The March NATA News features an article about women in leadership and how to address barriers and challenges to becoming a leader. In honor of Women’s History Month this March, NATA would like to keep this conversation going through a monthlong blog series highlighting our female leaders. Each blog will feature a different NATA council or committee chair, who will share insights into her leadership journey and what she’s learned along the way.
In this blog, Lovie Tabron, MS, LAT, ATC, chair of the NATA ATs Care Commission, shares how she watched other NATA leaders serve the athletic training profession, which ultimately pushed her to overcome her shyness and become a vocal and strong leader.
Lovie Tabron, MS, LAT, ATC
NATA ATs Care Commission Chair
Behavioral Medicine Coordinator at the University of Georgia Athletic Association
What inspired you to take on a leadership position? Were you personally attracted to this role for any reasons?
Mentors inspired me to consider a leadership position. Looking at people like Ron Courson, ATC, PT, NRAEMT, MaryBeth Horodyski, EdD, LAT ATC, Janah Fletcher, EdD, LAT, ATC, and Rachael Oates, and the countless hours they spend volunteering for the betterment of others made me want to serve. The mission of ATs Care and the purpose on which it was founded further pushed my desire to serve through this channel.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a woman in a leadership position?
The most rewarding part is hearing moments or stories about when my service has inspired someone else. District Three Director Katie Walsh Flanagan, EdD, LAT, ATC, has always taught me to walk a path in a manner that others want to follow. This has stuck with me for years!
Do you think it’s important for more women to take leadership positions in athletic training? Why or why not?
I think it is very important. Historically, athletic training has been a male dominate field, and if we want to share the space, we must do our part to create a future that is inclusive of us.
How do you manage to balance work, life and volunteer leadership positions?
It is hard, but honestly, the relationships I have gained through volunteer leadership helps me to balance. The people I serve with have become family, and we all do a good job of making sure there are down moments. We also make sure to share those with one another through pictures or conversation.
If younger you was looking at yourself now, what do you think they’d say? Would they have believed you’d become such a successful woman?
My younger self would say, “I’m so glad you came out of that shell.” I struggled for years with being uncomfortable in spaces where I was surrounded by strangers and would kind of hermit myself instead of talking and getting to know people. I now understand that we are only strangers until we say “hello.” I challenge myself to say “hello,” break the ice, meet a new person and learn something about them no matter how short the interaction is. Lastly, little Lovie would be very surprised at how much I like talking in front of people now. Years past, I was even scared to stand up and address my team that I worked with every day in a team meeting.
What advice do you have for women who aspire to do what you do?
Be the person you need to see as you decide your path in life. As a Black AT, it took years for me to truly believe that I had a place in the profession because I did not see people who looked like me. Through leadership positions, you gain visibility, and that could potentially impact lots of other people that look like you.