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Team Conditioning Systems:
Athlete Spotlight: Sarah Goldberg Conditioning Herself to Success

Friday, July 17, 1998

By Rocky Zarrelli
SJSports Special Correspondent

"I knew I wanted to get stronger, to get more stamina, to get better," high school basketball player Sarah Goldberg said. That's why she called Graig White.

Goldberg, 15, a point guard who will be a sophomore at Cherry Hill High School East, has also played soccer, volleyball, and softball, and is a talented vocalist. She is a young woman who demands much from herself.


Gregory White is Strength and Conditioning Coach for Intercollegiate Athletics at Rutgers University (Camden), his alma mater. His job: Enhancing athletic performance. His approach: "Working one-on-one with the athlete in a cooperative effort whatever (the) athletic ability, what(ever) (the) level of competition, to accomplish our goals," said White, 35, a certified strength training instructor with the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the United States Weightlifting Federation.

"A solid conditioning program is necessary for success in any competitive arena," White said. "What I am looking to accomplish is (forging) an atmosphere where positive energy will be created - energy that will be created by going back to basics, and stressing commitment to performance enhancement."

"Basketball is my main thing," Goldberg said. "I want to do whatever it will take…to be the best I can, and Graig is helping me (to) be (my best)."

"This process used to enhance the strength index of…basketball players hinges on four components: Strength, speed, flexibility, and mechanics," White said.


"Strength is a valuable commodity (for basketball players) only if it is transferable to the basketball court. Functional strength training works to link the weight-training…to the basketball court."

"The many movements executed during practice and game situations are difficult to reproduce in the weight-training facility. A good conditioning program will use many aids to overload athletes' systems in an attempt to build power and strength," White said.

"When conditioning for a sport, it's always best to know and understand the athlete," White said. "The approach I find most effective is to devise (a) game plan around the personnel, (rather) than try to force athletes into a system they may not be able to play."

"The job of the conditioning coach is to create an environment which (ensures) the only thing (the) athletes can do is get better."

Photos by Art Redd


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