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Olivia Szylar


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Eastern Michigan University Volleyball and Track & Field, Bachelor of Exercise Science


Eastern Michigan University

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      sport performance

    • Dream career goals:

      Future of S&C: Strength Coach Job Network Scholarship
      The field of strength and conditioning is evolving at a rapid rate because of the influx of new technologies, ideas, philosophies, and the influence of social media. Now more than ever everyone has access to the internet and/or have been exposed to different fitness wearables which are great tools but can also hinder sport performance. Many of the fitness watches on the market score or rate physical activity, exertion, steps, sleep and recovery; this system can affect psychological perception of personal health. To illustrate, I have worn a whoop band in the past because of the vast metrics it is able to analyze through the app, there are many benefits to knowing those metrics but every morning you receive a notification with a score. Once the screen pops up red and states that I have a dangerous recovery score and should refrain from physical activity it definitely does raise some concern. But what happens when an athlete has a competition on the same day, they simply can't choose to withdraw because an app suggested them to. Having to rely on an app to tell you how to feel will influence the culture of some but not all sport performance settings. It is definitely becoming a common trend that coaches need to be able to raise awareness about and find a balance between self evaluation and artificial modes of tracking. Additionally, the concept of influence has become a prominent part of our society and most professional atmospheres; many sport performance coaches have been affected by this whether it pertains to being apart of this revolution or remaining entrusted in simple observation of the content being produced. More coaches have used social media platforms to promote their programs and athletes which is a positive opportunity to connect within the performance community and to gain ideas from other reputable professionals. The problem that may arise is the contradicting content that comes from individuals that may not be certified in the field which spread false information, this may influence athletes outside of the weight room because as a coach I have no control on the social environment my athletes choose to engage in; I can simply give them some direction or suggestions. I plan on contributing to this evolution by creating meaningful content that is simple, effective and follows principles that have been innovated within our field. I will also work to create a cohesive balance between technology and self-awareness when it comes to the weight room. Being able to track different data metrics will be very eye-opening to programing and adjusting load but also having the ability to control your mind will help overall performance and longevity in general. I really enjoy the work of Mike Stone who has been a huge advocate on not taking days off but rather taking days off when your body is feeling good in order to foster physiological adaptations. That is merely a brief summary about his work, I would need more than 600 words to dive deeper into his ideas. Coach Stone has been around prior to all of these emerging technologies, therefore bringing light to ideals that have worked in the past will be an important mission of mine to preserve in the field of strength and conditioning. A quote that stands out to me with this revolution is one that my volleyball coach has engrained in my head throughout my years of club volleyball prior to playing in college: "respect the past, and grow the future".