As a youngster, John Smith received a golden nugget of advice from his father.“My dad always told me, ‘If you find something you love to do, you’ll never work a day in your life,’” said Smith, director of sports medicine at Lake Health in Lake County.
Those words and the man who delivered them will be on Smith’s mind when he is presented with the 2017 Athletic Trainer Service Award at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s annual symposium on June 28 in Houston, Texas.
The award recognizes NATA members for contributions to the athletic training profession as a volunteer at the local and state levels.
“It is very humbling, especially since it is given by national peers,” said Smith of the prestigious award. “It’s very humbling to be recognized by peers across the nation, and it helps me know I am doing the service I need to do for our patients and our athletes, to know I am serving them the best way possible.”
Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Akron in 1993, his master’s degree in exercise physiology from Akron in 1995 and his MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2009.
A longtime athletic trainer at Eastlake North, Smith has been a certified and licensed athletic trainer since 1995 and has been involved with the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association in many capacities, including the chairman of the Committee on Revenue, the Northeast Ohio Representative to the District Board and the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association District Board chairperson. He is currently the president of the OATA.
Smith, who also serves on the board of directors for the Mentor Area Chamber of Commerce, lives in Mentor with his wife and two children.
“I love what I do, and the staff I work with makes it so easy and fun,” Smith said. “I go to work every day knowing I’m going to make a difference and help people. Whether it’s a good day or a bad day, it’s always fun and something I’ll continue to love doing.”