Behind the gold medal, a Biolan

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Behind the gold medal, a Biolan

Anya Tronson poses for a picture next to the final gold medal bracket, showing the winners of the women's beach volleyball event.

Anya Tronson poses for a picture next to the final gold medal bracket, showing the winners of the women's beach volleyball event.

Photo by Courtesy: Anya Tronson

Anya Tronson poses for a picture next to the final gold medal bracket, showing the winners of the women's beach volleyball event.

Photo by Courtesy: Anya Tronson

Photo by Courtesy: Anya Tronson

Anya Tronson poses for a picture next to the final gold medal bracket, showing the winners of the women's beach volleyball event.


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Written by Rachel McMahon and Justin Sledge

For as long as Anya Tronson can remember, working with athletes has been her life dream. A Biola alumna and current assistant coach to the women’s soccer team, Tronson has an impressive background in physical training and athletics.

In 2005, while she was a senior at Biola, Tronson led the women’s soccer team in an undefeated season and helped clinch the NAIA national championship. While at Biola, Tronson also set a school record for track and field in the javelin, a record in which she still holds to this day. Yes, one can say that Tronson has been a successful athlete and that her determination proved that she knows how to win. She never dreamed, however, that she would fulfill her aspirations of becoming an Olympic trainer just a year and a half after graduating.

Recently, just over a week ago, Tronson returned from the Beijing Olympics where she watched Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, the two members of the U.S. women’s beach volleyball team, beat out China to clinch their second consecutive Olympic gold medal. Although most of her time in Beijing was spent playing the spectator, Tronson was also there to lend support to the athlete she has been physically training for the past two years, Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor.

After receiving her teaching credentials and graduating in 2005 with a degree in physical education, Tronson promptly started working with CATZ, an athletic training facility based in Anaheim with which Misty May-Treanor, a professional Olympic volleyball player, was connected. It was not until late 2006 that the two came in contact. After some conversations between May-Treanor with the owner of the gym, she set up a time to come into the fitness center to begin physical training with Tronson.

While May-Treanor is undoubtedly the most recognized of her clients, Tronson’s experience with preparing Olympic athletes began in May 2006 when she was invited to be one of the two physical trainers for the U.S. Men’s indoor volleyball team, who also brought home the gold medal in from the 2008 Beijing Games.

Whether it is with Olympic athletes or the Biola soccer team, Tronson believes that performance training is the key to efficiency in sports. Integrating a mixture of body weight exercises and carefully watching players for the use of correct form, she pointedly trains her athletes to focus on the fundamentals that are specific to their sport.

Anya Tronson is not a stranger to what it truly takes to be a gold medalist. At the moment when the competition intensifies and the crowd has risen to their feet, athletes too often lose focus of their fundamentals.

“A gold medalist is a person who practices fundamentals,” Tronson said. “You see them on their days off still working hard to better themselves.”

As it relates to college athletics, Tronson believes that her Olympic experiences have better equipped her with the knowledge that she will need to enable Biola soccer to grow and become better at what they do.

“Working with professional Olympic athletes has broadened my spectrum and knowledge of coaching,” she said. “It helped me to better understand and communicate with the athletes on an individual basis. It has taught me to go with what athletes are telling me.”

Despite her success in training May-Treanor and being part of two Olympic gold medals, Tronson says that her calling in life has always been to glorify God through athletics. Though it would be very easy to market her abilities to other high-profile clients, she has chosen to teach and make an impact at Biola because she believes in the values of the school.