Author Archives: mloftin0313

2021 Piedmont Symposium: Injuries Correlation with Strength and Conditioning

DEMOREST, GA – “Adding insult to injury” is a common cliche in the English language. But it’s also the difference between proper exercise programs and unfit training for athletes worldwide. Killian McClain, a master’s student at Piedmont University and future strength and conditioning coach, presented his research regarding the relationship between conditioning and injuries at the 2021 Piedmont University Symposium.

“It’s really important to see that our profession is evidence-based, so doing this research helped reassure me that I’m doing the correct thing,” said McClain. “It was interesting to see that there wasn’t necescarily as many significant correlations that I found, which could be do to the improper programming and limited amount of programs I was able to have.”

Strength training prevents injuries and increases sports performance were the anchors that McClain based his presentation and research around. As athletes and competitors put stress on their bones and tendons, they adapt and change the anatomy of those vital systems. The transformation of these muscles can lead to imbalances within the body, directly resulting in a greater likelihood of getting injured. To prevent this unevenness, proper strength and conditioning schedules and programs are crucial. Furthermore, McClain said, Strength programming should apply to the sport, weight should rise appropriately, and muscle groups should be trained evenly.

“I was surprised that more programs didn’t have formal training plans, and those that did have plans didn’t quantify the training volume,” said Abbey Dondanville, professor of athletic training and McClain’s faculty advisor. “It’s important to track how much physical work is done to know the athletes’ acute and chronic workloads.”

Dondanville said Mclain’s research is valuable for athletes and coaches. She described that exceeding the chronic load of a workout by 15% increases the risk of injury significantly. McClain recognized this finding and performed studies on the different sports programs at Piedmont University. Tracking training helps coaches know if their programs are effective or which muscle groups need more attention.

“It is vital for sports programs to obtain a strength and conditioning program so individuals can develop as athletes and not just players at their respective sport,” says Padraig Prendergast, a Biology Major who attended McClain’s session.

Piedmont University is an increasingly growing institution; however, many of the athletic programs offered do not have strength and conditioning coaches or programs, McClain said. When schools have a program that focuses on muscle training, repetition volume can be observed to maximize the gains possessed from working out. Stronger athletes will result in better performances from the players involved, resulting in more favorable results within the games, McClain said.

McClain’s research provided valuable insight into the world of strength and condition, and he hopes the findings will catapult him into “A Division 1 institution and eventually as a head strength and conditioning coach.”

The Disaster Drill Was a Huge Success

DEMOREST, GA – The 2021 disaster drill was staged at the Piedmont College Swanson Center, which brought together theater, mass communication, and nursing majors. This annual event simulates a real catastrophe, complete with difficulties, victims, all the confusion that comes with it.

“We want to make it a very realistic event so that it will be beneficial for all of the agencies involved,” associate professor Karen Greilich said. “Each year, our campus community and area emergency response personnel come together to create this incredible real-world learning experience for our students.”

Artificial smoke and fire consumed the Swanson Center while the victims of the “tornado” laid inside and outside the building. The victims were theatre major students dressed up with fake injuries and wounds, treated by the nursing trainees. For senior nursing students at Piedmont College, the drill was a fantastic opportunity to get some experience assessing injuries and caring for victims before entering the field.

“It gives nursing students the opportunity to prepare for anything,” says Junior nursing major Caitlyn Worthy.

Emergency fields such as the fire department and police force attended the event and shared their wisdom and experience with the aspiring nurses. Meanwhile, as the chaos is unfolding, mass communication students gather interviews and reports of the simulated catastrophe.

“It definitely did affect last year seniors,” says Samantha Barnes, senior nursing student, when discussing how COVID-19 canceled last year’s drill. “Especially in the trauma area, they didn’t get the practice they needed to without this experience.”

The spread of COVID-19 hindered the possibility of having the drill in 2020, and seniors missed the vital practice. COVID-19 also affected this year’s maneuvers from being played out to the full experience.

The 2021 disaster drill brought chaos to senior nursing students, acting practice for the theatre department, and practice covering media for mass communication scholars.

Courtney Ziemba: More Than an Athletic Trainer

DEMOREST – Courtney Ziemba discovered her love for athletic training through her high
school trainer, Tony.

“He would do anything and everything he could to help,” says Ziemba when discussing Tony, her high school athletic trainer. “He was always supportive no matter what so athletic training sounded like a good job for me.”

She described his methods as, “If you’re not going to help me, I’m not going to help you.” Since joining the staff in the Summer 2019, Ziemba has found the most rewarding aspect of her job is the people. Everyone is very supportive at the college, which is something that Ziemba is very grateful for. The office in which Ziemba works has provided her significant friendships and laughs.

“We are all very much alike in this office to where we are very sarcastic all the time,” she said. “We all hang out with each other outside of work. I love all the coaches here.” Softball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball are some of the various sports that she played growing up, so her current position as an assistant athletic trainer is fitting. “I was one of those kids that never talked about anything, so I would come home from school, do my homework, and then go to bed,” she said.

Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ziemba said that growing up with two trouble-making brothers pushed her to do more fast-paced activities, “Playing with girls was too slow for me.” Later in life, Ziemba moved to Texas for graduate school. Eventually, she moved to Georgia on her own, surprising her parents once again. Today, her family remains in Michigan, where her two brothers and mom work in construction, while living within a 45-minute radius of one another.

Moving so far away from home is risky, but Ziemba isn’t afraid to take risks, a belief that has served her well in life. “Don’t be afraid to take certain shots, even if you miss.”

Courtney Ziemba
Email: Phone: 1204
Phone: 1204

The Life of Matthew Loftin

On March 13, 2002, I was born at St. Marys hospital in Athens, Georgia. My parents Laurie and Jamey, decided to give me the Hebrew name Matthew. My birth also resulted in my brother, Dylan, becoming a big brother. Since that foggy and cloudy day of March 13, I have grown a lot and experienced many life-changing events, including a pandemic.
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” The quote from Babe Ruth can be applied to many aspects of my life. For example, my mother has always described me as fearless, and since a very young age, I would climb up any tree in sight. Calm, ambitious, and brave are three ways that help better describe me as a person. Many people, throughout my short life, have helped me develop these skills. For instance, my parents, my brother, and some coaches have helped me grow tremendously.
Childhood is filled with so many memories that shape our lives. My favorite childhood memories include the birthdays my parents would throw for me and the fun I would have during them. My most significant achievement so far is winning the State Championship for my high school soccer team. Accomplishing that goal was an incredible feeling that I’ll never forget. Furthermore, soccer has given me such joy that I am currently playing in college, and I am trying to become a coach one day.
Overall, events are what shape you as a person. Whether the events are positive or negative, they will ultimately help me grow as a person. I hope to experience a lot more challenging circumstances throughout my life.