NEWS, NOTES &
Friday, June 29, 2007
By Bethany Bradsher
Lady coach a solid source of
By Bethany Bradsher
All rights reserved.
College coaches do a lot of things in the summer
recruit, meet with staff, make training plans
for the upcoming season, even get a week or two of coveted vacation. One
thing they can’t do much of is actually coach.
[Photo: ECU SID]
NCAA regulations severely limit the contact most
coaches can have with their athletes during the summer months. During the
hot stillness of June and July, strength and conditioning coaches become
boss. Head strength coach Mike Golden has received a good deal of press for
the tight ship he runs, but lately assistant strength and conditioning coach
Michelle Clayton-Boswell has been
in the national spotlight for her
Early this month, Clayton-Boswell was named one
of two recipients of the 2007 John Stuckey Award. Given by a panel of Master
Strength and Conditioning Coaches, this honor is awarded each year for
outstanding performance on the practical portion of the Strength and
Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) certification examination.
Clayton-Boswell, a former All-American ECU track
and field athlete who went to the U.S. Olympic Trials for the hammer throw
in 2004, has been working in her current position for almost three years.
She is directly responsible for the men’s basketball, track and field and
swimming and diving teams, and she is one of only five women in the nation
to train a collegiate men’s basketball team.
This is Clayton-Boswell’s season, when athletes
are reporting directly to her for their marching orders and she is taking
every opportunity to push her particular Pirates to heights that will reap
dividends when actual competition begins next school year.
In her spare time, she is training for her first
half marathon and serving as the strength coach for a select soccer team of
I asked Clayton-Boswell if she would keep a
journal of a “typical” day so Pirate fans could take a peek behind the
scenes. A selection of events from her Monday, June 25:
Early morning: Two hours
after her nine-mile training run, a group of Lady Pirate swimmers reported
to Clayton-Boswell for a lifting session. Her role is to supervise the
athletes and make sure they use safe weight training techniques. The
swimmers aren’t required to stay on campus in the summer, but a handful of
the women chose to do so, swimming every morning and lifting with
Clayton-Boswell three times a week.
“I have to say in the
last year this group has definitely been the one to make the biggest
turnaround and I have really taken a liking to training them,” she wrote in
her journal. “The entire team, for the most part, has really bought into
what we do in the weight room and several have commented on how they can
tell a difference in the pool. For me this is very exciting.”
Clayton-Boswell plays host to 30 high school students participating in ECU’s
Summer Venture program. Each of the teenagers has professed an interest in a
health-related field, and Clayton-Boswell talked to them about her career
path and took them through some basic core and agility exercises.
“I love speaking to and
reaching out to our youth and anytime I have the opportunity to do so I take
advantage of it,” she wrote.
Early afternoon: Because
the men’s basketball team members are starting the second session of summer
school today, preparation is the order of the afternoon for Clayton-Boswell.
The players will be reporting for their first workout at 4:30 p.m., and
before they come she has to make detailed written plans for their training
and make copies of a progress sheet for each athlete. One of the pillars of
Clayton-Boswell’s training philosophy is thorough documentation of
everything each athlete does under her tutelage. She records each
improvement, each mile logged, to help push them harder. With five new
players to the men’s team, she has a challenge ahead as she makes them each
stronger and hopes to instill some team chemistry along the way.
“I have to admit I am a
bit anxious to get started with the entire team,” she wrote. “It is going to
be a bit complicated to begin with, because the five newcomers are being
thrown in with the returnees right from the get-go. It will be advantageous
down the road for the entire team to be together, but it is going to take
creativity and patience on my behalf to make it work the next five weeks.”
Late afternoon: Despite a
late-afternoon thunderstorm that forced the football players inside the
Murphy Center with the basketball players, Clayton-Boswell’s workout with
the group ran smoothly. They started with a weigh-in, then a lifting session
and then conditioning –
originally scheduled for outside but moved into the weight room because of
“My biggest concern about
having to make adjustments for the newcomers actually turned out to be no
problem at all and everyone rolled with the punches,” she wrote. “These
young guys have a lot of fire and determination and it makes it so much fun.
“We had a great
conditioning segment and the guys were pretty winded and tired. I have a
feeling they will sleep pretty well tonight, especially the five new ones!
The biggest change for everyone is the intensity that I am demanding from
them and it is going to make the biggest difference.”
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Bethany Bradsher's Bonesville
07/12/2007 02:04:32 AM