NORFOLK, VA. - A lot has changed since the last time we caught up with Eric Potter, Old Dominion University's Director of Sports Performance (Olympic Sports).
"It’s been a complete game changer getting back to the new normal," Potter said about the ability to train the men's basketball team in person. "Seeing the athletes every day and getting back to a normal routine."
In 2020, Potter was tasked with training ODU athletes virtually because of the pandemic. He often shared workouts on social media, which included appearances by his daughter.
"I was trying to keep it creative and let the athletes know you can find other solutions to doing things," Potter said. "My daughter always, when I do my workouts, she always wants to be involved with everything. Hopefully it provided some creativity to athletes."
The creativity that was required due to COVID-19 restrictions is no longer needed, with athletes once again training in-person as they prepare for the upcoming season.
"Now we have access to all the racks, all the barbells," Potter said about once again having access to the school's workout facilities. "At home they were using bands or body weight, so we can really actually adjust their program and use the different weights, different percentages for the lifts, and we can actually see progress."
Progress is the name of the game.
Potter spends time with the men's basketball team on a daily basis, present for practice, traveling with the team and part of all workouts. He makes sure to document the players' progress through their years as Monarchs, and there are two players whose transformations currently stand out above the rest.
"Point guard Jaylin Hunter, you know when he came in, he’s kinda small and he really progressed. He looks like a underwear model these days. And then Kalu Ezikpe came in, he’s our five man, he came in and he was coming back from a meniscus surgery and was a little out of shape, a little flabby. At this point he looks like a Greek god right now.
"Those two guys have probably made the biggest changes, but other guys have made some serious strides."
All that hard work they've put in during the offseason will soon be put on display when the Monarchs take the court at Chartway Arena on November 6th.