Aug 7, 2013, 9:35 AM EDT
UNCW head men’s athletic trainer Aldo Plata recently worked alongside fellow Seahawk alum and current Atlanta Braves head athletic trainer Jeff Porter during an extended seven-game home stand at Turner Field in Atlanta, Ga.
Plata, who joined the UNCW training staff in 2006 after graduating from the school in 2003, traveled to the Braves’ home park as part of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) program administered by both Major and Minor League Baseball athletic trainers. Over the course of the trip, Plato worked closely with Porter to learn and understand techniques as well as methods of training that he can bring back to Wilmington and utilize for UNCW’s student-athletes.
“The Braves had the MLB’s top training staff last year, so I was hoping to be able to spend some time with each of their staff members,” Plata said. “I wanted to see what I could learn that I could bring back to help our student-athletes.
“I saw the day-to-day treatments and rehab that goes into keeping the players on the field for 162 games in the regular season. I learned that a lot of the treatments and rehab we do at UNCW are similar to what is done on the professional level. They just have more resources at that level of competition.”
Porter has had a wealth of experience with the Braves’ organization and has been with the club since the mid-1980s. He is currently in his 11th season as the head athletic trainer for the MLB club. The PBATS program is in its 15th year of existence, while its purpose is to expose young athletic trainers to the grind and rigors of professional baseball.
“Typically, we take underclassmen and have them come for one home stand or at least one week,” Porter said. “They can get some good experience, see what it’s like and understand the hours involved. It’s all about helping them.”
To learn more about the unique experience, click here.
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