Vito Maffei
Minor League Athletic Trainer, San Francisco Giants, Augusta, Georgia
Vito Maffei

Covering the bases

As an athletic trainer for the San Francisco Giants organization, Vito is responsible for providing medical care to players, coaches and personnel; developing rehabilitation plans, return-to-play progressions, diagnosis and prognosis; and educating players, coaches and support staff on injury prevention and general health. He works in Scottsdale, Arizona, during spring training and serves with the Augusta GreenJackets Class A team during the season. Prior to joining the Giants’ organization, Vito served as an athletic trainer at Hastings Orthopaedics in Hastings, Nebraska, and earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation sciences from California University of Pennsylvania.

How did you decide on a career in athletic training?
I wanted to major in athletic training because it allowed me to help others while still being involved in athletics. I’ve always been an athlete and a big sports fan, and this field enables me to work in an environment I love. I also understand how frustrating, scary and painful injuries can be, and as an athletic trainer, I have the knowledge and skills to help athletes out during these unfortunate times.

Why did you choose to attend Northwestern?
I was recruited to play football. But after I arrived on campus, I learned how great the college was and how much more it had to offer. Northwestern has great programs, both academically and athletically. The college helps students not only build their knowledge for the future, but also grow in their faith. Not many schools achieve this balance, but Northwestern does it well.

What did you appreciate most about the kinesiology faculty?
Northwestern is like a big family. The kinesiology faculty cared about me not just as a student but as a person. Being more than 1,700 miles away from home, I didn’t always get to travel back to California for holidays, but my professors would be the first to make sure I had somewhere to go. Even today, my family and I are grateful for the kinesiology department.

How did your Northwestern education prepare you for grad school and your job?
Northwestern’s athletic training program prepared me in many ways. In addition to the knowledge I gained from my classes, the faculty gave us the freedom to learn and experience being on our own during our senior internship, and they were always there to guide us to the finish line.

What do you miss most since graduation?
I have a lot of fond memories from my time at Northwestern, but I’m especially grateful for the friendships. I made friendships that will last the rest of my life. It was the simple things—like going out to dinner or studying together—that made my time there so special. I loved every minute of living with my best friends.

How did studying kinesiology strengthen your faith?
Kinesiology classes can be very challenging. Trying to balance football with homework, there were times when I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. But these studies helped me strengthen my faith by placing more emphasis on my trust in God. During stressful times I would step back and pray and focus my energy on relying on God. I learned that with faith, nothing is impossible, and I owe that to my time in the kinesiology department.