BOULDER — University of Colorado assistant director of sports performance, Tony Sandoval, has long been certified by his own kind in the world of strength and conditioning, a basic and necessary requirement to coach student-athletes on the collegiate level.
But this spring, he added a unique certification to his career resume, that as a Level I performance coach through the Titleist Performance Institute, or TPI, as it is more commonly known.
In his second year with the CU program under director Dave Forman, the 38-year old Sandoval coordinates all aspects of sports performance training for the men’s golf and spirit squad teams, while assisting Forman with football.
What does his TPI certification mean for the Buffalo golfers? Already a significant contributor to the team and players’ success, it will further enhance what he is able to both coach and teach them in the ever-expanding world of golf fitness.
“It means a lot more sports-specific and individualized training, in which they’ll be able to see a lot more improvement in their golf games, and not just in their fitness,” Sandoval said. “It’s cutting edge because it helps maximize the players’ individual golf swing and reduces the likelihood of certain injuries that are specific to golfers.”
Sandoval’s contributions are certainly noted by CU head coach Roy Edwards.
“Coach Sandoval is a major part of each of our players’ success and development,” Edwards said. “Adding TPI Level I certification takes his expertise to the next level. He truly has a professional, accountable and disciplined approach for our guys to improve.”
The golfers currently work out twice a week for about an hour each time; the sessions include a lot of conditioning, strength training, mobility and flexibility exercises as well as core work, such as improving torque and rotational power.
“My first year with the golfers was to create a culture that really focused on hard work, accountability and a progression of exercises to improve their confidence in the weight room,” Sandoval said. “Now, in the second year, we can start focusing on the specifics of the game, now that they know what our expectations are. Now that we have laid the foundation, this is where the TPI training can start having a great effect on our student-athletes.”
“I think that this certification is going to help our program to not only be physically fit, but the players I believe will notice that we really are trying to provide the best support for them to reach their maximum potential,” Sandoval said. “Not everyone in the conference, or the nation, has this kind of program, and that should help build their confidence, and it won’t just stop after one year. This will be something that we can keep building on year after year after year.”
Sandoval is even utilizing some of what he learned in the TPI program in the training with several football players, but won’t publicize exactly what position he is working with or which players.
“Hey ... if it gives us an edge, we’ll keep it to ourselves for the time being,” he half-joked.
Sandoval joined the CU staff from the University of the Pacific (Stockton, Calif.), where he spent seven years as the school’s director of athletic performance. Always one to have taken an interest in his programs, he says his biggest thrill there was when Pacific won the Big West Conference men’s basketball tourney in 2013 and battled Miami, Fla., to the end in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
He earned his bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Cal State San Bernardino in 2004 and later received his master's degree in sports performance from Sacramento State in 2006.
During his undergraduate studies, Sandoval served as a boxing coach and the boxing strength and conditioning coach for the city of Chino, Calif. And yet, he lists one of his favorite hobbies as bowling, because “it helps me relax and it reminds me of all the great times bowling with my friends and family back home.”
No doubt Sandoval knows the secrets for conditioning bowlers, too.