Behind the scenes: Baylor's new Athletic Performance Center

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Margaret and Weldon Ratliff Performance Center is a new facility on Baylor’s campus. It is designed specifically for student-athletes to help them perform their best on game days.

The performance center features a weight room, performance lab and nutrition center which all work together to help athletes succeed.

Andre Althoff is the Director of Applied Performance for Baylor University. He said the new center has taken the athletic training program to a whole new level.

“It’s really brought everything together and it allows us to provide a 360 approach to our athletes,” Althoff said.

When teams and athletes come into the weight room Althoff said they already know what is expected of them.

“The first thing we do is we are always going to start on the platform with a fast explosive lift, then we are going to move into the squat rack and get some heavy squats,” Althoff said.

After athletes have completed their work in the weight room they move on to the nutrition center where Jana Heitmeyer, the Director of Sports Nutrition for Baylor, has stocked the refrigerators and shelves with healthy snacks which help the athletes’ bodies to recover.

“We have water and Gatorade and then we do everything from animal crackers to gram crackers and then Nutella, Gold Fish and Chex Mix,” Heitmeyer said.

She said the nutrition portion of the center is designed with one goal in mind.

“It's all about getting the athletes the calories that they need,” Heitmeyer said.

In addition, the new facility boasts a state-of-the-art performance lab.

Althoff said the athletic staff consulted with NASA to find some of the most cutting-edge devices which could be used to help the student-athletes perform at their best.

“It's really going to allow us to accelerate the amount of athletes we work with and do some really neat things that people haven't heard of,” Althoff said.

One of the technologies utilized is called Motus Global.

“That is an arm sleeve and on game day we put a chip right on this pad and it will measure the amount of throws that a quarterback has and the velocity of throws and actually the trajectory,” Althoff said.

The technology tracks data which can be used by Baylor’s Applied Performance Department to see if a player needs more or less reps during practices or if an athlete might be prone to injury.

“The technology is great but it's all founded on hard work of our athletes, so we wanted to make sure this was still a place to work hard,” Althoff said.