Feb. 12, 2009
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As a student-athlete, Vanderbilt's young men and women often act as ambassadors for the university within the immediate community and throughout the sporting community. During their time at VU, the Commodore athletes also progress in their athletic development.
A couple of weeks ago, four Commodores not only acted as ambassadors, but also made strides in their strength and conditioning development.
Megan and Molly Kinsella, Elizabeth Lillie and Nicole Lukens, members of the VU soccer team, demonstrated athlete testing procedures to a group of about 50 coaches in the National Strength and Conditioning Association's (NSCA) Fly Solo Camp at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on Jan. 8.
"I was really proud of our athletes, both for volunteering their time and for their efforts in front of a large group of coaches," said Mark Davis, a VU strength coach. "I thought they represented themselves, their program and the university in first class fashion."
Davis used to work with Body Epley, the NSCA Director of Coaching, at Nebraska when the latter held the head strength coach position at that university. Epley knew his former co-worker resided in the area, and contacted Davis about finding some athletes to participate in the camp.
"So I just helped him coordinate," noted Davis, who then contacted the Vanderbilt soccer players about volunteering their time. "He (Epley) and the coaches in attendance were very appreciative of our four athletes."
On the day of the camp, Megan, Molly, Lillie and Lukens were entered into a computer program that put the athletes into a competition format where they competed in hang-clean testing, the 10-yard dash, a Pro-Agility run and the vertical jump. The computer program then ranked the participants from Nos. 1-4 based on the results of their performance.
"They made it a competition in order to show how a certain software can determine your abilities and compare you with other athletes," Molly remarked.
The four participants not only represented Vanderbilt in fine fashion, but also gained valuable experience for their personal athletic development and managed to have a good time doing it.
"I thought it was a lot of fun, but my favorite part was the program they used," stated Molly. "I had never seen anything like that. It would tell you how many reps of how much weight or how fast you had to run to come in first place."
"By attending the Camp, we all got to represent the VU soccer team and it made us more aware of what is commonly tested at different programs" Megan testified.
"I had never done any of those tests before, but getting to know our times, weight and vertical jumps was pretty cool. We were all able to get a grasp of where we stand and our strengths and weaknesses."