Man prepares to lift a large amount of weights on a barbell.

Symposium gets stronger every year

Whether you want to pump a little iron, train for a marathon or just get in shape, learning from strength and conditioning experts can help you accomplish your goals.

Four years ago, sports performance coaches at Spartanburg Regional’s Sports Medicine Institute wanted to educate people on strength and conditioning topics and trends. They decided to collaborate with coaches across South Carolina and beyond.

That’s when the Sports Medicine Institute created the annual Strength and Conditioning Symposium.

Next month, the fourth annual symposium will attract coaches of all varieties to Wofford College on Feb. 3.

“About 40-50 people participated in our first year,” Gary Hazelwood, sports performance supervisor at the Sports Medicine Institute, said. “Last year we had nearly 100, and this year we expect more.”

Sports Medicine Institute professionals will join other strength and conditioning experts from Wofford, Davidson, Elon and the University of South Carolina. Together, they’ll teach symposium attendees about ways to increase athletic performance through specific techniques.

This year’s event will teach coaches and athletes how to increase athletic performance or implement techniques from strength and conditioning coaches and experts.

Andrew Lyons, a performance coach for the Sports Medicine Institute, has attended several of the symposiums. Lyons, who received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science, attended his first symposium as an intern and said that not only does it help generate ideas; it offers coaching, psychological and planning opportunities.

“What people get is phenomenal advice from amazing experts,” he said. “It helps coaches learn how to be better coaches, and how they can utilize sports psychology on a daily basis to create their own plans to help their programs and athletes. It’s really a great opportunity.” 

His colleague, Megan Rollins agreed.

“What I have learned from the symposium is how to go about teaching our classes and how not to go about teaching our classes,” she said. “It’s a really good foundation for everyone because you can learn what to expect.”

Symposium-goers learn from the most respected and knowledgeable coaches, Hazelwood said, all of whom have worked with athletes of all ages.

“They come from all walks of life and have taught at high levels,” Hazelwood said. “The whole point is to help educate people, and let them know what works.”

For more information about the fourth annual Strength and Conditioning Symposium, contact Matt Lyden at 864-560-5104, or Hazelwood at 864-560-5699,