University Strength and Conditioning Departments in Focus
The S&C departments within universities provide excellent examples of evidence-based practice, applying scientific principles of S&C to their unique and challenging performance environments.
Through these articles, we will be taking a detailed look at what our partners at different institutions do, sharing good practice and providing a platform for collaboration and improvement.
If you run a university based S&C department, anywhere in the world, please get in touch to share your story.
Stony Brook University
In this article we will be looking at the Athletic Performance Department at Stony Brook University in New York. Stony Brook University's intercollegiate athletics teams, known as the Stony Brook Seawolves, compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level and are members of the America East Conference for all sports, with the exception of football, which plays in the Football Championship Subdivision's Colonial Athletic Association.
With a budget of over $20,000,000, historically the team was known as the Patriots while participating at the Division III level. In 1994 Stony Brook initiated a transition to Division I successfully completed by 1999 offering scholarships in a range of sports, though it didn’t offer scholarships in football until 2006. Since then, the Seawolves have participated in the NCAA tournament in 16 different occasions across a range of sports and have received numerous conference tournament championships primarily in Baseball, Football, Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s Soccer, and Women’s Cross Country.
Stony Brook University
Director: George Greene: M.S, RSCC*D, CSCS, USAW, ISSA-SPN, NASM-CES NCAA Division 1: America East Conference Student Athletes: 400 Teams: 16
Stony Brook Athletic Performance Mission: To design and administer comprehensive individualized athletic performance programs that reduce the likelihood of injury, improve performance, and improve discipline in athletics during competition. Additionally, we strive to gain a competitive advantage through our emphasis on performance nutrition and sports science
Vision:To gain recognition as one of the premier NCAA Division 1 Athletic Performance Programs in the Country
The three main goals of the athletic performance program are: 1) Injury prevention and resilience 2) Improved performance 3) Improved ability to handle stress in adverse conditions
1) Relationships:Everything we do requires trust from coaches, athletes, and staff. Creating strong relationships allow you to have hard conversations and push each other to be at our best daily.
2) Collaboration:The more we work together towards a common goal with other departments the more success we will have collectively. Most goals cannot be achieved in isolation. Be a team player.
3) Pride:Take pride in everything you do from how you carry yourself, how you dress, how you communicate, and how we keep our facility.
4) Passion:To make it in college athletics you need to have passion. Show up every day with energy and enthusiasm for the work we get to do every single day. 5) Consistency:Consistency is key to success in everything we do. The atmosphere in our facility, how we treat our athletes, and our relentless pursuit of excellence should be consistent year-round
Performance Principles and Coaching Philosophy
1) Focus and attention to detail on developing mastery in the primary movements essential for performance with perfect technique
2) Safely challenge athletes through progressive overload on multi-joint movements to push towards their genetic potential
3) Hold athletes accountable to the highest standard to build character and discipline
4) Include competition and variety in training to challenge athletes, improve teamwork, and keep them engaged
At Stony Brook University we strive to create a positive encouraging environment where all of our athletes have the opportunity to reach and exceed their genetic potential. Individualized sport specific training programs are designed to meet each athlete’s needs and abilities. It is our job as athletic performance professionals to educate the athletes about the training process in order for them to trust and adhere to the goals and objectives of each program. We want to establish a culture of hard work, discipline, and accountability while teaching athletes to train both SMARTER and HARDER. Due to the amount of time we spend with each athlete over the course of his or her career we have the opportunity to leave a lasting impact. It is important for us to be leaders and mentors to help these young men and women have an outstanding experience and go on to be successful after their career at Stony Brook.
Continuing education is not only a priority it is a necessity. We bring in one leader in the field per month via Skype/Face time for an hour discussion. Each month a different staff member is responsible for reaching out to someone of interest. All staff members are required to have and maintain either the NSCA CSCS, or the CSCCA SCCC certification in addition to a current CPR/AED Certification. Additionally, we meet every Friday as a staff and anyone who is about to start a new phase with a team presents their program to the group for feedback (including myself as the Director). This allows for more collaboration and peer to peer leadership opportunities. Lastly, each staff member has the opportunity to attend conferences and clinics annually.
Want to share how your department is structured?
Contact us at info@IUSCA.org and share how your department runs on a daily basis