Oct 17, 2016
Partnership Paying Off

Kinesiology and human performance students at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, are providing their services to the Sioux City Musketeers ice hockey team, as reported by the Sioux City Journal. The students are learning hands-on care in the process.

“I think it’s a great experience so far,” Tyler Westhoff, one of the participating students, said. “It’s really helping me learn more about strength and conditioning in a professional setting and it’s helping me learn more about the sport of hockey in general.”

Westhoff and two other graduate students watch the Musketeers at their workouts three times each week, and monitor their heart rate during games. Undergraduate students help out with players’ fitness assessments, as well as follow-up evaluations.

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Andrew Shim, who is a professor and the graduate program director of kinesiology and human performance at Briar Cliff, said he conceived of the idea so that his students could gain experience before graduating or getting internships.

“They are able to promote themselves with regards to getting a better internship or better job opportunity,” he said. “What we’ve been trying to instill is the fact that they need to have these opportunities, but to have those opportunities, they have to earn those rights.”

Shim said that his students work well with the athletes, and described “a sense of understanding of why they’re here and respecting (his) students and the job they do.” Westhoff said this degree of trust made it easier for him to do his job and hone his skills.

“The players said, ‘This is what you’re trained to do, this is your job,’” Westhoff said. “That made it easy for us.”

Rob Frost, strength and conditioning coach for the Musketeers, praised the work of the students.

“They make sure the guys are feeling good and fresh and energized, so that’ll help with their play on the ice and feeling good,” he said. “Once they feel good, they’re mentally in the game as well.

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