ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Sports heroes are celebrated for their hard work and achievement. Often overlooked are the athletic trainers who help them by preventing, assessing, treating and rehabilitating injuries.
Chauncey Keith is one of the best in Albany.
"I really do enjoy seeing somebody go from a position where they couldn't do much at all suffering from an injury to going back throughout the whole process and then achieving goals," said the Phoebe Sports Medicine certified athletic trainer.
Sherwood Christian soccer coaches say Keith does a great job of keeping players healthy and on the field. Coach Jeremy Davidson says it takes pressure off coaching staffs.
"If I had to address those things as a coach," reminded Davidson. "I wouldn't be very effective at actually coaching on the field during game times. So it opens up doors. It allows us to take our program to the next level."
Keith said one of the more important parts of the job is deciphering the severity of injuries, and levels of risk with athletes.
"Recognizing when an injury is something minor and somebody can get back out there and play, or it's something a little bit more serious where it takes a little bit more time to recover."
Trainers also help make sure athletes get proper rest and nutrition. And when injuries do happen, they jump into action.
"One case in particular where he was right there in order to address a pretty severely broken leg," Davidson recalled. "He was able to splint it to the point where had he not been there the recovery period would have bee a whole lot longer."
"We look to return to play as quickly and safely as possible," said Keith.
And finding that perfect balance is what makes strong athletic trainers.
For tips on how to prevent injuries, visit the National Athletic Training Association website.