Strength and conditioning program helps athletes succeed
By: Kyle O’Whene, AU ’14
At Aurora University, there’s a strong tradition of excellence both on and off the playing fields as an NCAA Division III institution. Coaches know how important it is to develop the fundamentals of the game, in addition to instilling leadership, time management, communication and citizenship skills. This strategy has led to major achievements, with Spartans capturing more than 115 conference championships and appearing in more than 60 NCAA tournaments since joining the NCAA in 1982.
To build on this success, AU launched the Spartan Strength and Conditioning Program, an initiative to assist AU student-athletes with individualized training to help them meet their performance goals. Chad Trudo, AU ’09, was hired to help develop and oversee the program as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach.
“Everything we do is primarily scientific based, and as a result, we have seen a dramatic decrease in sports injuries,” said Trudo. “With the training program being so new, there are current student-athletes who have been at AU since the start of the program who have been able to see the benefits first-hand.”
Corey Loubert, a senior men’s lacrosse player and current intern of the program, has experienced the program as a student-athlete and as someone who is working alongside Trudo to help train others. “Athletes want to get in the weight room, but often do not use the proper form to gain maximum productivity,” said Loubert. “Teaching form and technique to translate to the field is the purpose of the program.”
The sport specificity of each program allows athletes to get stronger, jump higher, run faster and gain an edge on the competition. Mariah Ziegenbein, a senior women’s soccer player, is a supporter of the program and the direction it is headed. Throughout her training, Ziegenbein saw the biggest improvements with endurance on the field and in the weight room. “I am able to lift more and longer,” she said. “On the field, you could tell who went through the program and showed up every day to train.”
Brit March, junior cross country and track and field runner, also has been impressed with the training. “The workouts have definitely helped,” said March. “They are specialized to my sport and even specialized to my events in track. I feel that they have made me a stronger runner. I’m eager to continue to move forward with the program.”
The AU Athletic Strength and Conditioning Facility underwent a complete renovation in 2012 and is now a top exercise facility in the region. For more information on Aurora University athletics, visit athletics.aurora.edu.