By Gavin Pfaffinger
The newest addition to Loyola’s athletic training staff, Andre Woodert introduced new methods to the school’s athletic programs. Originally working as an athletic fitness trainer, Woodert said he worked with “athletes as young as five years old all the way up to professional athletes.” Woodert, in contrast with some of his peers who focus heavily on training ability, said he focuses “mostly on performance training–how you take gains and speed and strength and translate them into playing ability.”
Woodert graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2005, where he received a degree in sports performance. He went on to conduct research in the USC biomechanics department before leaving to pursue a career in the private sector as the sports performance director at Velocity, a speed, power and agility training center in Westwood.
Officially starting in 2015 as Loyola’s head strength coach, Woodert was first introduced to the school via clients. “I had a couple Loyola guys that I was training when I was at Velocity. Reuben Peters’14 had come down. I worked with him a bunch, and then coach Sanders got the job, and they were looking for someone to do speed work with the football team over the summer, so one of my colleagues and I came out. That was 2013.”
When Woodert heard that a position at the school had become available, he immediately sought out a more permanent tenure with Loyola’s coaching staff. According to Woodert, his duties include making “sure that all the athletes are physically prepared to play the game at a high level.”
When asked about the trainer’s contribution to the football team, varsity head coach Marvin Sanders said, “A team’s confidence and a team’s identity starts in the weight room, and he has brought that identity with us, that toughness, the work ethic, and I think that’s what he really brings to the program.”
Woodert is also tasked with finding out “how [he]can make them play the game better.” Woodert describes his training philosophy as, rather than pursuing training goals, seeking to make athletes “play the game better, and promote a mentality of toughness and readiness.”
Woodert said he loves “watching athletes get better,” and appreciates being part of “a school with a rich history of success, and being able to witness first hand and contribute to that success.”
Overall, however, Woodert said that “being able to make a difference, that’s the big one. If somebody says that something that we did made some kind of impact on them somewhere down the road, that’s pretty cool.”
When asked about why he thought Loyola has been finding so much success in their athletic ventures this year, Woodert said that “Loyola is good about investing in their success” and cited the amount of money and time Loyola puts into their athletic programs to allow them to find victory. He also said that Loyola has “a special amount of talent,” contributing to their successful performances.
Despite being a member of the Loyola community for only one school year, Woodert has already become a recognizable face and voice on campus and has assisted the Loyola athletic program in earning four CIF titles this year alone.