May 15, 2018
It’s early in the morning. Another two-a-day awaits Ethan Ettienne.
Ethan has a full day of lifting, classes, homework, socializing, eating and throwing. Ethan’s eyeing a workout program full of core stability, plyometric movements and Olympic lifts. (Click on any photo to see a larger version within a slideshow of all the photos).
Ethan’s training regime went through an adjustment—going from off-season heavy lifting to power and explosive movements to keep his throwing performance at a high during the season. He has to maintain his strength levels while not wearing himself out over the duration of a season. Ethan has done something that most collegiate athletes do not usually achieve—set personal records in the weight room during the season. Athletes’ strength levels oftentimes peak during the off-season, then their numbers decline as the rigors of a competitive season goes on. For example, baseball players tend to max out on their squats and deadlifts a month before the season, but then their numbers drop off as they continue playing doubleheaders, go on long bus trips, and so on. Ethan’s numbers has consistently climbed rather than declined.
Ethan is strong, but he’s more concerned with the ability to be as explosive as possible. There are millions of strong athletes around, but explosion is what separates the stars from the benchwarmers. This can be done by performing power movements, in this case—power cleans. Hang cleans are pretty good too. Ethan is going light on this one. He’s more focused on technique during the season, because that will carry over into throwing events. “You can bench 500, but if your technique is gone, you’re not going to throw far,” he preaches.
Ethan wraps up his morning lift with some stability work. Strength coach Heather D’Errico pumps his programs full of stability exercises such as “stir-the-pot,” “roll-outs,” and “dead bugs.” D’Errico explains that the success of an athlete’s physical development starts in the core. It’s what keeps everything together, and if you have a strong core, you’re capable of taking on larger workloads. With larger workloads, you’ll be able to perform at an even higher level, and Ethan is a byproduct of that.
Eating time! Ethan hits his “anabolic window” with a healthy meal of salad mixed with a lot of protein. This meal alone will help him maintain his recovery, keep his energy levels up, and fuels him for the next couple of hours.
Some of the most important things student-athletes tend to forget about is the relationship they have with their professors. They play a huge role in a student-athlete’s development as a student and as a person. The professors are the ones who pave the way for students to succeed after graduation. They also are the ones who help determine their GPAs! Quite important.
Lacing ‘em up. These shoes are a little different from any other shoe.It’s designed for shotputters, hammer throwers and javelin throwers. It’s light, and has a strong base towards the toe area. This allows for a strong pivot, where all the force and torque is generated.
One of the things Ethan is trying to focus on is getting the full extension as well as the launch angle. It’s important to loft the weight high, as the distance will continue to increase while the weight is coming down.
The beauty in being a student-athlete at RIT is that we incorporate technology all the time. We have coaches who utilize video analysis to ensure that Ethan fine-tunes his form. We also use technology for lifting. We have some apps that track the bar path (making sure the bar stays straight throughout an exercise), tracks your progress, and provides communication with the team re: announcements, meetings and so on.