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Strength to Endure

Part of the college experience is to not only find something that you are passionate about to major in, but to then get experience in that career field. This experience is likely to help your prospects of landing your first job out of college. For LeTourneau University baseball student-athlete, Josh Raies, his college experience fits this idea. The Midland, Texas native has turned a passion in fitness and strength training into an opportunity to help LeTourneau University student-athletes with their strength and conditioning needs.

A kinesiology exercise science major, Raies realized early on just how important weight training can be when trying to enhance athletic performance. He recently obtained his certified strength and conditioning specialist certification and is working with the LeTourneau University softball, men's and women's golf, women's soccer, and volleyball teams with their strength and conditioning needs.

Working with five sports and nearly 90 student-athletes might seem like a full-time job, but Raies is also serving his second term as student body president and is finishing out his senior season as a baseball player. Even with this full schedule, Raies has found a way to manage through various skills that he has learned in his four years at LeTourneau.

"Juggling a full schedule is a daily process," said Raies when asked about how he handles his grueling daily schedule. "There's been a lot of lessons learned in terms of adding too much to my plate, but thankfully by God's grace I have been able to excel in the areas where I was most needed while prioritizing everything on a daily basis." He has discovered that even though the daily schedule can be extremely taxing, being able to see these athletes excel due to their training is extremely rewarding.

With his certification as a strength and conditioning specialist, Raies knows that each sport has many of the same basic needs, but also knows the importance of focusing on sport specific training needs. "With golf for example, we look a lot at the health of the spine and the congruency of the hips and the spine." He also focuses on the foundation of strength development for each student-athlete and believes that their work in the weight room will translate into success on the field.