By John Jackson, Staff Writer
Strength and conditioning has become an important part of the routines of many athletes. However, it is fairly new to Manhattan College as Jonathan Larson was hired as the Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance for the 2015-2016 school year.
While Larson has left, the staff grew when Patrick Dolan and Mike Olave were named the Head and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coaches, respectively for the Fall 2016 semester. The staff was able to expand further this past January when Bennett Reed was added as an additional assistant coach.
Reed, a 2016 graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee had an interest in fitness as he started playing sports from a young age.
“I started playing basketball when I was five and then I progressed to little league,” said Reed. “When I was in high school I was big into volleyball, basketball, and track.”
While he always liked sports, he began college as a business major. During that time he realized business was not what he wanted to do. That’s when he switched his major to telecommunications.
It was when he was a camp counselor that he realized he liked interacting with others. However, when he went into teaching the following semester, he knew the classroom setting was not for him. Over the summer he reflected, learned about strength and conditioning, and then decided to major in Kinesiology.
“I bounced around in different degrees and I realized how much I missed sports,” said Reed. “Being a strength coach kind of gave me the opportunity to be more involved.”
In 2015 he interned at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and it was an eye-opener for him. He had an idea of the amount of teams that schools have and he was able to learn how things are run.
He interned again in the Summer of 2016, but this time at Santa Clara University for Dolan. At Santa Clara he had more of an opportunity to coach, interact with athletes, and develop a coach’s voice.
“When I moved to Santa Clara,” said Reed. “I had a better opportunity of actually being on the floor and coaching. And you definitely develop, first, your coaching voice and how you interact with athletes because not every athlete is the same. You have to approach it in different ways.”
After completing his summer internship, Reed moved back home, but not for long. A few months later is when Dolan asked him if he wanted to come out to New York and be an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Manhattan College. Reed accepted the position and currently oversees women’s rowing and volleyball.
Reed is big on communicating with his student-athletes. He wants them to know why they are doing the workouts and how to do them so they can effectively work out during the times when he doesn’t have them.
“It’s just making sure, at least for me, that I’m effectively communicating with athletes,” said Reed. “Because if they don’t understand why we’re doing something, for me that’s a problem.”
For sophomore volleyball player Sandra Lozanova, he does an effective job communicating.
“He is pushing us harder, said Sandra Lozanova. “But also he is teaching us and he’s always explaining.”
Communication is also important to Reed as he could have freshman who are coming into the weight room for the first time or seniors coming in with years of experience with a personal trainer.
“But I expect everyone to give full effort and communicate,” said Reed. “That’s my biggest thing because in every single sport you have to communicate very well to be a successful team.”
Lozanova credits her workouts with Reed to feeling faster and being able to jump higher. The workouts have helped her develop more power overall and in a way where she doesn’t feel too heavy or sore.
“What I like the most is that we’re building,” said Lozanova. “It’s not like we started too hard…we are still working hard but there was a progression.”