Brock Sports Performance staff creating a winning attitude in Brock Sports

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A lot of Brock teams have been experiencing a high level of success this season, and there is  a reason for it. The Brock Sports Performance Centre (BSPC) is the new workout facility available for Brock University athletes, which opened last year, and the results are already showing. The roughly 4,000 square foot facility is filled with all of the equipment needed to train elite level athletes, and Brock teams are starting to take advantage of it.

The Brock men’s volleyball team, heading into their second season after a 15-year hiatus from Brock Sports, has made great use of the facility.

“In season they are currently training Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Offseason workouts would be four to five teams a week,” head coach Doug Hanes said of the team’s use of the BSPC.

The staff involved with BSPC has been working hands-on, creating workout plans for each team, making sure that every team is completing workouts catered to the needs of their specific sports.

“The staff created a specific workout for our team and personally supervise each workout,” said Hanes. “A regular workout consists of some conditioning and speed training, along with strength training and flexibility training. Each session lasts about an hour.”

For the volleyball team, they’re looking to improve on their 3-14 record from last season, and hope to get off to a good start with their season starting this week. While a new workout centre doesn’t translate directly into success in games, many of the Brock teams have seen an improvement in their performance. The Brock men’s basketball team has also been spending a lot of time at the new facility. Coach Charles Kissi is all for the new facility, and with the team now among the best in the country, the pressure to be in the best possible shape is at an all time high.

“It’s a tremendous advantage for us, to keep our guys bigger, stronger, faster, and healthier year round. Create some education around issues like recovery; I think it’s great,” Kissi said.

The team finished last year third in the OUA, and expectations are higher this year.

A team that surpassed all expectations this season was women’s rugby. After a 2-3 record last season, the Badgers looked like a completely new team in 2017. The team put together a perfect regular season, outscoring their opponents 352-24 in that stretch. While the season did not end the way they wanted it to, the Badgers made a lot of progress. Part of this has to do with the work of head coach Stefanie Pavlovich has done since taking control of the team, but part of it has to do with the work that the team has been putting in at the BSPC.

“The team does one speed session per week, and has three lifting sessions at the BSPC,” says Pavlovich regarding the team’s regular training. “Off-season workouts are three or four times a week; these ladies are on a twelve month training program.”

The staff involved with Brock Sports Performance gets a lot of credit for the work they’ve done with helping this team.

“The staff at the BSPC have been instrumental with our culture change and program. Steve, Dave and their staff have been a key reason why we have been able to successfully recruit incoming student-athletes and the reason our returning student-athletes have been able to last 80 minutes on the field at a high-intensity,” says Pavlovich.

The space is something new for Brock athletes and the coaches. While The Zone has always been available to all students, the BSPC is the first gym on campus that was made specifically for student athletes. This new facility is something that Pavlovich did not have access to while she was on the women’s rugby team during her time as a student at Brock.

“When I was a student-athlete, we did not have this opportunity, and often had to go elsewhere for training as a team. The fact that the space is designed to help these student-athletes perform at the highest possible level is a key factor to many programs.”

Despite the BSPC being relatively new, the coaches are already dreaming of ways for it to become even better for their teams.

“It would be great to have a bigger space to accommodate more student-athletes at once, especially with the size of teams at Brock. For our team, having increased indoor turf space as well as space to do additional speed sessions would be very beneficial,” says Pavlovich.

With the 2021 Canada Games coming to the Niagara Region, there have been rumours that the BSPC will be expanded to accommodate the athletes during their time here. However, Steve Lidstone, Manager of Sports Performance was quick to say that while the idea has been mentioned, any talks are still in the preliminary stage and there are no plans in place at this time.

While the main focus of the BSPC may be to get varsity athletes into the best shape possible, Lidstone also stressed the importance placed on education of the athletes and the interns that help run the BSPC.

“Our goal is to align with academics, the faculty in the department of Kinesiology and Applied Health Sciences is very supportive of the experiential learning our interns receive, as we’re just complementing the outstanding academic education the students obtain with a practical outlet or opportunity.”

For the forty-three student interns that work with Brock Sports Performance, they get a chance to prepare themselves for the future as  health care practitioners as assessment and exercise prescription applies to a variety of fields as well as future sport coaches, phys-ed teachers, strength & conditioning coaches or sport scientists.

“Everything that we do is driven through our student staff, with the hopes of preparing future professionals in the health field.”

After just a year working at Brock, Lidstone has helped Brock Sports Performance take off, and the results are already being seen with the success of many of the varsity teams as well as community teams.

For more information about the Brock Sports Performance Centre and the programs available, check their website at https://brocku.ca/recreation/bsp/

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