By Andy Chirico
Elm Staff Writer
The Centennial Conference games that fans get to see are the final results of all the athletic teams’ hard work. What those people don’t see, especially those not involved with athletics, are the countless hours athletes put into perfecting their craft and pursuing a Centennial Conference championship. Since August, the men and women’s basketball teams, along with the men and women’s swimming teams, have been focusing on strength and conditioning.
The basketball and swimming teams have been under the guidance of Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Jonnie Jenkins and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Tyler Cotterell. Jenkins has overseen all of the training completed by the teams while Cotterell was able to directly worked with the men and women’s basketball teams in their pursuit for a successful season.
Since the men’s and women’s swimming practices started in late September, the teams worked through a 14-week training and swimming schedule created by the training staff for them to complete over the summer so they would arrive to school in peak-form and not waste time getting back in shape.
“We are looking forward to the winter season this year,” Jenkins said. “Men’s swimming has been extremely motivated this fall to repeat and surpass their success from last year. We currently are focusing their training on maximizing strength and shortly will be focusing on explosive exercises and reaction drills to help with their starts off the block and their turns. We have really enjoyed working with women’s swimming this fall. The team is young and motivated, and their strength numbers continue to increase. They have consistently been able to handle any exercise we throw at them. We will only see more gains in the next couple of months.”
The swimming team will have their home opener against Gettysburg on Nov. 8. Returning junior Catelyn McMenamin described their offseason schedule as a rigorous one as the men and women’s team looks to repeat its successes from last season.
“We swim for two hours Monday through Saturday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we also lift in the morning and on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we add running or biking in addition to our swimming practice. Also, many girls have added another optional lift into their schedules on Sunday nights to increase their training.”
Men and women’s basketball started their practices on Oct. 22. For training, the men’s team would train three times a week in the morning as well as spending time in the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The women’s team would train twice a week and spend one day focusing on just conditioning. Cotterell was able to focus his attention to both teams and give them proper guidance during workouts. He was able to guide the teams under two phases for their offseason lifts.
“When the (women) got back in August, we knew we had about eight weeks to directly impact their strength and conditioning levels going into their season. We essentially broke those eight weeks into two distinct phases. In the first phase (the first three weeks of September) we worked on developing the women’s core strength and their familiarity with many new exercises, while simultaneously enhancing the women’s running form. The ladies did a great job adapting to the early morning routine of getting up at 7 a.m. and putting forth maximum effort over the course of their hour with us,” he said.
The second phase Cotterell described as “more of a strength and power phase with a large focus on increasing their aerobic conditioning. This phase combines many of the concepts we worked to refine in the first three weeks of September, and now we are looking to maximize the girls’ strength levels.”
The strength and conditioning staff constructed a similar workout style for the men’s team who also has their offseason training divided into two separate phases for amplified results.
“Their first phase looked to establish a baseline level of strength while their second phase has been all about power and max strength. The guys have done an incredible job of bringing intensity to every drill we have done, and the results have been very fun to watch as coaches,” Cotterell said.