November 30, 2020

Loks Performance Center offers new spot for athletes’ training

The Loks Performance Center is long-awaited and has lived up to its hype according to student-athletes.

Webster University has a new training center for Gorlok athletes. The Loks Performance Center is located less than a mile away from campus on Old Orchard Avenue. Webster athletes have advocated for more space to work out in for years. The new location offers just that.

Before, athletes had the option of using either Grant Gymnasium or the fitness center located in the University Center. Previously, Grant Gymnasium served as the new place allotted on campus where certain sports teams trained at the beginning of the fall semester.

The gym was transformed into a socially distanced space where all students could book sessions to work out. Both facilities designated for athletes were open for all students and the public before the pandemic.

The new center, where athletes started to train in late September, will be used by Gorlok athletes only.

“We used to have to work out in the gymnasium and borrow weights from the shared weight room and if other teams or students were working out it really limited or even changed the dynamic of how we could workout,” junior women’s basketball player Lauryn Freeman said. “The addition of equipment at the Loks Performance Center not only helps in allowing for more people to complete exercises at the same time, but we have more purposes for the equipment than we did back working in the gymnasium.”

Webster athletes listen to an instructor at the new athletic facility near the Webster Groves campus. Photo by Charlotte Renner.

Freeman said the Loks Performance Center does not only benefit current Webster student-athletes but potential recruitment as well.

“I believe this could help future athletes in being a selling point because I won’t deny that even when coming here I wasn’t too thrilled about the weight room,” Freeman said. “Now, recruits can see that the athletic department really wants the best for the athletes and were willing to purchase this facility to continue to make them better.”

The new center has answered many student-athletes’ cries for a larger space. Advocating for more room has been one of the most consistent issues brought up at the Delegate’s Agenda for almost a decade.

Senior baseball player Ben Kowalski described the differences between the new and old facility as “night and day.”

“We have so much more space, all the equipment is new, we have awesome branding,” Kowalski said. “Overall, it was a huge upgrade.”

Junior volleyball player Kyra Gensel loves how much more space is available in the Loks Performance Center.

“The best part about it is to be able to go in and always know there is room to work out. I also like that there is enough space to do multiple different movements at the same time,” Gensel said.

Although the new performance centers offer more space than the fitness center on campus, teams still have to work out in smaller groups as part of the many safety protocols put in place to keep everyone safe.

Kowalski, Gensel and Freeman agreed that thanks were owed to Webster head strength and conditioning coach, Matt Siatz.

“He has worked so hard and advocated for the athletes for years trying to get this project done. This wouldn’t be possible without him and seeing him be able to accomplish this, along with the help of others, was the best part for me,” Kowalski said. “I’ve never seen him as excited than the first lift we had this fall in the new weight room.”

Freeman agreed.

“He is an awesome strength and conditioning coach and he just needed a facility to match his energy, and I think the Loks Performance Center is perfect for him,” Freeman said.

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