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Ryder Weischedel helping Jimmies athletes behind the scenes

Weischedel has been the director of strength, conditioning and campus wellness since 2018.

Ryder Weischdel
University of Jamestown director of strength, conditioning and campus wellness Ryder Weischedel poses in the Scott D. Peterson weight room.
Contributed / Ryder Weischedel
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JAMESTOWN — When he graduated from then Jamestown College in 2007, Ryder Weischedel had no idea he’d be back helping Jimmies athletes perform at their best.

“When I got to (North Dakota College of Science), I did a little bit more research, looked into certifications because the head coach was the head strength coach,” Weischedel said. “So, he was being the head coach and the head strength coach at the same time so that’s when I knew, he was telling me about it, ‘Hey this is something that you could do and go into.’ So, I did a little research and found out more about strength and conditioning at the collegiate level.”

Weischedel said one of his inspirations for getting into the field was former Jimmies defensive line coach Brett Maynard.

“I liked to lift weights when I was in college,” Weischedel said. “I had a good strength coach here....and basically I started to coach football at a junior college right out of college and just got into strength and conditioning when I was there coaching. I really just followed that path.”

After graduating in 2007, Weischedel moved around the country starting at the North Dakota College of Science before going to Baylor University in Texas and then got a masters degree at the California University of Pennsylvania. After that, he worked as the director of athletic performance at Buena Vista University in Iowa.

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Weischedel said he wanted to take the job at Jamestown because he and his wife, Alyssa, were looking to settle down and start a family in a place both of them know.

“When I was here in college, it was a good place for me,” Weischedel said. “My wife’s from Fargo, my family is from Gettysburg, South Dakota, which is three hours south of here. So after being around a lot of different places, I figured time to come back. We wanted to start a family, raise our kids in the Midwest, so it was the right opportunity at the right time.”

Weischedel was hired as the director of strength, conditioning and campus wellness on July 26, 2018. He said he met with student-athletes, coaches and support staff around the school.

In his current role, Weischedel and his staff work with 24 teams and over 650 athletes. Weischedel oversees a staff of three people, including two graduate assistants.

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Weischedel said he tailors the workouts to each sport and what those athletes need to do to succeed.

“We look at the demands of their sport and we try to not necessarily emulate what their sport is but we try to make them strong, powerful, fast but at the same time resilient to injury,” Weischedel said. “(We) try to reduce the risk of injury by making people stronger. That’s what we look at with the strength and conditioning program. What’s going to help each athlete become the best at their sport? We look at that and prescribe exercises and sets and reps that go with their sport.”

Despite that, Weischedel said there are certain workouts including squatting and working on power movement that all the teams do. He said the biggest thing that impacts what exercises the athletes do is whether it is during the season or in the offseason.

Because of the number of athletes Weischedel and his staff work with, he said it would be impossible to give each athlete their own plan. He said athletes with their own plans are built in conjunction with the athletic training staff because an athlete is recovering from an injury or might have a different reason why he or she can’t do the main workout.

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Since he was hired, Weischedel has seen the athletic department grow from 17 teams and almost 500 athletes to over 650 and 25 teams. The most recent team to join is the women’s hockey team with their first season coming in the 2022-23 season. Weischedel said the support that the school has given the teams has grown since he was first hired and it has translated into success for the teams.

“It’s been a smooth transition and having more strength and conditioning coaches on staff has helped tremendously and we got new racks so we have more racks this year,” Weischedel said. “So, instead of having 14 workstations, we have 24 workstations which helps a lot and obviously having more coaches on staff helps a ton.”

Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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