I am so glad to have come out of retirement and return as a physical education teacher.
Money can’t motivate me as quite frankly, teachers and coaches do what they do because that’s who we are.
The thrill and challenge of taking additional knowledge I learned these past 5 years of being retired from teaching, from training with high level competitive submission wrestlers, from reading emails of former students making a living as a coach, fighter and trainer because they were in my class, is what it’s about for me.
Knowing what I experienced with regard to how our bodies react and change over time, having seen the “destination” and comparing that to the “journey,” I am returning to the “journey” and will RECLAIM THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH AND PASS IT ON TO MY STUDENTS.
Developing a School Wide Athletic Enhanced Program at the High School Level
Many schools share the same athletic problems…a lack of a common philosophy among the many sport coaches at their school. The solution…hire a full time strength coach who works with all sports to help alleviate most of the problems, but most schools don’t have that luxury.
There is a model created by outside companies that begins with advanced weight training classes. This is an opportunity where students during the day have a structured program that does not interfere with practice time or after school activities, jobs or homework.
During the season, it prevents extended practice time and allows for recovery before practice games. All of the athletes in this model, both boys and girls, are enrolled in the class both semesters every year.
The class consists of a 4-day lifting program (2 days upper and 2 days lower body), with Wednesday being used for activities such as plyometrics, medicine ball training, speed work, agility, and hand-eye coordination.
Every athlete in every sport is on the same program. The justification for this philosophy is stated below:
All sports require a core of strength for all the muscle groups.
Most “sport-specific” programs share types of resistance training.
Lifts should not resemble too closely the actual movement involved in the sport. Otherwise, it can negatively affect the actual skill.
The most important part of training is “sport specificity”, and that occurs during actual practice, conditioning and athletic enhancement workouts.
When everyone is on the same page, multiple sport athletes benefit thereby sending the message to everyone.
When the structure of the class and equipment used is unified, all benefit.
In terms of organization of the class, all students must be dressed and in the body conditioning room within 3 minutes of the bell. They pick up their workout cards and check a common board to find out which station they start at and how many sets and repetitions are outlined for the day/week. Its best to use 5 different color cards with each color being assigned to the same starting position. This makes it easy for the strength coach to supervise. Each week the starting station changes for each group, and every 2 weeks the sets and reps change. Every athlete performs 3 minutes of a simulated jump rope followed by push-ups or air squats depending on which part of the body they will be working on that day.
Once the warm up in concluded, the coach begins a timer set at 7 minutes. The athletes must complete 3 sets in the 7 minutes and then rotate to the next station. The coach can blow a whistle or sound a horn.
The 5 upper body stations are bench press, dumbbell military press, lat pull down and triceps push down, bicep curl, and back extension with abdominal work that includes knee raises, twists and crunches.
Lower body stations are squat, heel raise, power clean, leg extension, and leg curl.
It is important to point out to the current administration that there is a need for those students who show an above-average interest and ability in physical education to have a class that meets their needs. Keep in mind that there are classes such as academic enriched courses such as band, choir, arts, dance and AP/IB.
Period zero and extended lunch are other options.
Most of the coaches have combined the strength work on Wednesdays to plyometric jumps with boxes or hurdles. It is easy to set up, allows for different ability levels and lessens the likelihood of an injury. The total number of foot contacts is 30 for the in-place jumps and 56 for the repeat jumps. The medicine ball is done with a 3 kg using a variety of passes from seated, parallel squat and standing. The footwork ladders are used with a variety of patterns using both forward and lateral movements. As far as stretching goes, all the coaches have eliminated static stretching at the start of the workout and have added dynamic warm-ups. This makes sense in terms of getting the body ready for the activity at hand. The dynamic routine consists of high knees, glute kicks, lunge walks, 45% lunge walks, side shuffle, carioca, side lunge, backward lunge and backward lunge walks.
This type of programming accomplishes an improvement in athletic performance, and improvement in confidence and self-esteem, a reduction of injuries and a continued improvement throughout the season rather than the late-season staleness that many teams experience.