Strength & conditioning

  • Only Division III program with two full-time strength coaches
  • Strength and conditioning major
  • Strength/conditioning coaching internship program

Strength and conditioning philosophy

"In any choice I made in college, I asked myself:
'Is this going to help me be the best there is, or is it going to hurt me?'

"And when I didn't care enough about myself, I would always ask the next question:
'How will this decision affect my team?'

"It is the small, everyday decisions that determine your destiny."

--Kelly (Harris) Dooley
2008 Sterling Strength & Conditioning Award winner
2008 NFCA Division III All-American softball catcher


Under the direction of Central's full-time strength and conditioning coordinator, Kyle Johnson, and assistant Charles Friday, the Central College strength and conditioning program supports the missions of both the athletics department and the college. In addition, Central's strength and conditioning is committed to helping student-athletes maximize their athletic potential while decreasing the chance for injury.


The Central College strength and conditioning program is in place to support the student-athlete by providing as many services as possible to help them achieve high levels of performance. This can be accomplished by applying five important principles.

  1. Ground-based movements
    It is important that an athlete train in the same manner that they compete. Athletes compete with their feet on the ground, thus they should train with their feet on the ground. The ability to produce force against the ground determines how fast the athlete will run and how high he/she will be able to jump.

  2. 3-dimensional movements
    This type of training also replicates the movements on the field of play. It is important that an athlete be able to stabilize their body from front to back, side to side as well as up and down. This can be accomplished by training with free weights. Now the athlete is able to develop the synergistic musculature that helps stabilize the body and prevent injury.

  3. Multiple joint movements
    Once again the types of movements during training should comply with the movements done in sport. Never in sport does an athlete isolate one single joint thus, in training, there is no need to do a lot of single joint movements. Also, by doing multiple joint movements one can train more muscle mass at the same time.

  4. Biomechanical and nutritional analyses
    Every athlete is taken through a thorough biomechanical analysis in order to identify any deficiencies that an athlete may have. This analysis primarily targets:
    • Posterior shoulder girdle
    • Posterior shoulder girdle
    • Posterior chain (low back, glutes & hamstrings)
    • Torso strength/stability
    • Abductor strength
    • Dynamic flexibility (hip, ankle, shoulder etc)
    • Single leg strength
    Based upon this biomechanical analysis each athlete is given a individual strength and conditioning program.
    Nutritional analysis: Nutrition and lifestyle habits are essential for competitive athletes. If an athlete does not recover properly then they will never reach their full potential. Every athlete at Central College undergoes a nutritional analysis. After this analysis is reviewed each athlete is counseled on nutrition and lifestyle habits. Then an eating plan is put in place to help the athlete recover properly and reach their desired goals.

  5. Acceleration and agility development
    Speed is one of the most sought after qualities in any sport. It is imperative in a comprehensive strength and conditioning program that acceleration and agility work are always present in a program. Although one’s speed can be developed thru weight training (if the weight training is done properly) a speed program must be individualized for each sport. The majority of sports rely heavily on the athlete’s ability to change direction and react to a stimulus. Therefore, drills that are both programmed and reactive must be present in a program.

Proper running mechanics are taught in order to run more efficiently.

Linear PAL: P=Posture, A= Arm Action, L= Leg Action

Lateral PAL: P=Push, A=Athletic Base, L= Low Center of Gravity


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