ford is majoring in Behavior Analysis
WATCH: Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field. In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, the Panthers feature baseball player Josh Ford, a sophomore catcher who is majoring in Behavior Analysis.
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we feature Panther baseball player Josh Ford, a sophomore catcher who is majoring in Behavior Analysis.
Having played his high school ball just down Babcock Street at Melbourne High School, Ford was named to the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll following the 2020 spring semester with a 4.0 GPA.
We sat down with Josh to talk about the experience he’s had applying what he’s learned and what expectations the baseball team has with the 2022 season around the corner.
■ What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to be a part of?
My major right now is applied behavior analysis and organizational behavior management. I switched to that this year. I haven’t always wanted to do it.
I came here for the baseball team because I’m local but then I looked into the program, and I just loved what they had to offer. Working with kids with autism, it’s just a different perspective of life that I’d never thought I’d see.
■ What are some things that you’ve learned since you’ve been in the program that has been eye-opening for you?
It’s all about perspective. So, you look at life through your environment and why people do things and I feel like you have more control of what people do. So, with treatment, we can actually focus on the kids and help the parents and people who are working with these kids.
■ How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
I want to be a board-certified behavior analyst and work with kids with autism to help them become more independent.
I work with the older kids and it’s just working with daily living skills, or stuff you do in the home, so we can help them transition to group homes or other facilities that help them.
In the facility I work at, there’s a home setting, there’s a kitchen, living room, bathrooms, TVs, video games, whatever they like to do. And we just help them be more independent. So, it’s a more naturalistic setting.
■ How rewarding has that been when you can get someone to that place where they’re able to do things on their own that they weren’t able to do before?
It’s actually very rewarding. I never thought I’d see this but once you learn about the education that’s included here at Florida Tech and you learn about the kids, what they can do and what they can’t do, it’s really rewarding just to see them grow.
■ So how do you manage all of it once you’re in season?
It’s mainly with time management. Creating a schedule at the beginning of each semester, and really trying to get in the groove.
Like I’m going to wake up at this time and go to work than school, whatever obstacle hits me, I have to make sure that I have it planned out and it’s just really about finding the balance and time for everything.
■ What advice would you give to an athlete that’s looking to come here that also wants to enter this field?
I would say just to really try and do as much as you can on your own and really try to focus on yourself.
This is the time where you have to get your education and really put in the work and a lot of people are just trying to get by with practice or get by with class, just get it over with but realize the more you focus on each thing individually, it helps to become better for yourself.
Because in the end, you’re here for yourself, you’re working for the school, and for your team. So, the best self you can bring to the table, I think it’s a better chance to help your team and future.
■ Panther baseball begins the 2022 season in less than two weeks. After finishing second in the Sunshine State Conference last year, how is the team feeling going into this year?
I’m excited about this team. We’ve got a new skip (Head Coach Jeff Tam), and there’s so much that might change and there’s a lot of potentials, the new kids look good. I’m just ready to see what the full season’s going to turn out to be.
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