Bob Jones was the first Strength and Conditioning Coach in William Woods history after being named to the position in 2001. In his role, Jones works closely with student-athletes in each of William Woods’ 15 sports programs, designing and implementing preseason, in-season and postseason sport-specific and individual-specific training programs for WWU student athletes. He also runs Weider Gymnasium, which is available to William Woods students, faculty and staff. Recently, he sat down with John Fougere to answer 5 Questions:
Q: It’s a new year, and getting in shape is always one of the most popular resolutions. How can the WWU Strength and Conditioning staff help William Woods students, faculty and staff achieve their fitness goals?
Jones: First, we always ask that people get a physical, so as a staff we know where to start, because a physical gives us a baseline. We can also do some testing here with any students or staff that are interested, like a baseline body fat test, and other kinds of fitness tests. That is a big thing that we advise – start with a base, and then let’s set some realistic goals. Most people do not set realistic goals at the beginning, they may say, for example, “I want to lose 20 pounds in one month.” That is not the way to do it. That’s why we are here, to help educate people about what are the best practices for them to reach their fitness goals.
Q: How specifically does the Weider Gymnasium here on the WWU campus help the non-athletes like students, faculty and staff achieve those goals, stay in shape and improve their fitness?
Jones: Although it can be challenging with our limited space here at Weider and the student-athletes we train from all 15 William Woods sports teams, we really work hard to make sure that there is time dedicated for students who aren’t on sports teams, faculty and staff members. For example, we reserve the gym for non-athletes every day over lunchtime, from 12 to 1 p.m., solely for the use of students, faculty and staff. In addition, during the evenings and on weekends, we keep Weider open when there aren’t any athletes in there training, so that students, faculty and staff can feel more comfortable coming in and working out. My staff – I have two Strength and Conditioning graduate assistants and one Recreation G.A. who is a former William Woods athlete – they know what to do as far as making sure you have access to all the weights, machines and exercises here at the gym, or they can help you set up a program, or teach you a technique. Or if you want us to, we can also check on your progress every so often, to make sure everything with your workout routine is working well for you. One other great new thing is you don’t even have to always actually come in here to the gym all the time. We now have technology called Team Builder that allows me to reach you anywhere. So, if you need me to send you a workout program wherever you are, I can send it to you on your smart phone and you can access it that way.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes someone makes when trying to “get back in shape” as a New Year’s resolution?
Jones: They go too hard, too fast, and they do something that they don’t like doing like maybe a workout they found online, or something they saw somebody else do. What they need to do is to try some different things and really find a program that works for them. Too often, people will just say something like “I’m going to do this and lose 20 pounds in one month.” Then they try it, it’s really hard and they become frustrated and discouraged and don’t meet their goals. A better approach is to get on a realistic program, take small bites and work a little bit at a time toward your goal.
Q: What services do you offer WWU student-athletes in your position of Head Strength and Conditioning Coach here at The Woods?
Jones: We give them a dedicated program per sport, and a lot of times, by position. And if there are injuries that an athlete is recovering from, or perhaps we are not achieving the desired results with a particular athlete, we will also sometimes design a program specifically for individual athletes. We will do all of this, if need be, for all 15 sports and our nearly 300 William Woods student-athletes. It has also become much easier to do through technology, because with the Team Builder program, we can get in and edit and make adjustments to their workouts which they can easily then access on their smartphones. We also provide every one of our student athletes with workout gear, so that they don’t have to worry about what to wear for training but instead can just focus on being on time and working hard. And finally, we provide them with nutrition information that includes the best part of all – the unlimited chocolate milk for their post-workout recovery!
Q: What are you most proud of from your more than 16 years as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at William Woods?
Jones: There have been so many things that I have taken great pride in. For example, I was amazed that, way back in my first year here, William Woods won a national championship in Volleyball. We have also had a Track and Field national champion, Anthony Stockton, in the Hammer Throw. There have been so many great achievements that I have been lucky to have played a role in. But what I am most proud of is how all of these kids come to us and I can always see how they start out as freshmen and by the time they are seniors, they’ve become adults and are ready to go out and tackle the world. That’s probably what makes me most proud – for every athlete we have had, I strongly believe we have touched them all and made them better people.