A WALK WITH A HAWK ... FEATURING: KEVIN BROWN
Jan. 17, 2013
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Injuries are an inevitable part of athletics. No matter how much prevention is put in place to stop them, injuries do occur. This concept makes the job of an athletic trainer all the more important; a job that has a direct bearing on the long term success of a sports program.
The main role of this underappreciated profession is to assist student-athletes in their recovery and to help them prevent future injuries. An athletic trainer must be optimistic yet real, friendly yet stern.
Luckily for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, its athletic training staff is one of the best around. The staff is led by Head Athletic Trainer, Pat Nativio, who many distinguish as one of the top professionals at the school. She has had the luxury of having several noteworthy assistant trainers in her tenure at UMES, including Taryn Arvold and Randy Kaplan. Her staff was recognized as Hawks of the Year in 2008-09.
So, when the assistant spot became open this past year, Nativio was faced with the dilemma of having some big shoes to fill. Her search finished with the hiring of Kevin Brown.
"Kevin is a quick learner," said Nativio. "With this type of job it makes you think on your feet. You never know what is going to hit you. He is young in the profession, but he fits in very well. Kevin came from a clinical setting and learned a lot of the clinical aspects of athletic training. I find that as a positive."
He works with the men's basketball team and assists Nativio with the day-to-day responsibilities. He is in charge of the office while Nativio is out, all the while overseeing the health of every student-athlete donning the maroon and gray. Earlier this year, Brown was the first health professional on the scene to handle a serious injury inside the William P. Hytche Athletic Center. It was his professional response that made the situation better for all parties involved.
Brown brings an extensive resume to Princess Anne. He previously served as an assistant at York (Pa.) College for two years and worked as a physical therapy technician at Tidewater Physical Therapy. He was a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Salisbury University from 2008-10 and worked with some of the school's top athletic programs.
He earned a Masters Degree from SU in Applied Health Physiology and assisted athletic training students as an Approved Clinical Instructor. Brown is also a Certified Athletic Trainer, Professional Rescuer, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and National Strength and Conditioning Association.
"It's Division I," said Brown. "There was a job posting on the NATA website and I decided to apply for the position. I knew of UMES through an alumnus who was a former employer. He received his Masters in Physical Therapy from UMES. While working with him, we attended a cadaver lab here."
Brown's calling to be an athletic trainer stems from the athlete within himself. He was a four-sport athlete in high school as he played baseball, soccer, swimming and track & field. He pole-vaulted on the track teams. Brown also enjoys body boarding, ice hockey and street hockey in his leisure time.
It is his belief on how to turn adversity into a positive experience that separates him from the others.
"You face adversity every day of your life," said Brown. "It is how you deal with it that makes you a better person."
Such a thought process is an important thing to hold onto in athletic training. In a job where career-ending and life-threating injuries happen, such an outlook is key.
Brown also offers that it is knowledge that breeds success.
"The key to success is knowledge," said Brown. "The training staff here is knowledgeable, experienced and professional."
Knowledge is something that Brown does not lack. Aside from earning a Masters Degree in Athletic Training, he is a NATABOC certified athletic trainer and has obtained his Maryland State Licensure. He notes that Anatomy and Physiology are the most essential part of athletic training.
The next time you see come to the William P. Hytche Athletic Center to watch the men's basketball team, know that there is more to the team that what is on the court. There is a man in a suit behind the bench that holds a valuable spot; one that is the glue in keeping the players on the floor.
He is as much a part of the team as any other. Although his work goes unnoticed to some, the health and fitness of the team is a direct result of his work.
Win or lose, his job never changes.
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