Warner Robins, Ga. – As Physical Therapy Month in October comes to end the same week as Central Georgia Technical College’s (CGTC) Cross Country regular season schedule, the clinical coordinator for the Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program, Elizabeth Bell, has no intention of slowing down.
The highly motivated professional, wife, mother-of-four, avid runner, and former collegiate athlete took on duties as the team’s assistant coach ahead of this season, maximizing every bit of potential she can endure.
Known to keep a fitness schedule of her own that begins at 4 a.m., coupled with a team schedule of training at 6:30 a.m., teaching from 8 a.m., and closing several days with a meet, what is clear is she knows how to move.
“It just goes back to the basics for me, which is movement,” Bell said of her approach to coaching and unique perspective to her student-athletes. “Sometimes you just go and do, and it isn’t until someone points out what you need to correct that you change it. What I know from the physical therapy side of things are those basics. These athletes don’t need somebody to tell them how to run. No one has ever really told them how to be efficient runners.”
Bell is right. After CGTC’s overall and individual performances for its Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams in 2021, the runners do not need more information on how to run. Wednesday, the men’s team earned the title of 2021 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) Conference Champions. With first, second, and fifth-place finishes by Luis Alvarado (GCAA Runner of the Year), Josh Flores, Ivan Guzman, it makes back-to-back championships for the team.
Individually, Ashley Johnson and Presley Pittman placed 9th and 10th, for the women’s teams.
Bell prepared for the biggest week of the season supporting head coach Craig Lawson, GCAA’s Men’s Head Coach of the Year. Under the team tent before the races, she stretched runners, rehearsed proper body mechanics, and performed a technique called voodoo flossing, which looks a lot like wrapping a bandage around a knee.
“The goal was to increase blood flow to the area as well as decrease potential fascial restrictions, “she explained.
What Bell tries to add to each athlete’s performance is efficiency. She aspires the same in the classroom or on a clinical site, breaking down those same mechanics of a muscles group in the leg in the lab, and showcasing to students’ healthy patterns of movement that reduce injury, fatigue, pain, most importantly performance.
While there isn’t much professionally that Bell needs to make more efficient, her colleague, PTA program chair, Mary Walker, is certainly inclined to point out the positives of her performance.
“Mrs. Bell is a clinician at heart and she brings so much energy to our program and it’s been a pleasure to watch her in that clinical role,” said Walker. “She has such great ideas. She’s a fantastic clinician and teacher. It helps us build relationships with students, not only in our program, but here at the College and in turn taking that into the community which is the essence of our program.”
The CGTC Men’s Cross Country team will head to the 2021-2022 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Cross Country Championship on November 13, 2021 in Richmond, VA.
For more information on the teams visit, www.cgtctitans.com. For the latest news on Titans Athletics, follow @CGTCAthletics on Instagram and Twitter and like them on Facebook.
For more information about CGTC’s PTA program visit, https://www.centralgatech.edu/programs-of-study/health-sciences/physical-therapy.