The Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) athletic program on the Waco campus is in full swing, with many of our youth participating in football and volleyball this fall. MCH also offers youth the opportunity to participate in basketball and track at different times during the school year, and for the first time this year, golf.
Sarah Arocha, athletic trainer, has been with MCH for five years. Arocha earned her Bachelor of Science in Education in athletic training and earned a master’s degree in sports management, both from Baylor University. During games, Arocha is a mainstay on the sidelines, keeping a sharp eye on the players during live action and consulting with athletes on the sidelines throughout the competition.
“Often people are not sure of what I do, so I explain that athletic training is a branch of sports medicine,” said Arocha. “As the athletic trainer my responsibilities are to prevent, evaluate, treat and rehabilitate athletic injuries. I try to educate our students that as an athlete they have the responsibility to themselves and to their teammates to take care of their bodies.”
Another part of prevention is education. MCH athletic staff promote healthy habits by encouraging our student athletes to eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and report any injuries.
“Youth in our care face many challenges, but when they participate in athletics, it is an opportunity during practice and games, to have fun and learn something new about themselves,” Arocha said.
“What I enjoy the most about my job is seeing the smiles on our student athletes’ faces when they get the volleyball over the net for the first time or make their first basket,” she said. “When a student is injured I am calm and reassuring because I know they are automatically thinking the worst. I try to build trust by being there for them when they are not feeling their best or spending one on one time with them, encouraging them when they are doing their physical therapy.”
Athletic staff keep the students who may be out with an injury connected by letting the student assist coaches, give pointers to other players or cheer on their teammates during practice.
Matt Rodgers, athletic director and Arocha’s supervisor, had this to share: “Sarah is a huge asset not only to MCH athletics but to the MCH community. She serves in many different areas and is a constant source of reassurance and gives our youth confidence through our athletic programs.”