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Iowa women's tennis strength coach brings new look to conditioning program

BY PATRICK MASON | FEBRUARY 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa women's tennis strength and conditioning coach Jamie Wynn has helped the Hawkeyes become stronger, more mobile, and more flexible than opponents since August.

The 27-year-old started coaching after she received a master's degree from Missouri in 2009, and she helps a number of Iowa teams — including the women's golf, soccer, cross-country, and track and field squads. Wynn comes from a track and field background — she was an All-Big 12 discus thrower in college — and attributed her knowledge of overall strength and conditioning to her college coaches.

"I had some very smart coaches in college when I was on the track team," she said. "They really knew about lifting and training, so I picked their brains a lot. I built what I know and do now off their knowledge."

One of her main goals is to keep the Hawkeyes healthy, and she said performing sport-specific workouts can greatly decrease the chances of injuries. Her techniques include looking at injury trends with certain players and tailoring programs to not let the setbacks occur again.

"I usually start out with a program and it's a strong suggestion," Wynn said. "Then, when we actually execute the program, I might see certain needs for certain people and I'll simply adjust what they do. Some are more advanced and other require little tweaks. If a player needs to be more flexible, her workout will be a little shorter so they can work on flexibility."

She is also adept at learning what each sport requires for its athletes to remain in top shape. Wynn went to Tampa Bay, Fla., in December to attend a conference on tennis conditioning; she learned new ways to train tennis players, and re-wrote Iowa's conditioning program based on the workouts professional players perform.

Iowa head coach Katie Dougherty said she was pleased with Wynn's depth of knowledge and how she implemented workouts specifically designed for tennis. A major improvement, she said, was integrating drills to improve unilateral movement, in which only one muscle group is worked at a time. Unilateral movement is a large part of tennis and the drills have helped the team get better, she said.

"When she came back, we went over what she learned at the conference and went over all of the movements," Dougherty said. "She's very good at what she does and is very consistent; you know what you're going to get out of her."

Dougherty said Wynn does a good job of adapting her program to the needs of specific players, and Wynn's work has been received well by the Hawkeyes. She commands respect right away with her attitude, freshman Shelby Talcott said.

"Coach Wynn is really great — she's always motivating, positive, and works us hard," said Talcott, Iowa's No. 2 starter. "She has really helped me with my movement, specifically my footwork on the court."

Wynn said she's driven to help the Hawkeyes achieve their goal of making the NCAA Tournament. But ultimately, she said, she wants to push them even further.

"The end goal is to make it to the NCAA Tournament and win," Wynn said. "That should be every team's goal; if it's not, I don't know what we're doing here."


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