In a recent post, When Everyone Stops to Watch, I listed a litany of ways that having a Middle School (or High School) Strength and Conditioning class benefits your student-athletes. After re-reading that post, I realized that I omitted possibly the most important benefit – toughness!
Although “toughness” is difficult to measure and quantify, I know that by the end of the year… in the second semester of having the class… the athletes (students) that are in the class are tougher mentally and physically.
I can see their toughness demonstrated in a variety of ways.
Once a month at our school every student enrolled in Physical Education (in Strength and Conditioning as well as the regular PE classes) complete the 20-meter Pacer test. By the second semester, I can see the students that are taking Strength and Conditioning compete better. It is not just a matter of improving physically… I can see them continue to run past the point where it begins to get uncomfortable for them… they realize They Can Do More… they are developing toughness.
Since I have students form all sports enrolled in the class… both boys and girls… not just football players… I make it a point to attend and watch them participate in their respective sports. This year I was able to attend contests in all of the sports at our school.
Even if I did not know which students were in Strength and Conditioning (the vast majority are) I could tell who is taking the class by how they compete and how tough they are… how confident they are.
Of course I am biased, but the athletes that have been training in Strength and Conditioning class carry themselves differently… they handle adversity differently… they prepare differently.
Now project these physical and mental improvements over the next 4-5 years as they continue in high school.
Toughness is a trait… a character trait… that will help athletes in whatever sport they participate in.
For that matter toughness is an attribute that will serve them well once they complete their days as an athlete… it is a life skill.
I realize that for the most part this is preaching to the choir…
Starting a Strength and Conditioning program in your middle school(s) is the exact right time to do it… if I can help in any way let me know.
- Training Mental Toughness
- You Can Do This
- The Case for Middle School Strength and Conditioning
Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org