St. Louis, Mon., August 26, 2021 Washington University’s Athletics Department in St. Louis recently made several investments to enhance the Bears’ student and athletic experience.
Through the W Club, the annual athletics fund, generous alumni, parents, and friends transform the student-athlete experience and provide essential support for the division’s continued growth and development. W Club gifts impact each of WashU’s 19 varsity programs by addressing the team’s priorities and providing key resources for sports performance, sports medicine, online streaming, travel, and NCAA COVID-19 compliance. Annual support ensures that the bears have the resources they need to master each other in training, competition and leadership.
“We are supported by the W Club and continue to improve the experience of students and athletes,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Director of Athletics. Anthony J. Azama. “While we are just beginning our facilities improvement projects, we are motivated by what to expect for our student athletes and programs. Every decision is based on two questions: will this improve the student and athlete experience? And will us help this? fight for championships? “
Projects that have already been completed include state-of-the-art strength equipment to maximize student and athlete development. “We have steadily improved over the past few years,” said Head Sports Performance Coach, terry o’neill. “We upgraded our gear and expanded it to include stainless steel dumbbells. We look forward to continuing our Sports Performance program; an important part of the student experience.”
WashU has purchased a HitTrax batting cage for the baseball and softball programs that enables interactive gaming and real-time competitions. HitTrax helps with hitting, catching and pitching and is able to measure the position of the pitch, the point of impact and the exit speed in order to improve the overall game of a student-athlete. “We are very excited to take the next step in training by integrating the HitTrax batting cage,” said Head Softball Coach, Michelle Venturella. “This technology enables meaningful, analytical-led practice that can help improve individual performance.”
As a supplement to the three hydropools of sports medicine, the NormaTec leg regeneration systems help to relieve muscle and / or pain and temporarily increase blood circulation, which leads to more flexibility and freedom of movement, injury prevention and accelerated recovery time. It can be used to prevent delayed onset of muscle soreness, relieve muscle pain, improve athletic performance, and increase flexibility and range of motion. “One of the most important aspects of the services we provide our student athletes is access to world class equipment,” said Head Athletic Trainer, Chris Schultheiss. “The addition of the NormaTec recovery systems enables us to expand our existing techniques and further support our programs through technological advances and thorough care.”
Polar heart monitors, which offer GPS and heart rate tracking, were purchased to be shared between multiple programs. The devices enable real-time data on the distance covered, energy expenditure and heart rate and offer a deep insight into biomechanics and movement. The technology can also be used to monitor fatigue levels and build a database for training.
The Dr. Dish CT shooting machines for men’s and women’s basketball programs provide the perfect equipment for team and individual exercises. The 15.6-inch touchscreen can track up to five players simultaneously with multiplayer movements. The patented swivel net system enables training with high repetitions during follow-up and final exercises. “What a game changer for our programs! Basketball student-athletes have consistently used a variety of shooting machines to maximize reps during times when time is critical. By investing in this technology, we are positioning our scholar champions to continue training at the highest possible level, which leads to success on the pitch, “stated Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Pat itching.
Several improvements have been implemented for both student athletes and the fan experience, starting with a new LED scorer table for the Field House. In addition, WashU will complete several environmental branding projects in the Athletic Complex. The branding improvements will help tell the stories of student athletes and programs to Danforth Campus visitors, and use hallways to create a more welcoming and dynamic environment. “What a great opportunity we have to tell the stories of our exceptional student-athletes, coaches, and programs through new media,” stated Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations, Chelsea Petersen. “These projects will continue to build our momentum as we seek to increase engagement from our teams, potential recruits, families and more.”
Finally, the multi-year partnership with BSN-NIKE, the first apparel store in the department’s history, has provided new uniforms for multiple programs. Eventually, each program will have new bespoke Nike or Jordan branded uniforms.
Several facility improvements already completed or in progress include an upgrade to the timing system and video board for the Millstone Pool, an artificial turf surface with a new video board and sound system at Francis Olympic Field, a new surface for the Bushyhead Track and a state-of-the-art golf training center . Renovation of the varsity softball and intramural field began on August 23rd.
For those interested in supporting the Bears experience, please visit: Athletics / W Club.