By: Paul Stoller
Coach Diego Matorras has been named the school’s first strength and conditioning coach. One year ago, Gilman School hired the Argentinian native and University of Central Florida graduate as the JV volleyball coach and assistant varsity coach. Over the summer, coach Matorras worked on a new project that is sure to change the approach to fitness and the preparation that students take towards their sports.
Coach Matorras’ first task as the official strength and conditioning coach was to refine the intramural fitness elective. “My first training sessions were originally designed for fitness and aerobics. Coach Bob [Smith] asked me to create an exercise program for the fitness and aerobic intramural, so I did.” The new state of strength and conditioning is divided into two groups. The first part of the workout is, as the name entails, aerobics, “So that’s long runs, aerobics, circuits, burpees, and some jumping while running. The second group is inside in the weight room. There are not many free weights besides dumbbells, so most of it is done on the machines.” He continued, “You can work on chest, biceps, legs, and shoulders. We also decided to add a baseline test at the beginning and the end of the session to measure progress.” Fitness is now supervised by two to four active instructors: Mr. Ian Brooks, Ms. Daphne McWilliams, Mr. Will Sheard, and Ms. Kelsey Carper. “It is basically a guideline for the instructors in charge to use. During Fall I am committed to our Volleyball program, that takes more of my time in the afternoons, but it will change for the upcoming seasons.”
Coach Matorras also mentioned how he has been asked by two students to design personal training sessions for basketball. These students are also part of the fitness and aerobics program. Now that Gilman athletics has a position exclusively dedicated towards strength and conditioning, any student can get help from Mr. Matorras to improve their fitness for specific sports. “Everybody is welcome to ask me for help or guidance about their fitness goals/activities. My office is located in the weight room, and I spend most of my day around the athletics building, you could find me there or email me [firstname.lastname@example.org]”. Matorras would also meet with the coach for the sport that any student plans on playing and will personally set up a program based on the requirements for the sport and the recommendations from the coach. Coach Matorras added, “I want people to get something out of it. One of the main goals is that students experience the benefits of physical activity, improving strength, flexibility and their aerobic capacity.”