Wubben whips athletes into shape

The student-athletes of Loras College welcome Kati Wubben to their coaching staff this as full time strength and conditioning coach under head coach Josh Edward.

Wubben, a Loras alum and native of Mason City, IA, says that what had initially brought her to Dubuque was Loras’ athletics and academic programs as well as family in the area. During her time here as a student, she spent three years throwing hammer and javelin for the track team while pursuing a sports science degree (now known as kinesiology) before graduating in 2014.

She was then welcomed to the strength and conditioning coaching staff last year on a part time, volunteer basis.  This year she is currently working full time with women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, softball, men’s and women’s track, and women’s lacrosse.

“My teams know I’m a very laid-back coach, that I’m going to joke around with you a little bit as long as you know what you’re supposed to be doing.  If you don’t get your workouts done or you’re one that’s goofing off during lifting, that’s when I’m going to become a yeller; they know that when I start yelling, it’s not going to be a good day,” said Wubben.

Wubben has found that the best time to train is before 6 a.m. and after afternoon classes so her average days starts at 5:45 a.m. and often goes until 7 p.m., working with small groups throughout the day.

“I do everything.  As a strength coach you cover all of your bases, so we cover strength, power, agility, and it’s all programmed a certain way so you’re getting the most out of each phase,” said Wubben.

The program she has her athletes follow is a hybrid of what coach Edwards has designed coupled with what she learned at a year-long internship at Texas A&M.  Her techniques even involve a nutritional aspect where she does “nutrition talks” with her teams.

“We talk more about how there are better foods to eat and when to eat them.  Certain foods are better at the beginning of the day, they give you more energy, while other foods are better for recovery after workouts. It’s more about managing and restructuring,” said Wubben.

While sports are competitive and require lots of work, Wubben goes beyond the physical aspects to create a welcoming and fun atmosphere in the gym.

“My favorite part of my job is just being able to work with all of the athletes.  I have a lot of good groups of athletes; they make 6 a.m.s enjoyable.  I had an athlete demonstrate her step-aerobics abilities instead of doing her box jumps,” said Wubben.  “The relationships I build with my athletes, they feel that they can come and talk to be about certain things and it’s not always weight room related.”

As a recent grad, her young age helps athletes relate to Wubben, a quality she fully embraces.

“Most people around here know me already, after being a student-athlete here and working part time last year. It’s weird to be called ‘Coach’ now…. The people who are seniors this year, were freshmen when I was a senior… So I don’t want to put myself up on a pedestal.  So I say (to my athletes) you can still call me Kati, you can call me Wubben, you can call me ‘Coach’ if you want to, but it still sounds weird to me.”

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