By Kyle Uptmore
This summer I had the opportunity to complete my internship with EXOS at their Google site in Mountain View, California and I easily had the best summer of my life there. Nearly every morning I was waking up before my 5:15am alarm ready to take the day on. Words can't describe how out of the ordinary the everyday life at Google is. From seeing self-driving cars to sitting down and eating duck leg and quinoa meatballs for lunch, it was an uncommon internship experience.
Google incorporates the EXOS methodology into helping their employees perform at their best capability. This is the same methodology that they use with their NFL athletes preparing for the combine tests every winter as well as helping the German National Team win this year's World Cup. The methodology revolves around their four pillars which are mindset, movement, nutrition, and recovery. Each employee is given the opportunity to be educated using these four pillars to help them reach their full potential as an employee for the top company to work for.
My primary duties for the internship involved coaching, interacting with members, giving orientations, and learning the EXOS methodology. Every day I was given detailed constructive criticism on my coaching ability and effectiveness on communicating with the employees. It's very common in most internship experiences for a coach to learn how to correctly perform strength training exercises themselves, but to receive feedback on how the coach is instructing the exercises to the athlete isn't a type of art that I've ever really had much help with in my years of coaching. A quick example of this would be to have a conscious awareness of using external cues whenever possible. This got me thinking creatively on how to effectively communicate better when coaching. They told me early on that having a strong background in biomechanics and physiology will help but it almost means nothing if you can’t translate the information to the athlete in layman’s terms.
There are over 12 gyms on the Google campus, and my internship experience took place at 3 of them. There were a wide range of goals for the employees at Google. Most were there for general wellness by strength training 2-3x per week and running in the occasional 5k to half marathon, but there definitely was a strength and performance culture there. There were quite a few more serious trainees involved in semi-professional sports such as football, soccer, and rugby. There were also quite a few competitive Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters.
Most of the other EXOS performance coaches there had strong backgrounds in coaching high level athletes prior to working at EXOS at Google. They were all very active individuals with their own performance goals much like you see here at the ETSU. They made my experience as an intern a very good one.
I think everyone should someday take a weeklong trip to Northern California to visit San Francisco along with some of the most scenic views in the country. It was also quite exciting to spend time with some of the world's finest employees on a daily basis. I would easily relive this experience again if I had the choice to.