‘Traumatic shift’: DWU’s strength and conditioning coach without athletes to train

Dakota Wesleyan University strength and conditioning coach Kyle Hobbs, left, watches the form as members of the football team workout in June 2017 at the DWU weight room in the Christen Family Athletic Center.

Spring time is usually a busy time for Kyle Hobbs.

The Dakota Wesleyan University strength and conditioning coach is instrumental in the development of the Tigers in the weight room. He’d plan workouts for all the student-athletes, but this year’s spring workouts were canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Spring break was in the middle of March and I haven’t been able to train anybody since then,” Hobbs said. “It’s been a pretty traumatic shift. I was working probably around 400 kids every two days. … It’s kind of incredible how things have gone from a pretty normal daily life to now what we are living with here and being stuck at home.”

Hobbs said spring is usually full of activity in DWU’s weight room. Hobbs was working out DWU student-athletes across all the sports, while the football team would have been in the midst of spring practices.

“There’s a lot of activity in the spring,” Hobbs said. “It’s just different obviously not having that activity going on and seeing those kids around and that interaction.”


The student-athletes are taking online classes at home to finish up their spring semester. Hobbs sent a workout packet home with the student-athletes, but he’s more concerned about their mental well-being right now.

“Right now I think it is more about mental health than it is about anything else,” Hobbs said. “I am just trying to relief stress and anxiety and keep them focused on their grades. Once we get past the school year and past the online courses, then we can re-evaluate.”

He’s staying in contact with student-athletes via email. But not every student-athlete has access to a gym and some are confined to just small spaces in and around their homes.

“That’s going to be the big hurdle that we are going to have to come across, is how can we find ways to challenge them with limitations of space and keeping it safe as far as the social distancing,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said the university will decide after the school year how to train kids for the summer. It will more than likely force Hobbs to modify his training methods and dive into social media.

Hobbs admits he’s not a social media person, but said he’s going to have to adapt if that’s the best way to train student-athletes moving forward.

Hobbs has received ideas from colleagues on how to adjust workouts during this time. Strength and conditioning coaches are utilizing the web conferencing app Zoom, along with other social media platforms to encourage workouts.

“It’s very unique and different,” Hobbs said. “That definitely seems like that is where we are going to with a lot of things that we are going to do.”


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