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      Midlands strength coaches changing landscape of training

      COLUMBIA (WACH)- Two prominent strength coaches in the Midlands have set out to change the game in athletic training. A.C. Flora strength coach Micah Kurtz preaches safety and injury prevention to his athletes in the weight room. Before a young athlete touches a weight, Kurtz makes sure they are properly trained to do so. "Kids want to gain strength immediately, and that's not how we do things," Kurtz said. Kurtz, who was named South Carolina Strength Coach of the Year in 2013, teaches athletes form and technique through his injury prevention program. "If you use bad form and bad technique, your body will adjust to that," Kurtz said. "We work on mobility and stability, and once they learn to properly lift, then we get into sports performance." At Athlete's Arena in Irmo, strength coach Josh Ortegon deals with athletes on a different level at times. Professional athletes. "Dealing with pro athletes is easier than the mediocre athlete that wants to make the junior varsity basketball team because they're at an elite level," Ortegon said. Both coaches agree, no matter what level of athlete an individual is, the rules of the game remain the same. "Proper warmup, proper cool down, proper nutrition and proper sleep are things that will stick to every athlete across the board," Ortegon said. No matter what the future holds, health is the number one goal.