Written By: Victoria Williamson ~ Assistant Sports Editor

Picured: Coach Ed Smith. Credit not known. 

Every sports team and athlete at the University of Lynchburg has a unique set of needs in order to thrive in their environment. 

Lynchburg’s Assistant Athletic Director for Sport Performance, Ed Smith, works hard to prepare each athlete for the demands of their sport and beyond.

After nine years of working at the University of Lynchburg, Smith has worked with hundreds of athletes. Much detail goes into creating a lifting program for them as he must cater to each team’s needs. 

“It’s sitting down at the beginning of the semester and looking at the layout for each team. I look at what we did in previous years, what worked and what did not. I plan in four week blocks, and the workout depends on whether the team is in-season or not,” said Smith.

Playing for Emory and Henry’s football team in 2011, Smith got a taste of the ODAC’s athletic atmosphere, which influenced his decision to work with athletes at Lynchburg. 

“Knowing the quality of athletes in the ODACs, I jumped at the chance to work with them,” said Smith.

“The workouts put us in a position to be stronger on the field,” said Spencer Vandenberg, a lacrosse player who works closely with Smith. 

Looking no further than his own home, Smith turns to his family as motivation for coming to work and dedicating so much time to bettering athletes here.

“My family motivates me. I want to be a dependable father and husband, as well as a positive role model for my son. The coaches that impacted me the most were the honest ones, so I want to be honest, and equally as driven as the athletes I coach,” said Smith.

Athletes like Bree Spainhour, sophomore right-side hitter on Lynchburg’s Volleyball Team, are benefitting from Smith’s carefully planned workouts.

“He does a great job giving us workouts that directly correlate to the sport we play and working the specific muscles that will improve our game,” said Spainhour.

“Getting 1% better everyday” is Coach Smith’s slogan; found in Wake and heard amongst teams at the university. His impact on each athlete’s work ethic and drive proves to go beyond the court.

“That phrase helps you focus on the here and now in order to get to the desired outcome. I want the small impact I have on each student’s four years here, to help them for the next 40,” said Smith.

Follow @lynchburgsports on Instagram to stay up to date with upcoming games and events. 

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