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The Marquette University Sports Performance program is under the direction of Director of Sports Performance Todd Smith. Student-athletes at Marquette University enjoy access to some of the top sports performance facilities in all of collegiate athletics.
Sports performance is an integral part of the student-athlete's periodized year-round training at Marquette University. The Student-Athlete Performance staff works closely with each coaching staff and sports medicine to develop a program appropriate for their sport, catering to the strengths and weaknesses of the individual athletes.
MU features a pair of conveniently located facilities for each of its 16 intercollegiate programs to utilize, highlighted by the weight room in the Al McGuire Center. The 4,000-square foot state-of-the-art facility recently underwent a complete update in the summer of 2013, featuring a new floor, layout and equipment.
The second weight room, located in Marquette Gym, gives the Golden Eagles a pair of spacious areas to conduct workout sessions.
The Marquette strength staff is directed by Todd Smith, who is assisted on a full-time basis by Maggie Smith, Dan Kant-Hull, Stuart Roche, and Emily Jacobson. Numerous interns are also employed by the athletics department, allowing specialized focus on each and every program.
The goal of the athletic performance staff is to prepare the athletes for the physical and mental demands of their sport. Physically, an increase in strength improves durability, decreasing the risk of injury. Strength training focuses on the use of free weight multi-joint exercises. Olympic Weightlifting movements and plyometrics teach athletes explosiveness. Speed, quickness, and agility drills help to transfer the gained strength and power to the athletic arena. In addition, just as athletics places mental demands on the athletes and teams, training focuses on the development of mental toughness and team cohesiveness. Athletes are taught to train through their comfort zone and work with their teammates to achieve optimal performance.
All training is monitored through multiple player tracking devices. Catapult is a device that the athletes wear between their shoulder blades that will track and quantify all of the work that they are doing at practices and conditioning sessions. This data allows the Sports Performance, Sports Medicine, and coaching staffs to know exactly what that physical demands are being placed on the athlete. Knowing what the athletes are doing and the demands that are required for them allow the Sports Performance staff to tailor workouts to meet their specific needs in order to compete at the highest levels. Another monitoring device that the Sports Performance staff utilizes is Eliteform, which is a velocity tracking system that is used in the weight room. This device allows the Sports Performance staff to monitor the speed in the weight room.
This information is then used to determine the weight that the athlete should use in order to yield the most powerful and explosive exercises that will benefit the athlete in their given sport. By being powerful and explosive in the weight room, the athlete will develop their physical abilities and will become more powerful and explosive in their sport.
Conditioning workouts train for the metabolic demands of the sport through the manipulation of work intervals, rest intervals, movements and distances. Sport specific conditioning tests are performed throughout the year in order to monitor changes in fitness and speed, as well, as to motivate the athletes to perform at their highest level during each workout. The sports performance programs are designed to improve strength and durability, as well as teach the body to perform explosively in athletic movements. All workouts are designed to work the entire body, focusing on quality, not quantity.
The athletic performance department is excited to participate in the development of each of the athletes' careers at Marquette and feels that sports performance is an essential component to the success of all athletes regardless of age, sport or ability level.