November 12, 2014//
Meet Anka Grotle. A native of Norway, she came to UTSA to accomplish one thing: win a championship ring for UTSA's first soccer team. She did that her first year here.
As an athlete, you're always interested in what can enhance your performance.”
– Anka Grotle
But she will leave with much more. She'll leave with an education and real-life experience that will support her future career goals.
Now a first-year graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology, Health and Nutrition, and with the help of Donovan Fogt, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Research, Grotle created the total conditioning program used by the UTSA soccer team.
"In addition to being a fantastic team leader and player, Anka has been utilizing her extensive studies in the area of Kinesiology to help design and oversee various aspects of our in-season conditioning program. This programming was very well-received and very valuable to our players throughout this past Fall 2014 season," said Greg Sheen, interim head soccer coach.
The program she helped create ensures the women's team performs at a peak fitness.
"You know, you go to college for years to learn what you want to learn, but you don't usually get to apply it. At UTSA, I was able to take what I've learned so far and apply it to a real-life scenario," Grotle said.
As the team captain and oldest player on the team, Grotle, 24, jokes that her teammates call her 'grandma.' But she's led them in a way that has helped them be better prepared on the field.
"Anka has been instrumental in helping coordinate the efforts between the team's coaching staff, the strength and conditioning staff, and the players themselves," Fogt said.
In addition to her work with the soccer team, she is researching the effects of caffeine and performance.
"As an athlete, you're always interested in what can enhance your performance," she said.
She came to UTSA because she knew she wanted to make history by bringing home the first women's soccer championship. In fact, creating history has long been part of Grotle's own story since she was young.
Growing up on the west coast of Norway, as a 6-year-old she attended a school that didn't have a girls' soccer team – until her class of 14 girls and one boy changed that. That's when her love of soccer started to grow.
She's used her passion to succeed both on and off the field.
"Anka has excelled in practical application of classroom-based knowledge, personnel management and technical ability. She will surely continue to impact soccer in San Antonio and abroad," Fogt said.
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.