Avera Medical Minute AQoP: First strength and conditioning coach in Mitchell taking athletes to next level

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It’s a first for the Mitchell School District and a game changer for its athletics – the district’s first strength and conditioning coach has recently been brought on to help take its athletes to the next level.

Eric Witte is taking on that role and is starting the program from scratch.

“It’s really important just giving kids the tools to protect themselves and make sure we not only give them athletic success, but also make sure we can keep them in sport because trying to keep them away from injuries can pile up. These are young kids. You want to keep them as healthy as possible so that they can stay in their sport,” said Witte.

“To have one person to kind of have that overarching view to develop our kids into bigger, faster, stronger athletes is what we’re working on,” said Cory Aadland, activities director for Mitchell School District.

Aadland says strength and conditioning has become more specialized in the last decade.

“Now having a full time strength and conditioning coach really is a game change for us. It allows us to take our athletes to levels we wouldn’t be able to,” said Aadland.

“For our school district and Avera to come together for something like this is just great. It’s going to benefit our community for a long time,” said Joe Shepardson, head track and field coach for Mitchell School District.

Shepardson says having Witte on board allows coaches to focus on other areas.

“It’s great to have a person like Coach Witte in there because his knowledge of strength and conditioning is much better than most of the coaches, and that’s not a knock to the coaches, that’s just what he specializes in,” said Shepardson.

Witte says what the kids are learning goes beyond strength and conditioning; they’re learning life skills.

“There’s no greater place than right here, just as far as developing that mental toughness, because it’s really tough in here. But the thing that I really like about this is there’s not first team, second team -- it’s everybody together and you can really band together and really see teams come together and push through those really hard times,” said Witte.

For more information, just call 877-AT-AVERA.