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Program Spotlight: Strength and Conditioning

The Strength and Conditioning (S&C) program here at Grove City is focused on helping student athletes achieve success in both their sports and their studies. Coach Caleb Thrasher and his team of assistant coaches are working to build the program beyond what it has ever been before. Thrasher’s definition of success is reaching and helping every athlete that comes to Grove City.

In an interview with Coach Thrasher, I asked what his goals and aspirations are for the program as well as for himself as a coach. Here is what he has to say, “I want to reach inside the athletes’ heads. I want them to be able to take their skills in the weight room through the rest of their lives.” My first encounter with Coach Thrasher was when I started weight training for the swim team my freshman year. Two years later, I can truly say he has given me new skills that I will take with me when I leave Grove City.  Even though we may be training for a specific sport during our time here, we can still use those new skills outside of our regular training. Thrasher highlighted this aspect by saying that, “The athletes’ pursuit of their sport will change once they graduate, but they can train in the weight room exactly as they did in their college careers in order to achieve lifelong fitness.”

Since Coach Thrasher is a coach for every varsity team at Grove City, he wanted to ensure he was creating programs specified for certain teams. During our interview he said, “I don’t want a cookie cutter approach to training the athletes” at least six times. He has proven how much he believes in this statement by showing just how much he cares about every individual athlete. Even though he has over 200 athletes under his leadership, every single one of has been personally helped by Thrasher in lifting and conditioning technique.

When I asked him what he was doing to make the program better, his theory was that, “Being an S&C Coach means you have to be a lifelong learner. I am challenging myself to teach techniques more effectively when I am in the weight room and when I am implementing mobility work. I go to conferences and see other coaches and learn from them so I can provide more knowledge for the students to access.” With Thrasher’s goal to “take people wherever they are physically and make them better movers” he is constantly working on finding ways to connect to wider varieties of athletes. Before working with the swimmers, Thrasher did not know too much about the sport. But just in the two and a half years that I have been training under him, he has constructed and implemented a program specifically suited to help swimmers excel in the pool.

But strength training is not the program’s only focus. Thrasher highlighted this by pointing out that, “People don’t care how much you know if they don’t know how much you care. Having a support structure and supplying a support structure is the key part in helping our athletes be the best they can be. Helping the athletes in this way aligns with the Christian community of the school itself. Physical training is part of one’s growth as an athlete and I want to come alongside our athletes and mentor them in their journeys. We take people wherever they are physically and we make them better movers. It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you want to get better.” Coach Thrasher and his entire team have come alongside the athletes of Grove City to support them in both their physical and psychological journeys.

For more on the Strength and Conditioning program check out our info video below:


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