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Strength coach seeks to maintain and improve consistency in weight room

March 16, 2018

Photo by: Katherine Kelly

Photo by: Katherine Kelly

 

Despite upcoming staff changes and the possibility of facility renovations, Nicholls State University head strength and condition coach Greg Carasquillo aims to preserve the foundation he has laid in the “Colonel Power” weight room when it comes to maintaining a consistent training environment.

While Nicholls is home to over 350 student-athletes, the strength and conditioning program is staffed by only one full-time coach, Carasquillo, who was hired in 2013. The rest of his staff is typically made up of short-term interns or graduate assistants (GA’s), but Carasquillo said that is about to change.

“We are making some improvements to our overall staffing. Our plan for next year is getting an assistant position which we are going to start interviewing for,” Carasquillo said. “We also have two paid positions. We are converting one of them back to a GA and then we are keeping a full-time paid intern so we will have a total of four people in the weight room next year, on top of possible volunteer-interns.”

Since interns joining and leaving the strength program year-to- year can create a difficult adjusting process for both the coaches and Colonel athletes, Carasquillo said having a more consistent staff will foster better relationships in the weight room.

“Eventually, as a coach of any kind, your athletes want to build trust in you and know that you’re there for them and really feel confident in the fact that what you’re doing is better for them,” Carasquillo said. “So in that way, having a new person every year can be really frustrating for people, especially for athletes. That is why we are converting one of our positions back to a GA so that we could have two years at least in that one position.”

Carasquillo said one important element in finding a suitable coach for the strength program at Nicholls is to examine their coaching philosophy and to try and find one that is similar to his own. Instead of micromanaging his staff, Carasquillo would rather put his trust in like-minded coaches.

“One of the biggest things is when we actually hire people, I ask them, ‘what’s your philosophy on training?’ I get them to match mine as much as possible. It’s not necessarily me drilling my philosophy or values on them, but it’s more me having the trust in them to say I agree with what you do, and I’m going to give you a little freedom to do what you want, and I’m going to oversee it,” Carasquillo said. “This gives them a really good learning experience and it give our athletes consistency over the same training style. It might not be exactly like mine, but it’s close.”

Besides the staffing changes, Carasquillo said plans to provide more nutrition resources to athletes are in the works as well. Currently, athletes only have access to fruits and chocolate milk for pre and post-workout nutrition resources, which are delivered by Sodexo each week.

“Moving forward, we are actually going to have a nutrition budget, which is going to be a decent size, which will help out all athletes. It won’t be geared towards an individual team, it will be the athletic department’s budget,” Carasquillo said. “We will really make it specific to what we want per team. What we want to do with that is get some specific powders, like protein powders and carbohydrate powders, which will allow people to put some weight on or make it specific for weight-loss people, as opposed to just everyone getting the same thing.”

On top of the additional budget that will be available for nutrition, Carasquillo said the upcoming Nicholls Give-N- Day will be an opportunity for Nicholls athletics to raise money which could be used to renovate the weight room.

“We do have some ideas coming up for what we want to do with renovations. One of the big things for us is Give-N- Day, and we’re trying to see how much we can fundraise for that,” Carasquillo said. “We are looking to get new floors, which I think every athlete in here would agree we need a new one. And also new lifting bars, women’s lifting bars and things that are going to make the overall weight room better. “

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