Bouncing Back

Growing up, much of Leigh Spring’s time was spent playing sports or standing on the sidelines with her father, Brian Spring, the track and field coach at Crooksville High School.

sports injuries 1“When he first became a coach, athletic training and athletic trainers weren’t very prevalent,” Spring said. “So as a physical education teacher and a health teacher, he had to learn a lot of the basic taping and techniques. I spent a lot of time watching him when I was younger.”

Those countless hours observing her father proved to be inspiring ones. Today, Spring is a licensed and certified athletic trainer with a master’s degree in her field. She is a Fairfield Medical Center employee whose salary is shared with Lancaster City Schools.

“It’s rewarding when you see an athlete through an injury, surgery and rehabilitation, and watch them play again, knowing you helped them return to that point,” she said.

Spring has been an athletic trainer for three years, beginning her career at New Lexington High School before joining FMC in August. She is the go-to person if an athlete needs taped up before a game or evaluated for an injury. As the sole athletic trainer for Lancaster High School, she’s always on the go, shuttling back and forth between practices and games.

“The challenge is trying to cover all of the sports the same,” Spring said. “Sometimes it’s difficult because practices overlap. So I try to spread my time out to make sure the kids are covered safely.”

FMC Exercise Specialist Chris Chong noted that it’s not just the Lancaster athletes Spring covers, but also athletes on the visiting teams.

Carolyn Gilliam, manager of FMC’s Outpatient Therapy Services/Sports Clinic, added Spring has been instrumental in working with the therapy staff to arrange and complete baseline testing of student athletes for concussion management.

“FMC is excited about this new opportunity to develop a relationship with LHS staff, athletes and parents by providing athletic trainer services,” she said. “It is good for the community and makes good business sense. And of course, our No. 1 goal is always safe and healthy athletes.”

Pam Bosser, the athletic director for Lancaster City Schools, said Spring is a “valuable asset” for all the athletic programs at the high school.

“Having a knowledgeable and skilled resource available for our athletes allows our coaches to coach and know that the athletes’ medical needs are being provided for,” Bosser said.

Tags: sports medicine, orthopedic, sports injuries,