Georgetown Sports Performance Staff Works With Army Honor Guard from Fort Myers

Director of Sports Performance Mike Hill speaks with Army Honor Guard from Fort Myers prior to a workout at Yates Field House.

Dec. 13, 2011

WASHINGTON - Photo Gallery

Click the following link to view members of the US Army work out with the Georgetown Sports Performance Staff: http://www.youtube.com/IronHoyas#p/u/0/DhYIIIPmatc

The Georgetown University Sports Performance staff keeps a full schedule throughout the year, training student-athletes from each of the Hoyas'29 varsity sports for high-level competition. Though, Mike Hill the Director of Sports Performance received a phone call from one more group that he and his staff were more than happy to make time; the US Army.

Several weeks ago, Hill received an email from Captain Matt Hernandez, a former defensive end at Army, who now prepares workouts for his platoon at Fort Myers in Arlington, Va. Hernandez had been contacting local college strength and conditioning staffs in an effort to change and enrich his unit's workouts to comply with the 'Military Athlete' program and found an eager recipient in Hill.

"I randomly emailed Coach Hill and I told him my background and my position at Fort Myers and asked if he would be interested in introducing my guys to some basic techniques in power-lifting and complex body lifts and also conditioning exercises," Hernandez said. "He was kind of enough to buy into the idea and he said it would be a good opportunity to have a working relationship and for his staff to get some work and to help my platoon and the United States Army."

Hill jumped at the opportunity, recognizing the chance to form a partnership with their military neighbors and began a dialogue with Hernandez in putting together a program for the members of the 4/3 Infantry. Hill and Sports Performance staffers Carl Johnson, Sean Foster and Trevor Williams worked closely with Hernandez to develop an appropriate workout to test out last Thursday at Yates Fieldhouse.

"This is a great opportunity to create a working relationship with the Army and to get our staff to work with them and trade ideas," Hill said. "These guys are so attentive to detail, disciplined and have such a willingness to learn that it's a lot of fun for us, not to mention a chance for us to do something for our country."

The soldiers arrived on campus on Thursday morning and warmed up on the basketball court at Yates before Trevor Williams and Carl Johnson split them in to two groups to first explain and demonstrate proper form for all of the lifts and conditioning the troops would later attempt. The training staff helped the soldiers work develop proper form before adding weight and then let them show off the strength and athleticism they have developed in the Army.

Williams showed a group of 20 troops proper kettlebell exercises and techniques, while Johnson demonstrated a series of complex power-lifts, then went through individually and corrected their form to get the most out of each movement. Following an hour long weight lifting session, the sports performance staff put the soldiers through a series of conditioning drills, similar to ones used by the football team.

"We wanted to make it as much of a collegiate training experience as possible," Williams said. "I definitely believe that there are a lot of things that we do with our research and science based programming that they may miss out on, so our overall goal is to teach and give them more weapons that they can train with, because the way I feel is that they are the most elite athletes that we have in America."

"They loved it," Hernandez said about his soldiers. "It's a unique opportunity for us to get out of the norm. We're used to waking up pretty early in the morning and running, doing push-ups and sit-ups and running with weight on our backs. Sometimes the Army physical training can get kind of routine and mundane, so coming out here and doing some new workouts and new techniques in a new atmosphere just gives the guys a little bit of life and some extra enthusiasm to get better physically. This is a great opportunity for us and we appreciated everything the Georgetown Sports Performance staff has done for us."

At the conclusion of the workout the sports performance staff presented their new friends with Georgetown Iron Hoyas t-shirts and protein shakes and had the opportunity to speak individually about training techniques.

The workout was likely not the last that the Georgetown Sports Performance department will put the troops from Fort Myers through, as communication will continue with Captain Hernandez to help put together new training strategies for the troops.

"It kind of hit home for me," Williams said. "Especially being in the D.C. area, I drive past Arlington Cemetery almost every day and this is an opportunity for us to do our part, no matter how small. If we can help them to lift a little bit more weight or run a little bit faster it's us doing our part."

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