A football player in a lacrosse town, Braun was part of a very small group to ever make it out of the town to play Division I football when he went to West Virginia University. But once he got there, he learned everything he needed to know to succeed in life.
Braun, who had multiple stops at NFL teams after graduating from WVU, is now the Performance Director for the Townson, Maryland location of Power Train Sports & Fitness. There, Braun is responsible for training athletes as well as most of the behind-the-scenes work for the business.
“Power Train is where I did my NFL combine training,” Braun said of how he found out about the company. “Don Barclay and Tyler Urban worked out there, and so did Pat Eger. A group of us trained in Pittsburgh with them.”
Braun credited Power Train for helping him make stops in NFL towns such as Baltimore and Miami for training camps, but more importantly for giving him a chance to pursue a career after football.
“I spent 25 years of my life as a success in football,” Braun said in a recent interview with WVUPros. “But that was just the beginning of my life.
“Since leaving West Virginia, it’s been a whirlwind,” Braun continued. “I’ve only been gone three years but being to utilize every principle that I learned and taking them to real life has helped me out tremendously. I realized that coming out of that level of football, you have certain traits that businesses look for.”
For any athlete, the decision to call it quits can be a hard one. For Braun, it was one that made sense and one that gave him the opportunity to return home to Maryland and join a company that has given him a new dream.
“It hurt to put the pads away and it wasn’t always fun to realize the dream of playing in the NFL wasn’t going to happen,” Braun admitted. “Playing at the professional level for me is done. The window of opportunity was very small. Now at this point it’s more about putting all of my efforts into this business. For the longest time I was on the West Virginia Mountaineers. Now, it’s a different team, different game.”
Now, Braun goes to work every day and looks forward to helping the different types of customers that come through the doors of Power Train, including youth, professionals and anyone in between with any kind of fitness goal.
“It was a great opportunity,” Braun said of the chance to begin a career at the company. “It was right place, right time.”
When he’s not working, Braun’s athlete mentality still churns through his body, though. The Mountaineer spends any extra time he has working out or reading any business book that he can get his hands on.
“Anything I can do to get a leg up…. that goes back to football,” he said.
Everything he does can be traced back to his time learning as a Mountaineer, including the biggest piece of advice he’s ever received.
“Coach Stew (Bill Stewart) always said you win with people,” he said. “If you don’t have the right people around you or people that care about you, you won’t be successful.”