Athlete regimen incorporates strength and conditioning training
TNE Editor
/ Categories: RiverHawk Athletics

Athlete regimen incorporates strength and conditioning training

Published 11/6/17

Valeriia Efimenko

TNE Writer

Strength and conditioning programs are mandatory for all student-athletes at NSU. It is an integral part of an athlete’s training regimen.  The programs exist to help increase strength, speed and conditioning levels in athletes. It plays an essential part in athletes’ success.

Here at NSU, our mission statement is to instill strength and conditioning program where everything is performed with proper form and technique,” said Spencer Hittel, strength and conditioning assistant coach. “We want to instill the program where one with a sense of accountability, discipline and where character is emphasized and produced.”

Properly designed strength and conditioning programs at NSU lead way to positive mental and psychosocial development, as well as physical development. Another strength and conditioning coach who works together with Hittle is TJ Fleetwood.

Fleetwood is an NSU alumnus. In the past, he coached at Eastern Michigan University, Tulsa University and Mississippi State University. Fleetwood has numerous certifications. He is a National Strength and Conditioning Association certified strength and conditioning specialist, National Strength and Conditioning Association certified personal trainer and Level 1 Sports Performance coach. He is currently working to become Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association Strength and Conditioning certified.

“Our programs focus on discipline, hard work, attention to detail and evaluating and improving effort every day,” said Fleetwood. “We follow the NCAA recommendations when making up the workouts personally for each team.” 

During his time at NSU, he spent four years as a student assistant with the strength and conditioning department helping with all sports. Now, he is focusing more on football.

“I always tell my athletes to do it with enthusiasm or don't do it at all,” said Fleetwood. “It is my motto, my coaching philosophy. In addition to physical part, we also always give our athletes nutrition tips at the end of each workout to help them stay healthy.”

There are certain principles coaches follow as a program. The main purpose is to recreate the sport in the weight room. They try to correct any imbalances and protect the athletes from injuries. 

“Whenever a team enters the weight room, their workout starts with a dynamic warm up, followed by flexibility and mobility exercises,” said Hittle. “Then they start the workout, beginning with multi-joint power movements, then multi-joint strength movements, then moving to single-joint and auxiliary movements and finishing with speed, agility, change-of-direction and quickness exercises, or conditioning.”

The coaches have their own coaching philosophies, but they have one main goal, which is to help students succeed not only in whatever sport they play, but also in life.

“My personal mission statement is that I want to put 100 percent of myself into everyone that walks through the door,” said Hittle. “I want to help my athletes become better sons and daughters, better brothers and sisters, better boyfriends and girlfriends. That way they can go on to be better husbands and wives, and better fathers and mothers. I try to instill a great deal into my athletes, and I have high expectations for them.”

Strength training has both physiological and psychological benefits for student-athletes. It is essential to overall development in sports. NSU coaches dedicate themselves to their jobs, trying to get athletes on higher levels, help them to improve their performance and prevent injuries.

“I wouldn’t even make any changes to our current strength and conditioning program,” said Ukoh Essang, junior NSU football player from Arlington, Texas. “The NSU coaches do their jobs to the best of their abilities. They help us succeed and it’s up to us, players, to benefit from the end results. I think, it really takes ‘the want’ to succeed, if you really want to be successful at whatever you’re doing or pursuing.”


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