Footballer switches gears – The Royal Gazette


Updated: March 17, 2022 08:12

Bermuda footballer Liam Evans is the strength trainer for PhysioActive Ltd (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

In college, Liam Evans joined the football team with the dream of becoming a professional player.

He had been recruited by a scout for Northern Kentucky University while playing for the Bermuda national football team in Alabama.

At 17, he leaves. His debut with his Nordic teammates came as a shock. Everyone seemed fitter and stronger and able to do double what they could.

“My first time in the college gym was really intimidating,” he said. “I had no bodybuilding experience in Bermuda. I had never done squats or weightlifting.

“It impacts your playing time when you get on the pitch. The coach might see that you are not up to the level of the other students. For me, it was just a shock. »

He worked on building himself into his weekly routine.

“You train every day on the field and then, depending on the time of year, you can be in the weight room two to five times a week. Having this as my schedule every week was something new for me. Going to university is already a big transition for many children and it is all the more difficult to manage.

Although he was named International Student Athlete of the Year in his junior and senior years at NKU, his goals for the future have changed.

“I was good, but I was not up to making a living,” Mr Evans said. “My bachelor’s degree was in exercise science and kinesiology. I thought I could continue doing physiotherapy.

He interned at NKU’s strength and conditioning center and “he really enjoyed it.”

But back in Bermuda in 2019, he was faced with the reality that while there were plenty of personal trainers on the island when it came to professional strength training, he was on his own.

Mr. Evans completed his Masters in Exercise Science at the University of Florida. He then interned at college with Matt DeLancey and Tracy Zimmer, both known for coaching Olympic athletes. During this period he worked briefly with gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte.

Midfielder Liam Evans, forward, playing for Northern Kentucky University (Photograph provided)

“He looked nice,” said Mr. Evans, who started each day at the University of Florida gymnasium at 6:30 a.m. There, he was one of six trainees who helped clients with routines set by staff trainers.

He discovered that good coaching doesn’t have to be complicated.

“You can go to Instagram and find a lot of fancy workout routines,” he said. “But the coaches I worked with seemed to prefer simplicity.”

A few weeks ago, the 26-year-old joined the team at PhysioActive Ltd to help people who want to build strength after injury.

Particularly passionate about Bermuda’s young athletes, he also works privately with the Warwick Academy swimming program and FC Bascome Bermuda. Sometimes his work begins with teaching children how to move competently.

“Kids don’t climb trees and run as much as when I was a kid,” he said. “They don’t go out as much. As a result, many children seem clumsier.

He thinks the local sport, in general, would benefit from bodybuilding opportunities.

“Some elements exist, but overall it’s something that we lack and that we could improve on,” he said.

One of the issues for the Bermuda national team is finding the space to weightlift together.

“There is no national training center with a big hall with weights so that the whole team can train at the same time,” he said. “Hopefully in the future that might change.”

Mr. Evans still plays with the national team and with the Robin Hood Football Club in his spare time.

“I didn’t retire from football,” he said. “But my training routine has changed a bit. In college it was more performance oriented. It’s still for me, but I have a busy schedule so I have to find ways to fit in my training.

Sometimes he only has 45 minutes to practice.

“I always do Olympic lifts, compound lifts, deadlifts and squats,” he said. “These are the best bang for your buck.”

Looking back, he does not regret not becoming a professional footballer.

“I think all young players have that. [dream], at some point,” he said. “But I like what I do.”

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