Green Room is an infamous zone for athletes to hone their skills

Justin Franiak, Asst. Sports Editor

The basement of the Marts Center holds the secret weapon for all of Wilkes Athletics. It’s not some kind of magical machine or super supplement; it’s good old-fashioned hard work. The keeper of this secret weapon is Keith Klahold, the  strength and conditioning coach for Wilkes Athletics. In his ninth year at Wilkes, Klahold has developed a reputation as a stickler for perfection and as a great motivator.
Klahold, an athletic training graduate from Slippery Rock University, decided to switch his career paths because of his experiences in his brother’s gym. Another part of his motivation was his intense dislike of seeing athletes that he was working with get injured. Injury prevention by proper strengthening and conditioning is now the backbone of his workouts.
“I wanted to improve athletes and prevent injuries in the first place,” Klahold said, “instead of having to treat them later.”
After getting his bachelor’s degree at Slippery Rock in 1997, Klahold went on to earn his master’s degree at California University of Pennsylvania in 2006. Since then he has working as the strength and conditioning coach at Conrad Weiser High School, and held the same position at Florida Atlantic University for four years before making the move to Wilkes.
Klahold draws inspirations for his workouts from many different outlets. Klahold has created workouts using ideas from his interns and other colleagues, and sometimes uses rehab exercises to strengthen certain parts of the athletes’ bodies.
He also credits NBC’s show “The Biggest Loser” for showing him a few more elements to put into his workouts. He recently added a rope pull excercise that was on one of the latest episodes.
Klahold said he uses elements from Crossfit training to create shorter but intense workouts. These short and intense workouts have been dubbed “Fun Fridays.” Klahold thought of this idea in order for off-season athletes to enjoy their weekends, but also get a full workout in about 20 minutes.
There may be some misconceptions floating around about what goes on in this place that Wilkes athletes refer to as the “Green Room.” But Klahold quickly pointed out that athletes just need to realize the Green Room workouts make them fundamentally better at their craft.
Ryan Wilson, the captain of the Wilkes wrestling team, also reinforced the mental aspect of tough Green Room workouts.
“Green room workouts get us in shape for the season,” Wilson, a senior business administration major, said. “It’s all about mind over matter and developing a winning attitude.
Klahold’s workouts are adapted for multiple sports. Sophomore receiver Tim Bousson likes how the workouts combine cardio and weightlifting into one session.
“It’s a good total body workout,” Bousson said. “I’ve definitely seen a noticeable change in my speed and agility on the field.”
The Green Room also provides areas for baseball, soccer and softball athletes to improve their skills. Along with pull-up bars, ropes and tire flips, the Green Room has areas to take batting practice and throw a few pitches. Junior defender Brooke Edwards enjoys kicking a soccer ball around in the downstairs of the Marts Center.
“It provides us with a place to practice if it rains,” Edwards, math and education major, said. “It also lets us tone our skills year round and in the offseason.”
The Green Room also provides an alternative to normal practices for the wrestling team. Being such a large area, there is lots of space for a game of handball or even kickball. Nathan White, a junior psychology major and wrestler, likes how the Green Room allows the team to mix it up at practice.
“Sometimes we’ll warm up with a game of kickball or handball to get us excited for practice,” White said. “It also creates some team bonding in the process. These different kinds of warm ups usually lead to a great practice.”
When entering the Green Room one can see sign exclaiming “caution” or “work area ahead.” You may also hear moans and groan or the infamous yelling of “hard work doesn’t feel good, it looks good.”
For someone who is unfamiliar with the Green Room it may be awkward, but for those accustomed to leaving it all on the turf, it’s just another day on the job. This is the stuff champions are made of.