Editor’s Note: In celebration of National Athletic Training month in March, one of Eastern Connecticut State University’s four graduate assistant athletic trainers – two of whom work with varsity athletes and two with club athletes -- will be profiled in this space each week this month by Sports Information intern Samantha McKosky, a junior English major from Deep River. The second segment in this series profiles Sarah Myers from Portsmouth, NH.
The Connecticut Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA) is promoting National Athletic Trainers’ in order to inform the public on the importance and positive impact of athletic trainers. Athletic trainers help prevent, diagnose and treat injuries and keep their athletes active in their sport as much as possible. They work in various job settings including those in college, clinical, emerging and professional sports. Professions in the field are highly multi-skilled individuals. They have a high level of skills that also involve planning rehabilitation treatments, giving health care instructions and basing decisions to the best of their knowledge with the help of other athletic trainers.
By Samantha McKosky’19 / Sports Information Intern
Sarah Myers has worked within Eastern’s athletic department as a graduate assistant athletic trainer for club sport athletes for the past two years as she pursues her Ph.D in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science from the University of Connecticut.
As an athletic trainer, Myers currently provides care to the men’s and women’s rugby, football, ice hockey and cheerleading athletes. She has the authorization and skills to evaluate, prevent and rehabilitate an athletes’ injury as well as deliver first aid and emergency care.
Myers earned a spot in UConn’s Ph.D program because of her previous faculty advisor from her undergraduate. “She actually called me up one day and said ‘Hey we have this opening, its pretty last minute so to run an official search may be difficult but I know you are looking to get your Ph.D. Is this something you’d be interested in?’, and I said absolutely.” Throughout the years, Myers and her advisor kept in touch and the advisor has been a special advocate for previous jobs and for her Master’s Degree.
Myers felt confident going back to UConn for her Ph.D by having the previous four-year experience as an undergraduate there and is currently a graduate assistant through UConn.
When she began her PhD, there were a few openings for a graduate assistant placement in athletic training in the state of Connecticut. Eastern’s athletic trainers, Julie Alexander and Tom Holton, knew Myers was the prefect fit at Eastern from among the applicant pool.
“Sarah is an intelligent, articulate individual with the skill needed to provide high quality healthcare to our club sport as well as our NCAA student-athletes,” praises Alexander. “Providing care for club sport athletes is unique and we are proud that our university administration supports providing this care for these teams. Sarah has been the perfect athletic trainer to help us refine and run this portion of our athletic training department. ”
Myers’ education for her Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training began at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2004. She transferred to UConn after a year because she felt disconnected being far from her home in New England and later graduated in 2008. A campus visit and interactions with the professors in the program at UConn made her attracted to the school. Myers earned her M.Ed. from Columbus State University in 2010 with a concentration in Health and Physical Education (PK-12).
At the UConn, Myers is primarily involved in two types of qualitative research. Myers works as a teacher in a clinical setting as a preceptor educating future athletic training students from UConn in order for her students to prepare themselves for the future in a real-life setting. For example, the students have the opportunity to practice mock injury evaluations on real patients. Myers is primarily involved in two types of qualitative research. The first area of focus is preceptor development. The research helps develop preceptors who are certified athletic trainers that may not have formal educational backgrounds in hopes of providing them tools to be effective educators to athletic training students.
The second area of research focus Myers helps with is clinical immersion. Clinical immersion practice is when an athletic training student works at a clinical site, as if they were employed, for course credit, to give them a broader scope of understanding what the profession entails."
After taking a sports medicine class taught by a certified athletic trainer in high school, Myers as inspired to major in athletic training and education. “The athletic sports-side has always been super appealing to me,” she says, “but also helping and educating people has also been pretty high up on my passions list.”
Myers has never worked in the level of club sports. She has experience working with Division I athletes at UConn and with high school athletes. Occasionally, Myers and colleague Steve Davi will cover for Eastern’s varsity athletes when the varsity athlete training staff is short-handed.
Myers admires the competitive energy of Eastern’s club sports carries and is pleased to have had an easy transition. “Julie (Alexander) and Tom (Holton) have been great by being very welcoming” she says, “And having Steve (Davi) my first year was really helpful to have him to know the ins and outs of the little things.” She also appreciates the support from the administration and athletic department.
As Myers looks ahead into her bright career, having fun with her athletes and using her skills at Eastern has been a great experience working with club athletes. Her passion for teaching in an athletic training program is her ultimate goal.
Eastern Connecticut State University would like to acknowledge Sarah Myers for her leadership and the expertise that she gives to Eastern’s club, and occasionally varsity, athletes every day.
Next installment in the four-part series: Steven Davi, Jr.