Originally posted from Coach & A.D. publication (February 2018 Vol. 87 No. 5)
Where’s Your Strength Coach?
Five reasons all high schools need an experienced and qualified professional in the weight room
By Micah Kurtz and Luke Kurtz, contributing writers
There’s no better place to arm young people with the tools to be successful in life than in the weight room. A qualified, full-time strength coach is the best candidate to progress students through a long-term athletic development program and teach students the importance of being dedicated to continuous self-improvement. That can propel them not only in athletics, but also throughout their academics and professional lives. A properly developed program teaches students to set goals and overcome obstacles, which in turn builds self confidence to set even loftier goals. It also prepares students to be leaders and begin a virtuous cycle of success in high school, college and beyond. Here are five reasons all high schools should hire a full-time, certified strength and conditioning coach.
1 Strength programs help athletes maximize potential in life.
Weight training can be the most important class for high school students. And not only because child and adult
obesity is an epidemic. Weight training teaches students life lessons and provides them with the opportunity to overcome adversity, which arms them with the tools necessary to chase their dreams and fulfill their potential. Unlike any class or sport, the weight room teaches students to improve their physical abilities while giving them the confidence to pursue whatever excites them throughout their careers. For this reason, schools should make wellness and weight training classes a priority in their curriculum. The training environment goes beyond athletic performance. It teaches students to overcome fears and achieve goals. Unlike traditional classes and sports, a properly designed strength and conditioning program tracks personal progress and teaches students to embrace the process of getting better every day. Nobody steps into a weight room for the first time armed with the knowledge and strength to excel, but after each workout, everyone leaves with increased mental and physical toughness, and a sense of accomplishment. In the weight room, effort is the most respected attribute. While individuals may be impressed by the ability to run fast and lift heavy loads, the student who ultimately earns the most respect is the one who trains with the most intensity and is dedicated to maximizing their individual potential.
The weight room even provides a unique opportunity for students to support and encourage others, not only with their words, but by their actions and attitudes. Students quickly learn that energy and effort — both positive and negative — are contagious and can be spread in multiple ways. These are life skills that stay with students long after they graduate high school.
2 Experienced, qualified strength coaches have the expertise for proper age appropriate athletic development.
Billy Graham said, “A coach will impact more people in one year than the average person will in an entire lifetime.” That’s especially true of strength coaches, who are around athletes year-round, and it’s unlikely all team coaches will have the opportunity to focus solely on the personal development of each student-athlete. School administrators should provide their students with strength coaches who understand fundamental movement patterns and exercise science; know how to properly…
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