Feb 26, 2015
Going Strong at Nevada

In 2011, Kyle Sammons quit his job in finance to join the University of Nevada strength and conditioning staff as a graduate assistant. Now, Sammons is the Wolf Pack’s Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning and works primarily with the men’s basketball team. In just a short time, Sammons, who is lauded for his high intellect, has made a tremendous impact on the entire department.

According to an article from the Reno Gazette-Journal:

Sammons has brought a very intellectual approach to the position, reading dozens of books and scientific journals on a variety of topics in order to find an edge for players. His willingness to dig into research to find the best information has endeared him to sport coaches:

“He’s intellectually curious,” Nevada Head Football Coach Brian Pollan told the Gazette-Journal. “If you ask him a question and he doesn’t know the answer you don’t get a BS answer. It’s, ‘Give me a day and I’ll do some research and find out.’ I love that. I love the fact he’s willing to take a point of view that might be contrary to the popular wisdom is.”

Sammons praised Matt Eck, Nevada’s Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning, for stoking his appreciation of the intellectual side of the profession, saying that: “He gave me stuff to read, which sparked my interest in a lot of different areas.”

One of those areas was nurtition. Sammons was credited with helping to promote a gluten-free diet to Wolf Pack football players, and is constantly pushing healthy nutrition choices to all the players he works with, even if he told the Gazette-Journal that doing so is an uphill battle:

“It’s a hard sell,” Sammons said. “But if you relate to them and show them, ‘If you do this, here are the results,’ and you have people who can back you, it works. If you find players in the NBA, NFL who do it and have great results, that helps

Sammons said he doesn’t regret making the switch from finance to strength and conditioning, saying the excitement of his work and the impact he’s making on players outweighs any financial benefits he might have realized staying in his old job:

“This isn’t an 8-5 job,” he told the Gazette-Journal. “There’s something new every day about it, and I love that. We have a chance to affect a young man or young female’s life. Not just for the four years they’re on campus, but we can change their eating habits, how they train and how they approach life in general, which is very exciting.”

Read the full article here.

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