I’ve seen this in Seinfeld” because he covers just about all there is to cover in everyday occurrences.

People may be surprised to know that …
My mom went to Denison. I am the youngest of three children and we all chose Ohio Wesleyan to go to school and play soccer. My mom has been pretty happy cheering us on over the years though.

If you are stranded on an island, you would like to be with …
Natalie Portman. I think she is the best looking woman on this planet.

What is the life of a student-athlete studying sports management like at Ohio Wesleyan?
The life of a sports management major at OWU is an interesting one. You get a really nice mix of taking business classes like accounting, economics, marketing management, etc., that cause you to think about the financial aspect of sport but we also get to take classes dedicated solely to the sports industry and the mental and philosophical approach to athletics which I particularly enjoyed wanting to head in the direction of coaching. Our professors encourage us to get hands on experience before entering the real world so next semester I am scheduled for two internships, one with the Columbus Crew and one with a local soccer club and I am really looking forward to those.

Do you have any hidden talents that very few people know about?
I can quote movies and TV shows better than most people. My friends and I at OWU consistently relate every day happenings to movies we have seen and try to quote those movies.
I also have an annoyingly bad habit of remembering the slightest details about any team we have ever player. Whether it be an opponent’s stats, the cleats he wore, his hometown, his number….you name it I most likely have it memorized.

What aspect of being a student-athlete at the Div. III level, do you hope to take with you into your professional life?
I think playing at a Division III level has taught me to prioritize. In life, my working career will come before any athletic interest I will have and I think going to OWU has just helped reinforce that.

What has been your most memorable moment in athletics during your collegiate career?
Although it just happened, I will never forget this years comeback against Ohio Northern in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament and the goal I scored to win the game. Jay told us after the game that he has never coached a team who has been down 2-0 in and NCAA game and come back to win which made us feel special. But to be down 2-0 with 20 minutes left in the game, most teams would start to panic and get out of their style but we did the opposite, we began to assert ourselves more and the goals finally started coming. I will never forget that game.

What would you like to accomplish, both in academics and athletics, before you graduate?
I would like to graduate with a cumulative GPA of above 3.2. I am currently at a 3.19 so I am close. In athletics, before it was to make a final 4, now that we have done that, I think it would be great to win the whole thing!

What’s currently playing on your I-Pod?
Drake’s new Take Care album

Do you have one coach and/or professor that has impacted your career the most at Ohio Wesleyan?
Jay Martin. It doesn’t get much better than playing for him. OWU has been spoiled to have him here for 35 years. Our assistant Brandon Bianco is a close second. He was a first year coach my freshman year and in 4 years, he has turned into a great coach. I’m sure he will be an ever better head coach in a few years wherever that may be. The best thing about our coaching staff is that they never stop trying to get better. It would be easy for people in their position to sit back and be content with their careers and this season but they are always striving to get better which is their most admirable quality.

In your opinion, what is the most important life lesson you learned while competing at the NCAA Div. III level?
Academics > athletics

How many hours a week do you spend on Facebook?

What would be your advice for someone that is considering enrolling as a student-athlete at a NCAA Div. III institution?

Do it, the lessons you learn are more rewarding than you could imagine.

Who do you look up to?
As a role model in life, my dad. As a coach for who I would like to emulate when I am older, I would have to say University of Akron head coach Caleb Porter. He is so confident in everything he does and he plays soccer the way it is suppose to be played.

If you could excel at any competitive sport (other than your own) which would you choose?


Which historical sporting event would you have liked to witness?
Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.

What's the most impressive meal you've ever cooked?
Ramen Noodles

What’s your favorite sports team/Who’s your favorite athlete?
My favorite sports team is Ohio State in every single sport. My favorite athlete in the world is Leo Messi

My favorite sports memory is…?
Sweet 16 win vs ONU in 2011

Any Pet Peeves?
When people end sentences with “and yeah…..” or “sooo….”

Favorite hobbies outside work/school?
Family time

First job?
Paper boy for the SNP Upper Arlington News.

Favorite ice cream?

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