Appreciating the Underappreciated: A Spotlight on Lawrenceville’s Strength & Conditioning Coaches

Aryana Iyer ’27 in Sports | November 10, 2023

          There are many student-athletes on campus who give their best efforts to our Big Red Athletic teams. However, we often don’t associate their accolades and success on the fields and courts with the work done behind the scenes by Lawrenceville’s strength and conditioning coaches: Tony Rienzo and Kelly Wise. Our trainers are a core part of Big Red Athletics: committing themselves to helping athletes through strength and conditioning training; running programs for athletes to build on exercise to help performance in their sport; and most importantly, rehabbing injured athletes. The support and dedication of our strength and conditioning coaches allow student-athletes to stay in the best condition possible, positively contributing to their athletic performance. But what motivates our trainers to be so dedicated to our Big Red Athletics? What is their process for conditioning our athletes?

          To find out, I conducted interviews with our trainers to uncover their process and mentality when building up our athletes. Wise and Rienzo believe that the hard work and diligence our athletes bring when it comes to improving themselves in their sport is what makes their job enjoyable. Rienzo stated “The students' passions for getting better by achieving their goals, getting stronger in the weight room, and playing better in the sports fields and courts is a huge motivating factor for me.” When it comes to training athletes, the trainers a process to improve each athlete’s individual performance in games. First, Rienzo and Wise write out a personalized workout plan in preparation for teams and exercise programs to come in. Then, they oversee both varsity and sub-varsity teams' lifts as well as work with individual athletes to enhance their athleticism and success. These workouts are tailored to the level and experience of the athletes so they can improve themselves physically no matter their starting point. 

          But why do our trainers want to give up their time to work with each of our athletes? Rienzo explained, “I have loved sports my entire life and am of a competitive nature. Seeing the passion of high school students, whether it’s trying a new sport or perfecting a sport they’ve been playing for over 10 years, brings me back to when I was an athlete and played competitively.” So when we celebrate the accomplishments of our Big Red athletes and teams, we must also give credit to the trainers who help these athletes build their athleticism and perform on the courts and fields. Today, it’s their turn to be in the spotlight.