Matchbox home to new strength and conditioning coaches

While we enjoy the “wonderful” workouts the new strength and conditioning coaches, Chris McPherson and Erika Moyer, have provided for us, many of us may not actually know a lot about the two individuals constantly telling us to add 10 more pounds to the next set.
       We should all be thankful to know that this is neither McPherson nor Moyer’s first time helping people get fit and in-shape. Moyer’s previous work was at a corporate fitness center with middle-aged workers, a group somewhat different from Swarthmore athletes though sometimes our soreness or lack of flexibility sure does make us feel middle-aged.
       McPherson’s background aligns more closely with his current position at Swarthmore. He previously worked as a strength and conditioning coach at La Salle, a Division I university in Philadelphia. Here, he has additional duties, such as managing the Matchbox, but his primary job is to design and lead workouts for the athletic teams on campus.
        In addition to differing Divisions (Swarthmore is Division III) between the two schools,  McPherson explained other noticeable disparities between the two schools’ athletes.  Swarthmore certainly has its fair share of gifted athletes who successfully balance academics and athletics. There are plenty of students who spend hours in the weight room each day, but the interests and abilities of athletes here differ from those at La Salle.
        “They are more experienced and motivated,” McPherson said when speaking of La Salle’s athletes, “in that they’ve spent more time in the weight room.”
       This is understandable considering their Division I status, but Swarthmore did rank higher, according to McPherson, in one category: respect. McPherson explained that athletes here were respectful, to which Moyer later vehemently agreed with. He clarified that while athletes at La Salle were not disrespectful, there were small differences.
       For example, McPherson said, “The called out ‘thank yous’ from players or teams are noticeable.”
       Since McPherson and Moyer’s job is to correct our form and teach us new lifts, it should be easy to concede the area of experience if it means Swatties win in respectfulness.
       As for their own athletic backgrounds, McPherson and Moyer both played sports in high school and in college. Moyer played soccer, basketball, and ran track in high school, but solely pursued soccer in college. She continues her love of soccer as an assistant coach for the Women’s Soccer team. Similar to Moyer, McPherson ran track in high school, but he decided to continue his running career into college. Both specialized in short sprints.
       “I mainly ran 100, 200, and 400 in high school,” McPherson said, but he shifted slightly in his college career. “I  just ran the 200 and 400 at Temple,” speaking of his college career at Temple University.
       It is safe to say that McPherson is pretty qualified to lead sprinting workouts.
       Like many of us, McPherson and Moyer have athletic moments they are proud of, as our coaches. They have already started to support us at sports games, and they plan to continue that trend. Hopefully, they will be able to see some of our biggest accomplishments, whether that’s making the playoffs, hitting a homerun, or scoring a goal in a big game. Having been athletes, they’re able to relate to the accomplishments of other athletes. When recalling their many athletic accolades, they both said that serious track achievements are their most memorable.
       “My 4X1 got to go to states, and we placed sixth in Pennsylvania,” Moyer said.
       Vacillating between two accomplishments, McPherson said that, “Getting the chance to compete at Penn Relays was pretty cool,” but then, almost as an afterthought, he said, “Oh, I got to go to the Junior Olympics,” which were held in Portland.
       Hopefully, their workouts will help Swarthmore continue in its reputation for athletic achievement, and their modesty in discussing their own achievements will rub off on all Garnet athletes, as well.
        Although neither McPherson nor Moyer named a favorite sports team at Swarthmore, they do have their own favorite sports. Moyer, sticking true to her roots, selected soccer as her favorite, and went even further to name that as the sport she would most like her child to play if she has one. McPherson selected football as his favorite sport. Unfortunately for McPherson, we no longer have a football team.
       “I wasn’t allowed to play football. Our track coach was also the football coach,” McPherson said wishfully, when explaining why he did not get to play his favorite sport in high school.
       He pivoted from football, however, saying that he would most like for his son to play baseball. As a disclaimer, they both mentioned that they would support their children in whatever sport they might choose, but parents can always have a favorite.
        McPherson and Moyer both had advice for student-athletes; it was succinct, but wise advice to give to our athletes.
        Moyer said, “Show up every day and put the work in. If your coaches are riding on you, it’s only because they want you to succeed.”
        McPherson said, “Work hard and good things will come.”
       They both have the work experience, personal stories, and love of sports to push us to succeed as badly. This window into our strength and conditioning coaches will make it easier to not glare too much at them when they make us add more weight to our next set; though we probably all will anyway.

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