Not all heroes wear capes

 

AthleticTrainerbyRichardNguyen

Having the willpower and patience to help others when they are in need no matter what the problem or injury is says a lot. The determination to stand by her word and help out every athlete that she can is what Jenny Spearman does.

An athletic trainer from Elk City, Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and a minor in psychology from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Spearman has all the determination she needs. She is your all-around girl: outgoing, friendly, and fun to be around. Although she has all those great characteristics, she takes her job and career seriously when it comes to treating athletes with recovery or rehab.

“It takes a lot of patience and you deal with a variety of personalities and a variety of different backgrounds and not everyone handles the injury the same way,” Spearman said.

She originally attended KC from 2009-11 and received her Associate of Art while after finishing up at KC. While attending KC, she was a student athletic trainer and was also involved on campus. She was on the Homecoming Court in 2010, was a member of TRIO, a Ranger Ambassador, a member of the Student Government Association, and on the student committee. While being a student trainer, she dealt with the football and the basketball teams.

“I love every sport equally but I have a special place in my heart for basketball because I played basketball myself,” she said.

The day in the life as an assistant head trainer can be quite busy at times and it all starts at 9 every morning. After an early morning kickoff, any athlete of any sport can receive treatment or rehab up until 1:30. Once women’s basketball practice starts around 1, Spearman heads to the gym to check on the players. She then moves out to the football field to tape and prep the football players for their practice. After football practice wraps up around 6, Spearman finally has the opportunity to head home.

She is one tough cookie and handles the many obstacles thrown her way with ease. Although the day in the life of an assistant trainer sounds hectic, game day is a whole different story.

Treatments for game days start around 12:30 and last an hour. After all the student trainers, as well as the head and assistant trainers, finish dispersing the treatments, everyone heads to Whataburger for a traditional lunch before going to the field. All trainers come together after grabbing a bite to eat at 2:30 to walk the entire field to check for any bobby pins that might have fallen out of a drill team member’s hair or for other sharp objects. After the field has been checked, it is set up for the game which consists of four to five coolers on the home and visitor’s sidelines. One portable table is added to each of the home and visitor’s sidelines and a few coolers are dropped off in the visiting team’s locker-room. After the field is prepared, all the trainers head over to tape and prep the football players for the game. Once all athletes are taped and suited, the trainers head out for kick off.

During a typical football game, Spearman follows the ball, regardless of whether KC is on defense or offense, and makes sure no one gets hurt on a play. She also has the job to keep all players hydrated and ready to play as the game rolls on. After the final score and the game has come to an end, every trainer supplies bags of ice for the athletes who may have tight muscles. The trainers then return to the field to clean. All coolers and portable tables are returned to the field house, sometimes pushing their end time back another hour after the game before they finally get to head home.

“You definitely have to have dedication because athletic training includes long hours and you have little or no off days,” Spearman said.

Spearman has helped many athletes on their journey during her two years as an assistant head trainer at KC. She has taken over and helped bring injured athletes back who have come off of ACL surgery to excel in every aspect of their chosen sport.

“Jenny is the best trainer. She has pushed me to keep going and not stop, she has helped me build my confidence and to always stay positive,” said Hennessey Handy, Joliet Illinois freshman a KC women’s basketball player who is now recovering from a torn ACL.

“Jenny was by far the most supportive trainer through my recovering process. She was always checking in on my progress on a daily basis, and motivated me positively to move forward,” said Bayleigh Garcia, New Boston freshman.

“The athletes I help who are coming off an injury may hate me at times, but they know I am only doing it out of love because I want to see them back in action just as much as they do,” Spearman said.

Spearman said she always knew she wanted to work in the medical field because she has a soft heart but she knew she couldn’t work with older people, and she enjoyed sports. Finding an in-between, between sports and the medical field, helped her decide to be an athletic trainer.

“My true love has always been to help people better themselves, so that is what I intend to do,” she said.

Her dream job is to be a head athletic trainer at a high school. However, although athletic training is her first and true love, everyone has to have a backup plan in life. Spearman is currently pursuing a master’s degree in athletic administration from Texas A&M—Commerce and intends to graduate in May.