Mahomet, St. Joseph athletes share love of sports, training

Samantha Hites, 17, Mahomet-Seymour senior, was always going to play basketball. But someone wanted her to try another sport.

“My mom ‘forced’ me to try a three-day volleyball camp, and I fell in love,” Sam said.

picture of sam hitesA natural athlete, finding a good fit in a performance trainer was important. She found a relationship that fits like a glove through Carle’s Sports Medicine Athletic Republic program. The same is true for Corynne Roberts, 17, senior at St. Joseph-Ogden, who’s already training for the spring track season.

Kevin Harbour, lead athletic trainer of performance enhancement programs at Carle, said his team focuses on the complete athlete—mind and body. They spend time helping young athletes build both confidence and skill. Sessions are available for area athletes preparing for winter and spring sports and for the average Joe getting a jump-start on goals for 2018.

While Hites is hitting her season hard, Corynne is focusing on her even faster 400-meter event this spring.

Both girls agree the athletic trainers help them work hard but allow them to joke around and have fun.

“They see you as an adult, a patient, and a friend,” Hites said.

Roberts agrees, “They see my potential and help me grow. I come out of a session wishing it was longer or that I can come back the next day.”

corynne roberts pictureRoberts also wanted a little nudge from someone trusted. Roberts’ friends encouraged the avid club volleyball player to try out track last year. She took a leap and started, hoping not to bring down her team. She quickly discovered her long legs and length of strides are built for track. She excels in the 400-meter and the long jump and plans to compete on a college track team next fall.

Both girls appreciate being part of team while still making an individual contribution. Hites learned to be a leader. Roberts contributes to her community volunteering at Champaign Park District and Habitat for Humanity. Both girls enjoy meeting other athletes and the feeling of shared encouragement as they work on individual goals.

Building to be a strong teammate this spring, Roberts laces up her sneakers three times a week and pounds the treadmill with her eyes on the finish line.

Her trusted team and support system include her parents and trainers who guide her and build confidence and strength to battle through the daunting 400 meters of track that can seem very lonely.

“I block out the negativity and focus on the finish. The last 100 is always intense,” she said.

Hitessam hites blocking and Roberts like the structure that promotes improvement and shows impact. Their training is an investment, so they take it seriously.

Roberts said her trainer supports her growth and believes in her. “I know they won’t let me down or let me fall.”

Injury prevention is always a top focus, but recovery can be just as important. Customized, flexible programs benefit athletes in many sports at all levels. Carle’s Sports Medicine focus on building strength to prevent injury appeals to both Hites’ and Roberts’ moms, knowing their daughters are safe and successful.

So where are they now? Hites is mid-season and the middle hitter has improved her vertical reach 4 to 5 inches. Hites’ mom said blocking improved 100 percent because of her jumping, thanks to the training program. Sam is short for a middle blocker, but her quickness greatly helped her team.

Hites’ stats are proof her performance. Fifteen games into her season, she is doubling her results over last season with five kills and three blocks a match.

“The jump training and lifting at Carle has made a big difference,” Sam said. Adding Carle’s athletic trainers helped her build much needed muscle following patellar tendonitis.

corynne playing doubles volleyballMid-way through her first six-week training program, Roberts is increasing her speed and explosion. She is pushing herself harder, said Harbour. A variety of footwork drills, treadmill work and core control exercises are increasing her stamina and strength.

Roberts admits she’s sore, but “it’s a good feeling knowing I’m getting stronger and faster and pushing myself.” January will be here soon to see Roberts’ results on the track.

Call (217) 383-9756 to learn more about athletic training opportunities and sport specific training programs at Carle Sports Medicine.