April 29 was our last official practice for the 2010-11 school year. Per NCAA rules, student-athletes are on their own during vacation periods (winter and summer vacation). We can give our athletes suggested workouts, but we cannot actually work with teams until our 2011 season officially begins on August 9. Because we only have 17 days to practice before our first competition, summer is an important time for our team. There is about 100 days from our last spring practice to our first fall practice. Strength and Conditioning coaches can have a huge impact on off-season training because they are the only coaches allowed to work with student-athletes during this time. This spring, we welcomed a new strength and conditioning coach to our staff -- Rick Lefebvre. Originally from Rhinelander, WI, Coach Lefebvre last coached at University of North Texas and started at Green Bay at the end of April. Our senior middle, Al Bohnen wrote about our transition in this area this spring:
By Alison Bohnen
Spring 2011 was pretty unique in terms of strength training for the team. After our former strength coach, Coach Rudy Wade, took a position at University of Toledo right after winter break, his student assistant Cam Paulson took over our workouts. First of all, a big thanks and good luck to Coach Wade for all the time and effort he put into our program while he was here. And a big shout out to Cam for the time he committed to all of us! He was a full time student, working towards finishing his degree and graduating this month, yet on top of all of that, he took on the responsibility of training our team, as well as other teams during his final semester at UWGB.
We also had the pleasure of working with Brandon Schlotthauer, a strength and conditioning coach from Bellin who worked with us in the transition between coaches. He taught the team a lot of different techniques... tuck your tails girls! We really enjoyed working with both of them this spring and owe a lot of our spring successes to them.
That brings us to our new strength and conditioning coach, Coach Rick Lefebvre, who came to us all the way from the Lone Star state (that's Texas for those of you who don't know). After meeting Coach Lefebvre and learning that he grew up in Rhinelander, WI (15 miles from my home town!) I knew he was going to be a great addition not only to our team but to the entire athletic department. Plus he wasn't shocked when we got a winter storm on April 19! Even when we lift at 6 AM he is able to bring so much energy and positivity into the weight room and really gets all of us fired up. Coach Lefebvre has also brought a lot of different lifting techniques to our program. Before this semester many of us, including myself, had never done 'Olympic' lifts. Without going into a lot of detail, this type of lift incorporates total body movement; the focus is on moving the barbell as fast as you can. The lifts are beneficial for explosive sports like volleyball.
Although we have only been working with Coach Lefebvre for a couple weeks, he has already made an impact on our mindset and approach to strength training. The team is genuinely excited to train and we continue to become better volleyball players outside of the gym. It is really important for the team to continue training hard so we are better volleyball players in August than we are today. Per NCAA rules, we are allowed to work with a strength coach in the summer, so most of us will be taking advantage of that. I can't wait to see how his program will impact our team and myself as I head into my senior season!