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.
By Ben Gleason
Meg Stone and I initially contacted Science Hill High School athletic director Keith Turner and football head coach Stacy Carter in April of 2013. They agreed to meet and discuss my internship in the weight room over the summer, working with football athletes from rising 9th graders to seniors. I began the internship in May 2013 and stayed with them until formal practices began in August.
For the first summer, I found the experience to be of the highest quality. The coaching staff allowed me to independently design and implement the entire summer lifting program. At least one coach was on hand to assist at all workouts, and the staff was excellent to work with.
High school athletes are both challenging and rewarding to work with. I took kids who had no skill level with the lifts we use, and established competence in a few weeks. This was some of the hardest coaching I have ever done, as the athlete to coach ratio was very high. The athletes gained considerable strength over the course of the summer, and most had very fast buy-in to our methods.
Because the experience was so good, I decided to return to Science Hill to run a second summer lifting program in 2014. This time Hugo Santana (2nd year PhD) and Jeremy Sommers (undergrad) joined me to implement the workouts. Coaching the group was much easier with the other ETSU student-coaches helping. The summer went very smoothly.
I asked Coach Carter if I could conduct my fall semester internship with Science Hill football through the season, both helping with the lifting program and coaching on-field. I was assigned to coach the 9th and 10th grade linemen, and oversee the lifts for freshmen through varsity. On Friday nights I was asked to assist with varsity sideline management and other tasks as assigned. I frequently find myself acting as a consultant to Coach Carter regarding fatigue management and getting the volume of practice programming right—a very valuable and rewarding situation.
Overall I have found the experience working with the Science Hill football program to be as good as it gets. I highly recommend the experience to other students—the staff highly respects our program and the training we receive, and have used us as valued resources. The coaching staff provides a quality environment for the kids, and it is a good athletics program to be associated with.
By Aubrey VanGoethem
Velocity Sports Performance was developed in 1999 by Loren Seagrave as a program to train student athletes to develop their speed, power, and agility. Since its conception, Velocity has grown to over 60 training centers across North America, including housing a center in Bristol, TN.
As an intern at Velocity, I was taken through the program’s methodology in small pieces each week. At the beginning of the internship, I was given a manual containing the program methodology and my progress was assessed at the end of each week with a quiz regarding questions from the topic(s) discussed. Topics included acceleration mechanics, maximum velocity mechanics, multidirectional movement, warm-up and soft-tissue considerations, strength characteristics, adult fitness, functional movement assessments and performance testing, and others (i.e. considerations of training in heat). These concepts were learned during the internship through a combination of lecture, self teaching, “teach backs,” and hands-on activities (i.e. coaching classes). Each week I was given a larger portion of the class to coach, ending the internship coaching full classes (soft tissue/warm-up, movement component, weight room component, and aerobic conditioning) and helping to program future strength blocks.
In addition to learning the Velocity program methodology and way of practice, I was also given the unique opportunity to prepare for the CSCS exam. Given its importance and necessity in our field, this internship was very much designed to help prepare students to take this exam. I was given access to an old NSCA textbook in addition to old CSCS practice tests. Through this preparation, I was given the chance to note which subjects I needed to focus on more during my studies and ask questions if I needed further clarification.
Overall, I would highly recommend this internship to anyone who is interested. The Sports Performance Director (Jason Moreno) at the Bristol facility is highly passionate about training new coaches and excels at it. It is sometimes difficult to drive the 40 minutes to Bristol and the 40 minutes back to Johnson City, but it is certainly doable if you budget your time and money correctly. This was a rewarding experience and I am excited about learning more from Jason as a part-time performance coach on the Velocity’s staff.
(Note: This is a presentation Dr. Stone has given many times. For us within sport science, it is important for us and others to understand the delineation between exercise and sport science. For many, exercise and sport science is interchangeable due to a lack of experience with sport science, so it is extremely important for us to distinguish ourselves.)
Wow! What an excellent meet. We ended up adding in TONS of lifters, which gave us one of the largest meets we've had. Awesome!
First, if you want to watch the meet, here you go! The video lasts up until partway through the last session, when we hit some technical difficulties. Head further down the page for results.
Each session is on its own page
Best Lifter Results