UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | July 20, 2024

Weight lifting crucial for athletes

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Before, during and after the season, Dixie State athletics teams put in countless hours of work to prepare for their time in the limelight. 

Throughout the season, student-athletes are often seen throwing down alley-oops or reeling in one-handed catches. Something that isn’t usually seen is the effort and dedication it takes to be able to perform those tasks.

Just walk in to the school gym and you’ll see exactly where that effort and dedication takes place, not only in football and basketball, but also in tennis, volleyball and numerous other sports. Countless hours are put into the gym by the athletes. Bryce Patterson, Dixie State strength and conditioning coach, is at the helm of all of it. His extensive career throughout the NCAA ranks is a testament to his experience in the field. Patterson is a certified USA weight lifting coach.

Patterson oversees all student-athletes workout regiments, specializing exercises for each specific sport. There are three daily lifting sessions, at 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Junior basketball player Robbie Nielson, a business administration major from Gresham, Oregon, says the attention paid to each sport is extremely effective. 

“We usually alternate between lifting cycles, and that helps us maintain our overall strength throughout the year,” Nielson said. “I think it’s really helpful for the demand of each sport.” 

The demand Nielson is talking about is answered by the variations in lifts and workouts that Patterson assigns to each athlete. He said every player is different, and it is a constant struggle to maintain balance in their workouts. Balance is Patterson’s main focus as the strength and conditioning coach. Junior linebacker Robert Metz, an integrated studies major from Tucson, Arizona, confirmed that. 

“We do a lot of different exercises that work different muscles,” Metz said. “His [Patterson] programs are designed to make you stronger and more athletic, not necessarily bigger.” 

To achieve that balance, Patterson employs five different techniques in his lifts: Pushing, pressing, pulling, squatting and hinge workouts are all designed to create different movements for different muscle groups. 

“I try to fit every athlete with lifts and workouts that help them in their particular sport,” Patterson said. “Basketball players need more focus on lateral explosiveness and single leg workouts, while football players can focus on speed and strength.”

You can see the programs’ effect in action year-round. Look for the teams schedules on the school athletic site.