News>Dobbins’ exercise physiologist works with Carolina Panthers
John Mikula, Dobbins Air Reserve Base exercise physiologist, and Joe Kenn, Carolina Panthers coach, at the Carolina Panthers rookie training camp in June in Charlotte, N.C. Mikula was invited to be a visiting strength and conditioning coach. (Courtesy photo)
John Mikula, Dobbins Air Reserve Base exercise physiologist, and Rashad Roberts, Panthers assistant strength coach, reengaged in a discussion about similarities between the NFL and military training needs. Mikula makes a regular habit of communicating with others who excel in his field to learn new practices. (Courtesy photo)
by Senior Airman Elizabeth Van Patten
94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
7/31/2012 - DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- John Mikula, Dobbins Air Reserve Base exercise physiologist, had the opportunity to work with Joe Kenn, Carolina Panthers coach, and the rest of the Panthers franchise recently, as a visiting strength and conditioning coach during their Rookie Mini-Camp in Charlotte, N.C.
Mikula makes a regular habit of communicating with others who excel in his field to learn new practices. With this in mind, he kept in contact with Kenn, identifying similarities between training in the military and the National Football league.
"To me it's a no-brainer to help someone working with the military," said Kenn. "We owe everything to those in the military."
Coach Kenn places a lot of emphasis on endurance, balance and movement, dynamic strength and hard work, according to Mikula. He was very excited to have a strength coach working with the military in camp and eagerly agreed to wear an Air Force t-shirt during one of the training days.
"It was pretty cool too to hear the military cadence the athletes worked out to in the strength room on that day as well," said Mikula. "Coach Kenn is regarded as one of the best strength coaches in all of sports and it was an honor to be able to learn from him during the Panthers Rookie Camp."
A few weeks later, Rashad Roberts, Panthers assistant strength coach and Austell, Ga. native, stopped by the base for strength and conditioning discussion with Mikula. The two discussed Air Force fitness testing and Dobbins' approach to strength and conditioning.
A specific area of discussion was the use of Total Body Resistance Exercise, or TRX, Suspension Training, which has roots in Navy SEAL training. The conversation focused on common threads in training for athletes, both on the field of competition and in gaining the tactical advantage.
Mikula asserted, and Roberts agreed, that the fitness methodology for keeping a defensive back on the field or an Airman on the flightline at the basic level is not that different. Developing lean, conditioned and resilient athletes is safe and more effective. Also the cost of not do so is also similar - decreased productivity, tactical continuity, morale and overall well-being.
"To me it's very important to continue to be a student of the game, to gain perspective on best practices," said Mikula. "I'm thankful for peers like Coach Kenn and for the Carolina Panthers organization for helping increase my skill-sets in order to benefit Airmen."
Mikula offers strength and conditioning classes for Dobbins members on a regular basis. For more information, please contact John Mikula by phone at 678-655-4363.