It’s no secret that The Bahamas is saturated with athletic talent across each genre. While athletes train at the highest possible level around the country, the world of athletic training continues to evolve.
Local athletic trainer, DeVaughn Gow, hopes to add to that evolution on the island as he continues to introduce a holistic styled approach with his training program. Operating out of CrossFit Island, Gow’s ambition is to help athletes at all levels understand and own their body’s abilities.
Known as kinesiology, which is the science of movement, the 35-year-old gained experience in the field during his time as an exercise science major at the University of Tampa. While there, the former student/athlete had the opportunity of working and training with a number of elite athletes, from combat sports to crew (rowing). While a student at the school Gow had the chance of working with some notable names, such as former National Basketball Association All-Star Tracy McGrady, Mark Jackson, and karate champion John Franklin. Those opportunities came to him through his mentors at the time, Eric Hall and Raphael Luiz.
He later went on to become certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Although he was naturally gifted as an athlete he found his passion in helping others, which jump-started his now 15-year training career. Even more, he would like to see the everyday residents get into the habit of achieving their fitness goals.
While most programs on the island have helped athletes reached their potential, Gow voiced to this daily that his goal is always in the interest of injury prevention.
“With my background in student-athletics, I played men’s basketball while I was in university. It gave me a particular viewpoint on the athletic training department - mobilities, helping to recover and prevent injuries.
“From what I noticed about our athletes, national and otherwise, we have a lot of talent, but very few have had an opportunity to hone that into a skill. But regardless of the level of ability, we all have the same problem which is longevity.
“So, my experience with mobilities, functional patterns and other ways of developing strength, I think that can lend itself to national and local athletes in not just training to become stronger, but also to prevent and resist injury.”
Gow shared that in the past he has worked with some schools voluntarily to assist with their athletic training. However, he admitted that it was difficult conveying the essence of what he had to offer. Nonetheless, he did find some success in getting people to experience the benefits of kinesthetics.
“A lot of people had a hard time understanding and sometimes were intimidated, when I explained to them at first. Others were in disbelief and felt they should try, before they measured it.
“Those who tried it kept coming back because they felt the benefits and saw the benefits of what it does for them, not just functionally, but overall - strength, shape, size and sculpting. It’s one of the best things for athletes to develop strength and functional awareness while they’re doing their sports," he said.
Over the years Gow has built up the reputation of meeting clients where they are at physically, whether experienced or inexperienced. He says the most important aspect in training is developing better habits throughout the entire process.
“It’s best to make everything applicable to their ability level as possible. So, I meet people where they are, and we build from that. I don’t believe in piling on. There are a lot of people who have been training for their lives and had bad experiences. So there are a lot of bad habits built up.
“So, since that cup is already full, I try not to fill it too much and just take it away. It’s like actual sculpting, removing what’s unnecessary. From that then you can start building and seeing where you can take your body. And because some people build up bad habits, it takes a little longer to get rid of those bad habits.”
Whether a person is training just to get fit, or an athlete is seeking ways to become better at their craft, Gow shared his only goal is to help people achieve the highest level of confidence possible.
“Invest in yourself. You can change everything around you and change everything about your life. If you’re an executive you’re gonna be fitter, leaner, radiant. People are going to want you simply because of the confidence you carry around because of what you developed inside here.
“If you’re a student athlete or semi-professional athlete, when you go back out, the amount of improvement you’re going to experience in such a short amount of time, is going to baffle your coaches.
“I’ve seen people invest thousands of hours, sweat, blood, tears, injuries. And the same thing they put all that into, they had taken away from them in the blink of an eye. I hate to see those dreams die and at some point, you have to try and get past the last place you were at.
“Buddy Hield, for example, he developed a particular ability and honed that into a skill enough to garner the attention of someone who needed that skill. Now they take him and round off the rest of skills to make him a complete player. That’s what it’s about.”