Trainer helps strengthen athletic teams
Friday, September 21, 2007
By Tracy Washam
Christian University’s athletic programs have looked outside of the
university to gain a competitive edge. Last year, trainer Jack Pugh
worked with the Oklahoma Christian’s women’s basketball team and
impressed more than just coach Stephanie Findley.
This year, the men’s basketball team and the softball team brought Pugh on to help with their strength and conditioning as well.
“I had heard about Jack from a couple of athletes so I went and
watched him train at his facility,” Findley said. “I liked what I saw
and asked him to come and work with my girls.”
Pugh has trained athletes for the past 12 years. He started out as a power lifter and eventually got asked to help train others.
“One of my buddies asked me to train his son for football,” Pugh
said. “I did and really enjoyed it and that brought me to where I am
Pugh works as Vice President and Director of Training at a facility
in Bethany, Okla. called Athletes in Progress. He has worked with the
Oklahoma City University’s women’s basketball program as well as their
“Jack really knows his stuff,” men’s basketball coach Dan Hays said.
“He knows what things to have the athletes in each sport focus on that
will improve them in that sport.”
Pugh trains athletes in nearly every sport. He works with
basketball, softball and even hockey players. Each workout is sport
specific because not all sports use the same muscles.
“One thing I really like about Jack is that he knows what to focus
on for my sport,” Findley said. “My girls are not just building
strength. They are building strength in the right areas.”
The women’s softball work out, for example, might be a little more
intense because of all the things they have to strengthen. Pugh said he
believes softball and baseball are the two sports you have to train
more than others.
“With softball and baseball, you really have to focus on the
shoulders and keeping them injury free,” Pugh said. “You also have to
strengthen trunk muscles because of so much twisting.”
Although he has only worked with the men’s basketball team for a couple of months, Hays can already see the results.
“One thing I have already noticed about my guys is they are just
looking healthier,” Hays said. “They look fit and have great endurance
Pugh’s workouts attempt to keep the athlete’s injury free as a first
priority. He said he understands as athletes get older they are more
prone to injury, and he focuses on building and strengthening the right
muscles to prevent injury.
He also tries to create a lifestyle the athletes will carry
throughout their life, and hopefully, take all sports to the highest
level to compete for national championships.
“The girls have not only grown physically fit, but they are more mentally tough as well,” Findley said.
The athletes at Oklahoma Christian who have worked with Pugh enjoy seeing results and feeling like they are achieving something.
“Working out with Jack really makes you feel like you’ve done
something,” softball player Jessica Hauf said. “After the first week, I
had muscles sore that I didn’t even know were there.”
With his growing popularity among Oklahoma Christian athletic
programs, Pugh keeps a busy schedule around the campus. Right now, he
works with the basketball teams three days a week and the softball team
twice a week.
Photo by Jonathan Cannon