Zoom in With Coach Mai

Coach Mai discusses how he has been staying in touch with different varsity teams throughout distance learning.

Thierno Diallo

Coach Mai discusses how he has been staying in touch with different varsity teams throughout distance learning.

Thierno Diallo '21, Contributor

Loomis Chaffee spring athletes have endured difficult training throughout the fall and winter terms in preparation for their spring seasons. Accordingly, the cancelation of the spring athletic season disappointed most Loomis athletes and coaches.

This cancelation complicates the recruitment process for many of those competitive athletes, especially post graduates. Colleges will mostly look at their previous year’s performances for recruitment.

However, Loomis’s strength and conditioning coach, Mr. Nhat Mai, has been working with spring athletic teams over Zoom to help them maintain and improve their fitness for next season. Coach Mai has emailed all spring coaches asking them to reach out to him if they would like their teams to join in on his Zoom workouts.

“Whatever teams reach out, they can schedule a time for a workout,” Coach Mai said.

“I do the lifts with you, that way you see what’s going on,” he added, describing how he facilitates team lifts. “Workouts last for around 30 minutes.” These short but meaningful workouts accommodate the schedules of busy LC students.

“We do all bodyweight stuff, but if you have weights it’s great,” Coach Mai said. Bodyweight training is invaluable, as it improves one’s cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength all at once.

“I rarely get the whole team. Sometimes 10 or 15 people show up,” Coach Mai said, in regard to how he manages everyone on Zoom. “I look at the screen and correct them if I see anything.”

The Zoom workouts are tough but similar to the work that athletes had already completed with him on campus. “It is all simple stuff that they have done before,” Coach Mai stated.

“The goals of these workouts are to help athletes maintain strength built from previous seasons, to clear your mind, relieve some stress and build team comradery,” Coach Mai said. “I am looking forward to working with upcoming teams, like the boy’s baseball team, because I know the boy’s lacrosse team loved it. The boy’s hockey team also loved it,” Coach Mai said in regard to the success of the program.

The challenges of working out over Zoom haven’t had much of an impact on Couch Mai’s mindset.

“Coaching through Zoom is not ideal so I have to improvise sometimes,” Coach Mai said, “all you can do is pretend you’re in the weight room and coach.”

For those students who cannot make it to his team lifts, he has worked with Ms. Cabot to email teams a long list of varying workouts, stretches and meditations. This resource is now posted on the Loomis Chaffee portal for both faculty and students. This list even includes nutrition info and is available under resources on the pelican community info page.

In addition to the athletes he trains, Coach Mai has continued to stay in shape.

“I have been doing bodyweight exercises and going on runs by myself,” Coach Mai said.