With the COVID-19 pandemic still a part of our daily lives, Emily Groth has not given up on trying to help people remain active and physically fit.
The 2009 Monona Grove High School graduate said the principles she learned playing club and women’s college hockey have fueled her drive to help others whose lives have been altered by the presence of the virus.
“Since COVID-19, I have launched an at-home dumbbell-only strength and conditioning program to increase at-home training options,” said Groth, who calls her personal training business Groth Fit. “I also offer personal and small group training outside in my driveway in Monona. I have really loved getting to know my neighbors and having them join me for training.”
She added that it’s important to maintain regular training schedules with clients to reduce their stress and improve their physical and mental health. Groth said her sessions adhere to the use of social distancing, equipment sanitation and other safety measures to keep the virus under control.
Groth has been a personal trainer for five years and began Groth Fit in 2019. Her success followed an accomplished athletic career on the ice for the Madison Capitols and eventually, the Providence Friars women’s hockey team.
Groth was 5 when she first took up hockey. She played on club teams such as the Madison Patriots and the Madison Capitols. The hockey bloodlines were already embedded in her, as her father, uncle and older brother all played high school hockey at Monona Grove and later served as coaches. All would have an influence on teaching Groth the skills necessary to reach the collegiate level.
College recruiters noticed her talent with the Capitols, and she eventually signed a letter of intent to play at Providence.
“My goal was to play NCAA Division 1 collegiate hockey, and Providence College showed the most interest in having me join their team, which made it an easy decision,” Groth said.
The Providence women’s hockey program began in 1978, and the community followed Friar sports avidly as the school was small and the athletic facilities were at the center of campus.
The Friars were members of the Hockey East Conference, which included traditional women’s hockey giants such as Boston College, Boston University, New Hampshire, Maine, Northeastern, Vermont and Connecticut. The league contests were often intense.
“The rivalries run deep in the eastern U.S., because the programs have been around for over 40 years, and schools are close in proximity,” Groth said. “Every Thanksgiving, we played our local rival on the other side of town, Brown University for the Mayor’s Cup. You don’t get that in the Midwest.”
On the blue line
Groth was a valuable defender for the Friars, which ended the 2010-11 campaign – her sophomore season – at 22-12-1 overall and 12-8-1 in the conference. The team allowed fewer than two goals per game. But Providence would lose in the semifinal round of the Hockey East tournament to Boston College in overtime.
As a junior in 2011-12, Groth played in all 37 regular season games, collected four assists and had a +/- rating of +6 as Providence finished 16-17-4 overall and 11-8-2 in conference.
After wins over Northeastern and Maine, the Friars advanced to the conference championship game against Boston University. It was a typical Hockey East dogfight, but the Friars lost in overtime to the Terriers.
In her senior year, Providence finished 15-16-5 and 8-10-3 in Hockey East play. The Friars won an overtime thriller over New Hampshire in the conference tournament semifinal but fell in the next round to Boston University.
Despite that, Groth had a very strong final year in college hockey with four assists, 10 shots on goal and a +5 rating. She received the team’s Unsung Hero Award.
More interest in women’s hockey
Groth is encouraged women’s college hockey is starting to attract new followers. She said the success of the UW women’s hockey team, which has won five NCAA titles, has contributed to rising interest in the women’s game.
“This is very special to Madison and not the case nationwide,” she said. “I am hopeful that women’s professional hockey in the U.S. and Canada can be successful in coming years and provide role models and goals for young hockey players.”
As a successful businesswoman, Groth said the lessons learned from playing hockey have helped her establish good relationships with clients, who are seeking a better outlook on life.
“I approach each relationship with my clients as if we are teammates and encourage them to take ownership of their training,” she said. “We have the same goal and work together to achieve that goal. I see each client for who they are as an individual and encourage growth not solely with the barbell but also in other facets of their life.”
To learn more about Groth Fit, visit www.grothfit.com