Registration deadline Friday for MSU strength and conditioning clinic

February 26, 2010 7:54:00 AM

David Miller -


STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State Athletic Strength and Conditioning Department will hold its first clinic March 13 to educate coaches and trainers on technological advancements and new methods of building better athletes. 


Much has changed in the past 10 years in how athletes are trained, and new recovery methods and advancements in science have created bigger, stronger, and faster athletes. The goal is to train at the highest level, but avoiding injury is just as crucial in an athlete''s development. 


MSU Director of Strength and Conditioning Matt Balis said preventative and corrective measures have seen significant advancement and increased emphasis as athletes have evolved. 


"Now you''re not just training three or four lifts, but movements in hips and working things like abductors. It''s become very specific," Balis said. "The neck is so extremely important, too. We do a lot of resistance, work it on angles, rotation, standing drills where you''re pulling on the back of a guy''s neck. Whatever we can do to protect our necks, we''re going to do. It helps so much with concussions." 


The March 13 session has close to 35 participants who have signed up in advance of Friday''s registration deadline. Balis expects 50-75 participants. 


Balis said the diversity of information and guest speakers at the clinic, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be the highlight. 


Jump Stretch Inc.''s Dick Hartzel, inventor of the Flex Band, is one of seven guest speakers who''ll participate throughout the day.  


University of Virginia sports nutritionist Rob Skinner and XCel Performance''s Director of Performance Scott Kellar will join MSU physical therapist Joe Gray and three other athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches. 


Biomechanics and corrective exercise, soft tissue injury prevention, and dynamic flexibility will be covered. 


"You can take at least one thing from every speaker we have and build off the success of learning something new," Balis said. "We''ve got a variety of speakers, for all sports, who are going to talk about different sports, strength developments, heat-related training, nutrition, and lateral quickness for different sports. 


"I can''t wait to go to class and learn more stuff. You never try to change. You add to your philosophy. You''ve got to pick and choose what you''re going to need." 


The clinic is open to youth, prep, and college coaches and anyone in the health and fitness field. Balis said the basic core of work ethic, multi-joint movements, squats, bench, and agility training will remain at the base of all strength and conditioning programs. 


Entering his second year at MSU, Balis believes the mental wear and tear of training at a high level and then applying what they have learned is the biggest adjustment for college athletes. 


"The mental thing is huge in terms of confident in what you can stand, like in football with learning how to cut," Balis said. "It''s always a shock for them. There''s very few kids from high school to college, anywhere, where they''ve ever worked this intense before." 


Registration is $65 and $35 for students. Lunch is provided and hotel accommodations have been made through three hotels with locked rates. 


For more information, call Balis at 662-325-8627 or e-mail him at [email protected] James Townsend can also be reached at 662-325-8582 or [email protected]