Biola coach trains students, Olympians

Alumna uses athletics as a ministry


Photo by Ronalynn Lieggi

Coach Tronson takes time away from her Olympic athletes to help Biola’s women live healthier lives.

Originally published Sept. 26, 2007

Anya Tronson, a 2005 Biola alumna, never dreamed she would train Olympic athletes just a year and a half after graduating.

“I thought I wanted to be an Olympic trainer when I was 35, but now, ten years earlier, I have to figure out what I’m going to do next,” she said.

After graduating with a degree in physical education with a teaching credential, Tronson started working with CATZ, an athlete training center franchise in Anaheim.

In November of 2006, Misty May-Treanor, U.S. Olympic Gold Champion in beach volleyball, came into the CATZ gym to watch her niece play basketball. After talking to the gym owner, she set up a time to come into the fitness center to work out with Tronson.

“She almost threw up,” Tronson said.

Now, Tronson works with May on agility and conditioning two times a week.

“We’ve become friends,” Tronson said. “We hang out.”

Tronson expects May and her doubles partner, Kerri Walsh, to do well in Beijing next summer and possibly even bring home the gold again.

“They’re wearing number one right now,” said Tronson. “If they play like they play right now, they’ll win it.”

While May is certainly the highest profile client, Tronson’s experience with training highly competitive athletes began in May 2006 when she became one of the two performance trainers for the U.S. Men’s Volleyball team. Currently ranked fifth in the world, the U.S. team is expected to go to the Beijing Olympics and put up a fight against Brazil.

As the average height of the volleyball players is 6’6”, Tronson, a 5’3” woman, realizes the different tactics she must use.

“You really [have to] go in kicking and believing you know what you’re talking about,” she said.

For Tronson, performance training has been a study of movement and efficiency. Incorporating a lot of body weight exercises, she carefully trains athletes for their specific sport’s movements, carefully watching players for correct form.

Tronson was captain of the Biola soccer team her senior year, taking the team undefeated to nationals, where they won the NAIA championship. She holds a school record in the javelin. Now she is the Biola women’s soccer team assistant coach and teaches two women’s weight training classes.

Tronson said her mission in life has always been to glorify God through athletics. Though she could easily market herself to other high-profile clients, she has chosen to teach at Biola because she believes in the philosophy of the school.

“I love working with minds that want to grow,” Tronson said.

To her, mind and body are both gifts to be used to their fullest potential.

“I want students to take from my class not only a physical challenge, but also a spiritual one. If that is not done, then I have not done my job,” she said.

For the time being, Tronson is living in La Habra while pursuing a master’s degree from Cal State Fullerton in performance enhancement and sports psychology.

0 0 votes
Article Rating