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    SD Mines Athletics: S&C Coaches Put In The Time To Make Hardrocker Athletics Successful

    RAPID CITY, S.D. – Most ordinary people do not wake up at 4 a.m. to begin their day.

    Most people even dread getting up at 6 a.m. for work. 

    And most of us like to go home after a long day, turn on the TV and watch our favorite shows. 

    Then there are those who do not hit the snooze button when their alarm goes off at 4 a.m.

    Instead, they get dressed and go for their early morning run around their favorite route. 

    Or they go to their favorite gym and start lifting weights before their busy day takes over. 

    And instead of heading home in the evening, some work up the energy to attend their workout sessions. 

    Athletes everywhere work hard from morning to night. 

    However, let us not forget that behind every great athlete is an even better coach. 

    Here at South Dakota School of Mines, those individuals are the Hardrocker Strength and Conditioning Coaches: Jacob Talcott and Eric Engelken. 

    Located in the “dungeon” of the King Center, both S&C coaches are the master minds behind the fitness programs for every athlete on campus.

    Talcott works with the Hardrocker football, women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and cheer programs while Coach Engelken works with SD Mines men’s basketball, track &field, golf and men’s soccer teams. 

    Although each sport is vastly different, the coaches can agree that they both spend about four days a week with these teams during the off season. This is also when Talcott and Engelken are at their busiest. 

    Coach Talcott describes a typical day for the two of them as “sporadic.” 

    There is no regular day and the coaches’ schedules vary. While a Monday can be jam packed with one workout after another, a Tuesday can be one workout in the morning and there will not be another until later that evening.

    Some athletes cannot make the designated time for the team workouts and both coaches make sure to not leave them out. Both Talcott and Engelken are dedicated to making sure everyone is receiving the same progress so they will arrive earlier or stay later to assist whichever athlete needs it. 

    It is not unordinary for both coaches to be on campus around 50 – 60 hours a week working. When they are not actively training scholar-athletes, the coaches clarify that they spend at minimum, an hour a day reading the latest research. 

    “I am big on continuing education so everything that we come up with derives from a scientific journal, book or research. To an extent you come up with your own system, but none of it is new,” explains Talcott.

    Each coach designs different workouts for every team. With each sport being so different, their workouts have to reflect what type of movements they display during game time. 

    While soccer is focused on workouts such as squat variations and core movements, for example, the golf teams will not need that same training so they will focus more on stretches or lighter upper body workouts while everything handed to football is fast-paced and rigorous.  

    During the fall when most sports are in season, things get a little more lax in the office as the S&C coaches usually only meet twice a week with the teams. 

    “In season, we are just trying to maintain what was built during the off season. We want to make sure that the kids don’t walk out of the gym more beat down than when they came in. If there is a problem I don’t want to make it worse. I hope that I can remedy it when they come down to my office,” tells Engelken. 

    Although highly encouraged, it is difficult to get the athletes to stay over the summer. However, even when the coaches aren’t physically with the athletes, they are still with them through workout programs that they design. All that is created by Talcott and Engelken is to keep their trainees progressing. 

    “We want to keep them healthy but we also want them to become better athletes. Everything is meant to increase performance and decrease injury,” explains Talcott. 

    Talcott and Engelken are more vital to the conditioning of Hardrocker Athletics than they might realize. Remarkably, there has only been one ACL tear throughout all of the teams since Talcott’s arrival.  

    Both coaches sit happily at their desks in the basement of the King Center. 

    The music is loud enough to get you pumped up as soon as you begin walking down the stairs, and both coaches emit energy that does nothing but uplift you. 

    And one can bet that whether it is 6 a.m. or 6 p.m., being trained by these two can only improve performance on and off the field at SD Mines. 

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