Kilee Taflinger is the head strength and conditioning coach at Towson University. She works primarily with the men’s basketball, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and gymnastics teams.
Her work has played a huge role in the women’s lacrosse team winning CAA titles in four of the last five years, and the men’s lacrosse earning the CAA title in 2016.
Kilee is breaking gender norms and is definitely someone who should be on your radar.
What were you like as a little girl?
I was quiet, organized, stubborn, and driven even as a little girl. I was always outside playing basketball or football with the boys. I was and still am super competitive.
Who were your idols?
I loved Michael Jordan. I started playing basketball when I was eight. If I wasn't outside playing, I was inside watching SportsCenter or Michael Jordan Air time on repeat.
Why did you want to play sports?
Being competitive and athletic was always something I was drawn to, I didn't know anything different. My family was always very supportive of traveling me to and from all of my tournaments.
Were you a natural or did you have to work for it?
I think most would tell you I was a natural shooter for basketball, but I was certainly not gifted athletically. I was always up early before school started getting extra shots up. So, yes I definitely had to work for it.
Were there any limiting factors that held you back?
I was pretty scrawny in high school. I wish there would have been a strength coach to help mold me into a stronger athlete.
That is why I got into this field - because I wish I would have had someone like me around when I was growing up.
What was your dream as an athlete?
I just wanted to be the first in my family to graduate college.
What practices/beliefs had to be put into place to work toward your goals?
Schedule and consistency are very important. I was humbled early on in my career. You have to be patient and willing to work hard. Being a good coach takes time, and I am still always trying to learn as much as possible.
There are sometimes labels with female strength coaches working with male athletes. Believe that you can do anything.
What was your proudest moment as an athlete?
I did a figure show in undergrad because it challenged my comfort zone. From putting on 20 lbs of muscle, keeping a strict diet, to stepping on the stage in front of hundreds of strangers. I am most proud of that moment.
What was it like transitioning from playing sports to working in fitness?
I was never the strongest or most athletic, so it was important to practice what I preach.
My athletes will see me doing the same things that they do, I think that helps with athlete buy in and respect.
What values do you bring from playing sports into your fitness practice?
- Hard work
- Self Discipline
How has your hard work helped you serve others?
I believe my hard work has helped me to practice what I preach to hopefully be a good role model for young adults. I really enjoy helping others pave the way to a healthy lifestyle or to help them down a career of fitness themselves.
I have had several past athletes tell me they have started a career in strength and conditioning because of their time here as an athlete. There is no bigger compliment than that.
If you could give your 16 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
There's no quick, easy road to success.
As you make your journey, expect there to be roadblocks and detours along the way. Don't let it stop you.
Where can people find you?
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