For some, strength training and conditioning might look intimidating. For others, it might be a way to relieve stress. For graduate assistants Jarrod Burton and Billy Cedar it’s their passion and a future career plan.
Burton and Cedar are both working with student-athletes from high school to collegiate levels. As strength and conditioning coaches, they are focused on helping athletes train and reach their goals.
Enrolled in the Athletic Coaching Education program, Cedar works with Morgantown High School athletes and serves as the strength head coach. He earned his BS from the University of Michigan (2016).
"My time at MHS has allowed me to learn the aspects of strength coaching that go beyond an understanding of the training process. Running a strength program involves administrative duties that working at MHS has given me a taste of," said Cedar.
Cedar mentioned the joy he has discovered in helping others train and get stronger. Since his first strength and conditioning internship, he's enjoyed the team atmosphere and realized that his passion for weightlifting could develop into a career.
Burton received a BS degree in Exercise Science from East Tennessee State University (2016). Enrolled in the CPASS Coach and Sports Education program, Burton works with the WVU rowing and cross country and track and field groups. At the time, there are no other strength and condition coaches for these teams. Burton also helps with the WVU football and Men's basketball teams.
"Strength and conditioning can be a very transformative process for athletes both physically and mentally. I have had the great fortune to be coached by and work with incredible strength and conditioning coaches. In working with and observing these coaches I have developed a passion for making the same difference in athlete's lives as those coaches made in mine," said Burton.
Cedar and Burton worked together with three student-athletes who started their strength conditioning at MHS with Cedar and later continued their training with Burton at WVU. Burton and Cedar were able to support the athletes’ transition from high school to Division 1 athletics.Both students have credited CPASS professors Drs. Guy Hornsby, Dana Volker and Kristen Dieffenbach for helping them expand their knowledge of athletic coaching during their time at WVU. Along with mentors, they say that the programs at CPASS allowed them to grow into better coaches and build connections that will last throughout their careers.