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Coach Andy Ward (Fresno State Athletics)

Coach Ward’s tips go beyond the football field

Fresno State football strength and conditioning coach Andy Ward trains his players with athletic performance in mind, but his tips can help regular students too.

Ward established his training program on three pillars: injury prevention, athletic performance and discipline. It was developed for the football team, but one does not have to wear pads and a helmet to live a healthier lifestyle.

The benefits of staying healthy are to avoid getting sick and performing at a higher level, Ward said.

“If you’re trying to correlate it to a student, being able to focus inside class and just being sharper,” Ward said, “they just need to make sure they’re on their nutrition game.”

The ‘Dogs’ offensive and defensive linemen lost a combined 273 pounds thanks their summer workouts this year.

Defensive tackle Patrick Belony’s focused workouts contributed to a loss of 25 pounds, shedding around 7 percent of his body fat.

“[I] just went through a mindset of being able to lose weight,” Belony said. “The program fits for us to be better athletes. For myself, I was losing body fat to help me perform on the field. The plan was pretty good.”

And is it hard staying on track with the plan? Belony insisted anyone can do it.

“Anybody can have the mindset of losing weight, but you just have to put effort into it instead of slacking off,” Belony said.

Belony’s teammate on the defensive line, Malik Forrester, found the same success.

Forrester dropped 25 pounds.

“What he was doing was beneficial,” Forrester said. “It helps a lot I guess, just being healthy. It helps you live a better lifestyle.”

Whether an athlete, student or campus staff, living a healthy lifestyle is important, Ward said.

The training, or lack thereof, can determine the difference of getting a good test grade or missing a key block on the field.

 

Ward’s tips to students:

  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner with two to three snacks
  • Eat breakfast within one hour of waking up
  • Protein in each meal
  • Getting eight hours of sleep
  • Moderate portions for sweets and alcohol