The BridgeAthletic Advantage for New Mexico State University Football

Optimized Strength & Conditioning: How New Mexico State University scored big with enhanced program efficiency and athlete preparedness from upgrading to BridgeAthletic



About Washburn's Kinesiology Department

Washburn University's Kinesiology department is a dynamic hub of learning and innovation in the field of human movement and exercise science. With a commitment to excellence in education and research, the department offers a wide range of programs designed to prepare students for careers in exercise physiology, physical therapy, sports medicine, and other health-related professions. The dedicated faculty members bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the classroom, fostering a supportive learning environment where students can explore the intricacies of human movement, anatomy, and physiology. Whether through cutting-edge research projects or hands-on clinical experiences, Washburn University's Kinesiology department equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to make a meaningful impact on individuals' health and well-being.


About New Mexico State University Football

The New Mexico State Aggies football team, a member of Conference USA competing at the NCAA Division I level, underwent a notable evolution during the 2022 and 2023 seasons. Head Coach Jerry Kill, renowned for breathing new life into football programs, spearheaded a significant transformation. Under Coach Kill's leadership, the Aggies not only improved their on-field performance but also strengthened their recruitment and training programs. This groundwork laid the foundation for future triumphs under the stewardship of the new Head Coach, Tony Sanchez, solidifying their position as a competitive force in college football.

The Challenge

Along with many other Strength and Conditioning programs, coaches have to find a way of handling multiple athletes in multiple sports, each requiring different training programs. The Director of Performance at NMSU, Coach Eric Klein has had a lengthy career in collegiate athletics where he has relied on building Excel spreadsheets for his programming. The traditional, but time-consuming approach was proving to be headache for Coach Klein as he searched for a more efficient solution.

“There’s got to be an easier way to do this,” said Klein. “And I’m definitely not going back to working with three different Excel sheets for every player.” 

He was first led to TeamBuildr, which was a step up from Excel but it was still woefully insufficient in meeting the needs of busy student-athletes. By locking users to a rigid training calendar, it lacked the flexibility needed to manage workout plans for athletes with varied schedules and requirements. Still, in search of a solution, Coach Klein was introduced to BridgeAthletic which offered a more advanced and flexible program delivery compared to others he has used in the past.

“I was like, you know what, this makes sense to me. This will help me make the program and disperse it amongst everybody quickly.”

The Solution

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In the quest for a dynamic and effective approach to strength and conditioning, Coach Eric Klein, discovered a game-changer in BridgeAthletic. He was able to redefine program planning for the Aggies and successfully tackle the complex challenges posed by diverse athlete schedules and unique demands.

Managing Athlete Schedules

Coach Klein and the NMSU football program harnessed the power of Bridge to centralize the creation and distribution of customized programs. With the capability to use playlist program scheduling instead of a fixed calendar schedule, Klein and his staff were able to ensure efficiency while successfully managing the intricate schedules and evolving needs of their student-athletes.

Acclimating New Recruits

With the effectiveness of the platform in swiftly preparing tailored programs for incoming recruits, Coach Klein can streamline the onboarding process. By leveraging the ability to send programs remotely and features like custom instructional videos and adding progressions and regressions for exercises, Klein is facilitating a smooth transition for new players coming into the team’s training regimen.

Maintaining Consistency During Breaks

NMSU values the continued communication facilitated by the Bridge platform, especially during vacations or school breaks. Having functionalities like direct messaging and leaving comments on exercises ensures that the athletes have uninterrupted access to their training schedules which helps create a culture of consistent engagement and preparation.

"The feedback I got immediately from the athletes was, 'I'm going to be ready for when summer starts winding down and actual on-campus workouts start,' and that made a massive difference in the preparation levels of our guys." 
Coach Eric Klein, Director of Sports Performance at NMSU

The Impact

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Enhanced Athlete Experience

The platform's versatility empowered Coach Klein to adapt swiftly to changing schedules and individual needs, enabling real-time adjustments to workout plans based on practice times or specific athlete circumstances.

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Improved communication

Beyond enhancing coordination within the coaching staff, BridgeAthletic facilitated improved communication across the board, fostering a more comprehensive approach to athlete health and training. This extended collaboration to include athletic medicine staff and trainers, ensuring a holistic support system.

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Athlete readiness and engagement

BridgeAthletic played a crucial role in keeping student-athletes well-informed throughout the season. This resulted in a remarkable 7,500 workouts and 11,500 check-ins submitted by over 200 athletes via the Bridge mobile app, showcasing the platform's impact on athlete readiness and engagement.

The 2023 season was a tremendous success for the NMSU football team, securing double-digit wins for the only the second time in program history. Their triumphs included an impressive road victory against Auburn as well as being selected to play in the New Mexico Bowl against Fresno State. The incorporation of BridgeAthletic into their program played a pivotal role in elevating both efficiency and effectiveness, contributing significantly to the team’s performance and achievements during the season.

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About John Burns, Washburn Kinesiology Prof.

John is a Senior Lecturer of Kinesiology at Washburn University with expertise in teaching human movement including; anatomical kinesiology, biomechanics, exercise techniques, and corrective exercise approaches. He has additional experience in teaching Functional Movement Screening (FMS) and NASM Personal Training Certification courses. Prior to teaching, John’s career in Athletic Training spans over 20 years, where he has served as a Program Director as well as a nationally certified and state-licensed athletic trainer.

John boasts an impressive list of qualifications, including certification as a Corrective Exercise Specialist, Level-1 FMS certification, and recognition as a Certified Weightlifting Performance Coach. His contributions to the field have earned him esteemed honors, including induction into the Kansas Athletic Trainers' Society Hall of Fame, being named the Kansas Athletic Trainer of the Year on two occasions, and receiving the NATA National Service Award. Furthermore, his dedication to students has been acknowledged with the Carol Vogel Faculty Advisor of the Year award and recognition as a Student Retention All-Star.

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About Eric Klein

Eric Klein is the Director of Sports Performance for the Aggies football team, where he has demonstrated a passion for helping athletes reach their highest potential. He has a rich background in collegiate strength and conditioning, having worked at institutions like Northern Illinois University, University of Minnesota, and University of Connecticut. His implementation of advanced training technologies like BridgeAthletic has significantly enhanced the team's conditioning program and contributed to the overall transformation of the Aggies under his longtime associate Jerry Kill.

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