After completing her practicum at an outpatient clinic, senior Kinesiology and Sports Management major Liv Korngable turned to something more familiar for her required internship hours.
The women’s basketball guard began her strength and conditioning internship this fall where she works under Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Clete McLeod and Assistant Coach Caleb Heim.
“(McLeod) and (Heim) are very overly educated strength coaches,” Korngable said. “Strength coaches have this stereotype that they’re a bunch of meatheads, and they just want to move heavy weight around, but no. (McLeod) and (Heim) really care about educating the athletes about what they’re doing and why they’re doing and how it will translate. Now they’re helping me to do the same and to explain things to me and I get my hands dirty as well.”
This year the weight room is no longer just another facility Korngable visits for practice, it’s now a place where she is a coach.
“Now I’m considered a coach so that’s new for me,” Korngable said. “It’s definitely hard for me to instruct people who I don’t have a relationship with that I don’t know personally. So I’m really trying to learn names and get to know the athletes. But what I was looking forward to with this internship is that I actually get to know the athletes.”
While working for the strength and conditioning Korngable tasks include instructing athletes on their movements, cleaning the weight room and individually wrapping food for the nutrition tables.
Helping others find encouragement in the weightroom is also something that Korngable said she enjoys.
“I really enjoyed the weight room because it was kind of like an escape from basketball for me when basketball wasn’t going well or it was kind of stressful,” Korngable said. “I felt like I had a little leg up in the weight room. So I always kind of keep that in mind that I want to make the weight room like a fun place for others and not a stressful place.”
The biggest thing Korngable has learned, she said, is how the weight room can translate to sport and how that’s important for athletes’ development.
One reason why Korngable was able to jump right into coaching is because of her time working out in the weight room the last three years, Mcleod said.
“Liv is a pretty spectacular athlete, so she brings to the table a lot more than what our typical incoming intern does.” McLeod said. “It’s almost like she’s been interning the entire time. She stepped into this room. She’s a really inquisitive person and really engaged in the training. So she was already very, very much invested in it. She’s kind of ahead of the game in terms of being an intern.”
Seeing people in the weight room that she knows helps make the weight room more of a social environment, Korngable said.
“I know that they respect me and respect my opinion and my knowledge, so I know that they’re going to take in the information that I give them and it just makes it more of a social environment and I think that’s another thing that I really like about the weight room is It can still be fun,” Korngable said.
Brining the energy into the weight room as an athlete is something Korngable already has experience with as a member of the 2020 undefeated Summit League Tournament team.
“We’re there at 6 a.m. on Fridays and the music is loud,” Korngable said. “We’re talking to each other and encouraging each other and goofing around in between sets. We make it fun sometimes you have to force the fun to enjoy it and I think being able to bring that energy and I like seeing other people bring that energy, I feed off that energy.”
When Korngable isn’t practicing with the women’s basketball team or interning with strength and conditioning she is applying to physical therapy programs in Minnesota and across the country, Korngable said.
Developing the students and athletes at USD that want future careers that entail working with the body are the priority, McLeod said.
“We want to give them an opportunity to get into this training and see if it’s for them,” McLeod said. “So when we get athletes in here, we really enjoy that because we like to see them interested in it. Everybody’s taking lessons that they learned out of this weight room about good healthy human movements and transitioning it over to what they are going to do in life.”