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U of T’s Draeshawn Reimer talks online training and keeping up motivation

In conversation with a fitness and performance coach
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Coach Reimer began at U of T as a fitness and performance coach. COURTESY OF VARSITY BLUES ATHLETICS
Coach Reimer began at U of T as a fitness and performance coach. COURTESY OF VARSITY BLUES ATHLETICS

Draeshawn Reimer, one of U of T’s strength training coaches, is finding innovative ways to inspire the University of Toronto community to achieve higher levels of engagement in healthy physical activity and sports through digital platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Zoom. In an interview with The Varsity, Reimer reflected on what it has been like to go from training in person to on screen. 

In the summer of 2019, Reimer started working with the University of Toronto as a fitness and performance coach. As such, he develops and facilitates fitness and performance programs for varsity teams to ensure they stay injury-free and are able to perform at their peak during sporting events. 

His favourite part about being a fitness and performance coach is working with people to build the strength and capacities they need to face the physical demands of their lives. He also recognizes the opportunity to learn from and teach every person he works with.

It was a little cold in the fall, but there were still many Varsity Blues athletes coming out to participate. So he thinks athletes will bundle up if need be if they’re able to train in person again. 

Reimer works with athletes and students in Japan, Dubai, and Vancouver, so the virtual aspect has definitely proven to be an effective tool, and one that he thinks he will continue using.

During these trying times, strength coaches have shown tremendous resilience, and Reimer explained that they continue to show up for each other and themselves.

In terms of advice for the athletes he trains and for other strength coaches training over Zoom, he recommends recognizing why you’re doing something and digging as deep as you can to understand what fuels your fire day in and day out. By doing this, you understand that everything you’re doing has a purpose. 

He also suggested surrounding yourself with people who build you up rather than tear you down, and to make sure that your cup is ‘overflowing’ — as in, keeping yourself healthy and well so that you can help others around you do the same. 

He recommends investing in yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally before you give to anyone else. When your cup is ‘overflowing,’ people can look to you for emotional support, without it draining you.