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“Erin Little? Really? I love people with ironic last names.” – Bender

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Erin Little at Syracuse University

“Optimist Prime” as we like to refer to her, is possibly the most excited, most peppy person I ever have had the good fortune to work with. At a solid six feet of awesomeness, Erin’s laugh is infectious, her drive unparallelled, and her support of those around her is unwavering.

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Erin attempts a hit during a volleyball match.

A little bit about Miss Little: she is a recent NCAA Division 1 volleyball standout at Syracuse University, and was a professional player with Finnish League Bronze Medalists Oriveden Ponnistus VC. As you can see, Erin came to the CA well-decorated. Her sensational attitude toward others and training made her an easy fit here.

There was work to do though, and finding the right training partner was important. This is where “Optimist Beta” comes in. Lauren Salter, a CA sponsored athlete, got a tweet one day from Erin, who inquired about the Facebook pictures under Contemporary Athlete’s page. The two kept in touch via Twitter until Erin returned from Finland. Only a few days later, Erin made her CA debut.

Lauren has been as much a driving force and supportive role for Erin as Erin has been for Lauren. Together, they have learned to succeed here in the CA and out.

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Attempting a block

There is something important to be said for having a great training partner: the right one will always make you perform better and vice versa. Erin’s place in the CA is important: She is an athlete of constant confidence, of moral support, and ultimately she is a leader by example.

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Erin (right) and her training partner, Lauren Salter during warmups at Contemporary Athlete

I’m not sure of what Erin thought when she first showed up at the CA. Probably that I was a little crazy as most of what we do is unconventional, but Lauren talked her into staying and she has been a stalwart of hard work and fun. This carries through her work within the CA Professional Athletes as well as with the other amazing people I work with in my open training groups.

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Off-weight lunge and twist…a “favorite”.

Erin, like many of the athletes I see walk through my doors, suffers from OTS (Over Training Syndrome). Too many days of training in a gym, on a court, and on game day, and not enough rest had left all kinds of issues in her body, and she was headed down the road towards injury. We reigned in her training and essentially started at square one with her lifting.

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A particularly early Monday morning usually means coffee in hand during warmups.

Erin’s foundation as an athlete is solid, so stripping away the clutter was easy to do. With the right support, her goal-setting is moving forward, and watching her grow has been extremely fun. Erin recently decided to return to her alma mater to act as an assistant volleyball coach in order to further develop her own game, and losing her for the school year will be hard. Knowing she will be back next summer, though, has made that loss much easier.

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