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Helping to help others strive to be better

By Eric Singer, Anchor/Reporter , e.singer@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 01 2013 07:47:46 PM CST

The man behind the success of the AFA athletes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo -

Inside a the Air Force Academy is a hidden gem to help cadets to achieve their goals on the field and in the field.  It's called the Human Performance Lab. Lt. Col. Mike Zupan has spent 14 years in the lab to find new ways to help the cadets achieve their physical goals. 

Lt. Col. Zupan was watching the Girls Soccer Team as they were in what's called the tent.  It's a special room that helps simulate different altitudes.   Not only does it help athletes, but it can save lives says Zupan, "If we can improve performances before they go to Afghanistan, then they are not not going to be as easy as a target.  It's rewarding, it's real."

Leah Bratt is one of the AFA athletes who has seen the success of the human performance lab in her own soccer career at the Academy.  She told me, "I think the biggest thing is strength wise.  I feel I'm more strong when I'm running.  When I'm against that person I have the advantage of the first three steps.  I'm not as tired as them."

Kylie Williamson is also a soccer player and has seen the positives that Lt Col. Zupan has helped athletes with, in the performance lab.  However, she also sees the real world benefit when it comes warriors whose lab experience could help save their lives, "If I can keep going facing people who can't, it's a benefit for all of us.  Being in shape can save your life in the military."

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