Sarah Walters: Head athletic trainer and sports medicine director
April 9, 2012
Sarah Walters has always loved sports, but it is her passion for athletes as individuals that motivates her to do what she does. Since the fall of 2009, Walters has been enriching the lives of Evangel’s Kinesiology students and athletes through her teaching and healthcare services. She currently serves as an Assitant Professor of Kinesiology, head athletic trainer and sports medicine director. She also works with the football and cheerleading teams.
Walters graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a bachelor of science in athletic training. While studying at UCA, Walters involved herself in committees and research programs, both locally and nationally, dealing with concussions and leadership theories in athletic training. In May of 2011, Walters graduated from Evangel’s master’s program with a degree in Organizational Leadership. She is a member of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Mid-America Athletic Trainers’ Association and the chair of the Young Professionals Committee for the Missouri Athletic Trainers’ Association.
Born in Michigan and raised in Louisiana, Walters feels that living in the Missouri is a happy geographical medium. Committed to making a difference for the athletes in this region, she travels to several schools throughout the Midwest to speak on the importance of concussion management in high school athletes. In her spare time, Walters enjoys running, traveling and reading.
What is your favorite part about your job as the head athletic trainer at Evangel?
I really enjoy the time I spend with the students and getting to know them on a more personal level. They are all unique and have different areas of interest and points of view. It is fun to experience the diversity. I also enjoy athletics. I am physically active as well and am very passionate about helping others achieve their athletic goals.
What first got you interested in pursuing a career in athletic training?
I was injured in high school, and I remember my athletic trainer telling me to put ice on it and see how it felt the next day. I don’t know that he ever actually knew what was wrong with any of us. I remember thinking how wrong it was that someone just acted like it was no big deal. I had the opportunity to play college basketball, and he didn’t seem to care if I did or not. It was very frustrating as an athlete, and I wanted to prove that’s not how it is supposed to be done. I joined my passion of caring for others with my love for athletics and decided to major in athletic training.
What exactly is Evangel’s Athletic Training program, and what makes the program unique?
Evangel’s Athletic Training program is a comprehensive education program designed to help individuals interested in healthcare in athletics learn how to effectively recognize, prevent, evaluate, treat and rehab injuries. Our program is unique because we offer great teacher-to-student ratios, and students receive hands-on experience in the second semester of their freshman year.
What advice do you have for prospective Evangel students, especially those interested in a career in athletic training?
Observe, observe, observe as much as you can before you decide on a major. It doesn’t matter what you choose to major in your freshman year. It does matter what experiences you get before and during college to help point you in the right direction.
What has been your most memorable professional moment so far?
My most memorable moment in my professional degree comes from a year I worked with a baseball team, and an athlete lost function and feeling after surgery in his right hand. We spent months visiting doctors and trying to find out what may have happened during the surgery to cause this loss of function. He began to worry if he would be able to ever hold a baseball, play the guitar or write normally again. Finally, we found some answers and the next week, my patient had surgery again to correct what had previously been damaged. He called me that night after surgery, crying and thanking me for not giving up on him and helping him find answers.