The Strength and Conditioning team at VSU have an underrated section within the athletic department.
They help student-athletes thrive on the field any ever sport. They are trained to help students with speed and strength development, agility training, anaerobic and aerobic conditioning, agility training, plyometric training, flexibility training, and nutrition.
The strength and conditioning team are led by Coach Michael Doscher, who enters his 24th year in the profession at VSU. Coach Doscher first joined the Blazer athletic family in 1996 and gained his love for the job by making mistakes in his youth.
“Back in high school, I would train incorrectly,” Doscher said.” I would never want someone to train incorrectly or get injured where they couldn’t play anymore. I wanted to prevent people from going to physical therapist.”
Doscher and his staff developed eight major points that serves as the philosophy of the entire strength and conditioning group:
1) Character. Its their mission to bring out the positive qualities within each individual. They encourage sportsmanship, honor, commitment, dedication, hard work, sacrifice, unity, competitiveness, accountability, and leadership. These traits can build great leaders and lead to a successful athlete and life.
2) Sport Similar Training. The athletes train according to their specific sport. This means they do activities that simulate the sport movements to build appropriate energy systems. This also helps decrease the risk of injury and can lead to superior sports performances.
3) Multiple Joint Exercise. This is where the body works together in an integrated synergistic approach to move the athlete through movement patterns quickly. This helps maximizing the functional and athletic performance of the athlete.
4) Multi-plane Movements. Sports have three planes; linear, transverse, and sagittal. These exercises are built around those movements to help gain agility and quickness in their sport. Incorporating agility training on top of sprinting results in greater impact on sports.
5) Ground Base Movements. These training exercises contain squat, Olympic lifts, agility drills, and plyometric drills that will help increase speed and power production.
6) Explosive Training. Most sports have explosive movements, so this helps the athlete gain explosion throughout their movements. It helps build muscle fiber motor units to increase the athlete’s potential.
7) Periodization. This is the way of training the body using percentages, volume and progressive overload to achieve the optimal training program for that sport and individual.
8) Nutrition and Recovery. This is where the staff educates the athletes on a proper nutritional diet and sleep for their sport and health. This helps keep the athlete healthy and improve the potential in their sport.
Doscher offered the day-to-day process of what goes on behind the scenes for football players.
“After games on Saturday, they have Saturday night and Sunday off to rest,” Doscher said. First thing Monday morning is to come in and lift at 6 a.m. We have three groups: a 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock, 8 o’clock group. After this they go to their classes. After classes they’ll have meetings at 2:30 p.m. if they are redshirt and not traveling then they lift from 2- 3:30 p.m.”
“On Mondays at 3:50, we go to practice until 5:15 – 5:30 p.m. On Tuesdays, they have a 7 o’clock special teams and position meeting until 7:45. Then they go to classes and more meetings at 2:30 p.m. Redshirts lift at 2:30 p.m. and then they go practice at 4:05 p.m. On Wednesday they lift again and same schedule as Monday, but they practice until 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are our long days because we go until 6:30 p.m. Thursdays they have meetings at 2:30. We go out at 4:05 p.m. and be done by 5:30 p.m.”
Aside from meetings, the football team turns to a more physical training.
“It’s a helmets and shoulder pads day. Mondays are shoulder pads day, Tuesday is full gear, Wednesday is shoulder pads, Thursday is either helmet or shoulder pads depending on how good or bad the practice was the last two days. Friday, they have all morning off until 2:30 p.m.”
Doscher has been named the National College Strength and Conditioning, Professional-of-the-year in 2005 and the Samson NCAA Division II Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Yea in 2007.
“It was very humbling,” Doscher said of the awards. “My players won that for me. Any award I get is because of the players. They work very hard; they do all the hard work and it just makes me look good, so it was really humbling that I got that.”
Written by Jacolby Porter, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of VSU Athletics.
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