Yesterday was the senior’s last day at our school, and Sunday they graduate. In 30+ years of teaching and coaching I can honestly say that as a coach you develop an affinity, a bond with almost every class that comes through your school. That is the nature of the profession. This group, though, will always be a special one for me.
This senior group, both the men and women athletes, really “bought into” what we were trying to do in our strength and conditioning program. We could not have made the gains we accomplished at our school without them.
When we started, there were 8 male students enrolled in our Advanced Strength and Conditioning class for athletes, and pretty much all they wanted to do was bicep curls, bench, or lay on the bench. They were in for a rude awakening! This past year we had over 120 students (2 sections of 60 students each) enrolled in the class, both men and women, who are committed and train hard (and inspire me) daily.
This group was committed to training in the off-season, both in the classroom, after school, and summer. Our numbers expanded so much in our off-season program that it dictated expanding our weight room – nearly doubling space and equipment. We went from literally just a handful of student (6-7 male athletes) the winter before we introduced our workout program (A Weekly (not weakly!) Workout), to 70+ (both men and women) athletes at nearly every after school workout since that time.
Last summer we had over 220 committed athletes from our school – both men and women and from every sport – that attended our summer Strength and Conditioning Class. They dedicated a portion of their summer by working out four mornings a week, two hours a day, for nearly 8 weeks! The workouts were brutal – and included weight room, speed development, quickness/ agility, and conditioning sessions daily.
This group of senior football players was also instrumental in winning only the second district championship in the schools history during their junior season. Although their continued hard work did not translate to the success we were hoping for on the football field this (their senior) season, their work ethic set the standard for what real training should look like.
In addition to being an incredibly hard working group, they also displayed great character, both in the classroom, in the hallway, and on the football field.
I always tell people that I learned so much more than football, X’s and O’s, from my high school coach, Fred Merrell. I only hope that some day, this group of seniors will look back and think the same thing. I know I learned from them.
Thanks to the Truman High School class of 2013
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org