Oct. 23, 2009
by Kristy Rivero
OSR Sting EXTRA
ATLANTA — There is something very appropriate about a strength and conditioning coach at Georgia Tech being a former math teacher.
Tim Caron, the player development coach for the Tech women’s basketball team, made it all the way through college and student teaching before realizing that being an educator was not his thing. As it turns out, he’s still teaching.
“My philosophy is I’m a general movement practitioner,” he said. “I’m trying to make them a well-rounded athlete so they are a little stronger, a little more powerful, maybe move a little quicker, a little faster so when they get to the court and they have to do specific movements with the basketball, whether it’s drills or jump shots or a defensive slide, they’re a better athlete and they’ll be able to move better on the court.”
There is probably no single person who spends more time with the team than Caron. He’s there during the season, he’s there in the off season, he’s in the weight room, and he’s there through rehab.
“You spend so much time and you develop a bond. They work so hard and you want them to be successful and it feels good when they get something in return for it,” he said. “I want to see them enjoy the fruits of their labor. This is one of the few avenues of life where the more you put into it, the more you get in return. I like to embrace that and reinforce that every single time.”
Caron and the team are now working together in the brand new Zelnak Center. The $8.5 million facility puts all elements of the basketball programs under one roof.
“I think it’s a great opportunity. They’re just going to have one central location where they can go to,” he said. “They have a lot of things going on whether it’s study hall or community service, whether it’s classes or an event or all this other stuff. Now they don’t have to worry about coming from the gym all the way [to the Hugh Spruill Strength Center] to weight train.
“It’s maybe 15 minutes [saved] a day, but that 15 minutes might be the difference between getting a higher grade on a test or maybe a little more rest. That’s the thing I’m most excited for. On top of that it’s a beautiful facility. The school’s making a big commitment to what we’re doing and when people see that, the buy-in factor is a lot higher and people get a good vibe and want to work harder.”
Caron certainly knows something about working hard. When he switched career paths, he spent 16-hour days commuting to school in Massachusetts, to work, and then home to Connecticut. In the end, Georgia Tech reaps the benefits of Caron’s dedication.
“I thought if I’m still enjoying it after going through all this,” Caron said, “then this is the career I was supposed to do.”