A 2009 graduate of the College of Saint Benedict is creating a niche for herself in the strength and conditioning field. Allison Seifert is a second year graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she is pursuing a master's degree in human performance with an emphasis in strength and conditioning. Her specialty is somewhat unconventional. She credits the CSB/SJU sports medicine program as helping her develop and pursue that niche — the training of dancers.
"A dancer myself, it has always been a vacant spot in my own dance training background and in the background of those I danced with," Seifert said. "After getting involved in the sports medicine program at CSB/SJU, I realized there was no reason dancers shouldn't train as any other athlete to aid in the prevention of injuries and enhancement of performance."
Seifert spent two years working as a strength and conditioning assistant in the CSB fitness center as an undergraduate. The opportunity provided her with hands-on experience while also allowing her to explore the reality of the field under the guidance and support of the head strength coach at CSB.
"Being involved in the strength and conditioning staff at CSB not only provided me with an opportunity to apply what I was learning in the classroom into actual practice, but it was vital in building my confidence as a strength coach and aiding in the development of my own personal philosophies," Seifert said.
And it's that combination of practical experience and coursework that Seifert credits with preparing her for the rigors of graduate school.
"Along with the opportunity to really explore this field, the coursework at CSB/SJU is challenging and effective in getting you to truly understand the material and take responsibility for your education. Now doing graduate work, there have been countless times where I was able to draw from the education and experience that I received at CSB/SJU to be successful at this next level. "
Allison's advice to current or future sports medicine students:
"Allow yourself to dream and be willing to put yourself out there. I am currently pursuing a career in an area that is relatively new, and although that seems scary at times, my excitement for the future and passion for making my dream a reality continues to grow each day and that is what keeps me going. If you are curious about a career, reach out to those who are in that field; from my experience people are more than happy to talk with students about what they do for a living and how they got there. Network, take internships (they don't all have to be months long), and shadow those in careers you may be interested in pursuing. It's these experiences and what you learn about the career, as well as yourself, through the process that will give you an education you will not get anywhere else."