If you build it, they will come

My post, Efficacy and Safety – Middle School Strength and Conditioning, seems to have struck a chord.   Many of you shared having similar discussions with administration, parents, fellow coaches, or students that revolved around a core of common issues, concerns, or questions… I have summed them up in these “buzzwords”

  • No interest in kids that young
  • Growth plates
  • Attention span
  • Readiness
  • Limb size
  • Injury risk
  • Classroom organization
  • Specialized equipment
  • Safety

The good news is that a comprehensive study has already been completed that deals with each of these issues, and puts to rest many of the myths surrounding strength training for younger students and athletes.   This is not my opinion, or my study, but was completed (actually three different studies) by the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), which is generally recognized as THE expert in the field of strength and conditioning.

As I mentioned in that same post, our district (Independence School District) is adding a strength and conditioning class as a PE option for 7th and 8th grade students in the district.  We have just finished the enrollment process with this group of students and I can share with you that there is a HIGH interest in this class.

The decision was made that at each middle school we would add 2 sections for incoming 7th grade students, and 4 sections for incoming 8th grade students.  We are looking at keeping the class roster at 24 students per section, but are actually enrolling s few more to allow for some movement.   This means we will take around 48-60 7th grade students, and 96-120 8th grade students total for the new class

In one school alone (Bingham Middle School) we had nearly 200 incoming 7th grade students that wanted to take the class, and over 160 incoming 8th grade students sign up.  This means that in order to get down to a manageable class size, we had to trim about 2/3 off the 7th grade list and about 1/3 from the 8th grade list… or about 200 total students.

If you build it, they will come…

bridger1We also started a Strength and Conditioning “club” for the students at my current school (Bridger Middle School), which allows us to introduce some of the concepts we will be teaching in the class next year.  So far, over 80 students have attended (it is an after school club) at least one session, and over 60 have completed the initial instruction/ testing phase and are on a workout program. (we are using a 4 day a week program but modifying it to just 2 days per week).  They are doing GREAT!

If you build it, they will come… 

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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3 thoughts on “If you build it, they will come

  1. Pingback: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat | You Can Do More!

  2. Pingback: Middle School Strength and Conditioning Posts | You Can Do More!

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