Francisco Jose Rivas Jimenez

Strength and Conditioning Trainer for the Detroit Tigers Gulf Coast League in Lakeland, FL

Exercise & Sport Science - Pre-Professional Concentration Physical Therapy

Please describe your position and what you enjoy most about it.

Developed Individualized strength and conditioning programs
Managed nutrition budgets
Aided in biomechanical analysis
Educated athletes regarding nutrition and performance routines
Assured maintenance of equipment and facility

I enjoy working with the different resources in the organization: athletic trainers, sport scientist, and coaches.

What aspects of your HLGU experience helped you prepare for your career?

My own initiative, I did everything in my power to work as an undergraduate in a position related to my field. Thanks to the athletic department and coach Hurst, I became a strength and conditioning coach for the HLGU softball team which lead to a successful career in the field. After graduation I joined XCEL Performance Health & Wellness while still providing my services to the HLGU Baseball and Softball teams.

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

The relationships with the athletes and the uniqueness of the human body. Each individual is different emotionally, mentally, and physically. There is not a one size fits all, but rather through observation and conversation, you get to know what drives that individual and how can you help him to achieve his goals.

Have you or are you currently continuing your education? If so, please list the institution(s) and degree(s) you earned or are working toward.

After graduation, I officially became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
A couple of months after that, I became certified through USA Weightlifting as a USAW Performance Coach Level 1 and through Precision Nutrition as a PN1 Nutrition Coach.
I am currently pursuing a master degree online through A.T Still University in Kirksville, MO in Kinesiology with dual concentration in Corrective Exercise and Orthopedic Rehabilitation & Sport Psychology.

How did HLGU shape you as a person?

Learning and growing in a christian environment shaped me on how to behave and act professionally in any environment. The Exercise & Sport Science department has incredible mentors that challenge my thinking process and provide me with the skills to pursue a professional education and have success in my field.

For professionals as Mr. Biggs, Coach Erskine, Dr. Colborn, and Mr. Miley; great students from the department will do great things in the real world

Please share a specific example from your career or life when the skills you gained at HLGU helped you most.

Time management has been huge for me. I thought I would have more free time once I graduated. In college, I played sports, I was full time student (18+ Credits) and had two jobs. Having all of these responsibilities on a daily basis truly prepared me to manage my time. College taught me to develop routines to get things done while taking care of my well-being.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

Developed a thorough throwing development program for XCEL Performance Health & Wellness for softball and baseball and was able to continue to train baseball and softball players at HLGU

What HLGU professors played a part in your success? How did your relationship with faculty help you succeed?

Coach Hurst: for providing me the opportunity to help his team for about 4 years with no major injuries reported
Coach Biggs: for trusting me to be the assistant for the exercise department and giving me free will to help grow the department. Even today we continue to communicate and be his special guest for classes
Mr. Erskine: for challenging my thought process every class and preparing me for my professional education
Dr. Colborn: the knowledge that he pours into his classes regarding biology and anatomy & physiology was huge in my career – even today I continue to use these terms to explain to athletes physical and physiological adaptations
Josh Miley: for being very thorough regarding athletic injuries, taping, and interactive activities

Please list any scholarships, honors, or awards you received as an undergraduate or graduate.

President Scholarship: GPA> 3.5

Do you have any tips to share with students interested in this field?

Enroll in a meaningful internship, go away from the area or consider XCEL Performane Health & Wellness in Quincy, IL

Listen to Coach Biggs, Mr. Erskine, and Dr. Colborn. These individuals are great minds that care about preparing you for your future.

What are some of your favorite HLGU memories?

1st: Florida Trip with Baseball Team – Freshman Year
2nd: Played in the Prospect League for the Hannibal Cavemen for 3 seasons
3rd: Achieved 50 strikeouts in a season
4th: Working with amazing groups of ladies (HLGU Softball) since 2014

HLGU’s motto is “knowledge for service.” What roles have these values played in your life?

I volunteer every semester to be a special guest for Coach Biggs classes.
I provide free content through my blog regarding strength training, performance, nutrition, sport topics —
I enjoy helping strength coaches and baseball/softball coaches across the country to develop their athletes.

What is one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you started in the field?

Build more connections and relationships with people that are important in our field.

Twitter: CatenJr