Strength & Conditioning Camp Covers All Grounds

WVU's Strength and Conditioning Camp, slated for May 11, teaches many of the same drills and skills that are used by the Mountaineer athletic teams.

"We teach many of the same things that we use with our student-athletes," said strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Barwis of the WVU's intense one day camp. "We try to cover as much ground as possible. We'll demonstrate and teach drills that emphasize strength and speed, but also agility, balance, acceleration, flexibility, nutirition and stability. We also include plyometrics, which are really taking off."

Barwis is well positioned to oversee such a multi-functional camp. His duties as strength and conditioning coordinator include the oversight of all Mountaineer athletic teams strength and conditioning programs outside of football and men's basketball, which are handled by strength coach Doug Elias.

After having approximately 350 participants in last year's camp, Barwis expects upwards of 400 this year. While the growth in numbers is good, Barwis wants to cap participation at no more than 450 so that Barwis can ensure enough individual attention for every camper.

"We could actually take a lot more. We'll be using the Puskar Center, Mountaineer Field, and the Indoor Facility, so there will be plenty of room. But, we want to make sure that we don't have so many people that we can't give enough attention to everyone. For that reason, we'll limit the numbers, so we encourage people to register early so they have a spot."

When campers arrive, they can expect an intense full day of activity from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Barwis said that drills will be adjusted for the ages and sports of the campers.

"We'll divide them by age groups and adjust the drills for each group. We'll teach drills that are good for multiple sports, and also teach drills that focus on the individual sports of the campers."

Barwis further explained that many of the drills his staff teaches are applicable to many sports.

"For example, drills that cover agility, first steps, lateral movement and speed are good for most sports, except maybe rifle," Barwis joked. "So, we'll teach those types of things first, then move on into more specific drills of the sports that each of our campers are interested in."

With the increased emphasis on year round athletic training, Barwis and his staff hope to teach proper methods of conditioning to avoid injuires and burnout. Barwis is also keenly aware of the problems associated with too much training and early burnout.

"We're very conscious of overtraining. A big part of what we teach includes the frequency of workouts and the methods used. Overtraining can be just as harmful as undertraining, and we emphasize that during our camp."

This year's camp is scheduled to include several featured speakers. Among those tentatively slated to appear include former WVU tight end Anthony Becht of the New York Jets, former WVU soccer star Katie Barnes of the Carolina Courage, and Olympic wrestler Cary Kolat.

The camp is open to any athlete eleven years of age or older. Adults, parents and coaches are welcome as well - coaches can even receive college credit for attending.

Other than appropriate workout clothing, campers only need to bring "a good attitude and an intense spirit" in order to be successful, according to Barwis.

"If they bring those things with them, we'll be ready to rock."

Campers also receive a discount for registering early, or for signing up multiple attendees or teams. For more information, or to sign up for the camp, contact Mike Barwis at 304-293-3581.

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