Episode 50 – Intro to S&C feat. Trent Clausen

Trent Clausen, Conestoga Jr-Sr High School (NE) 

  • PE Teacher
  • Strength & Conditioning Coordinator
  • Head Football Coach
  • Powerlifting Coach

Chalk Talk – Episode 50 – Intro to S&C feat. Trent Clausen

Every freshman takes Intro to S+C at Conestoga High School with Trent Clausen.

Coach Clausen creates a welcoming environment designed to set students up for long term success.

Check out his article breaking down 5 tips for running an Intro to S+C class. 

Time Stamps: 

Introduction To Trent Clausen (0:00 – 2:08)

  • Every Freshmen at Conestoga – How important that initial introduction is. Helping students feel comfortable and confident in the weight room. (2:08 – 3:20)
  • Instant Activities – Get on your feet and get moving around. Warming up to the class and for class. “Getting out of desk mode” (3:20 – 4:20)
  • Terminology In The Weight Room – Movements Over Muscles – Understanding Joints and Range Of Motion (4:20 – 6:45)
  • Sorting Kids Into Different Groups – Student Choice and Who Needs Help (6:45 – 8:30)
  • Helping With Cues – Always The Hinge – Spinal Movement and Hip Flexion (8:30 – 10:15)
  • Getting Into Olympic Lifts – Force Absorption – Body Moving As One (10:15 – 11:15)
  • What Trent follows as a squat progression (11:15 – 11:45)
  • Determining When It Is Okay To Move On – Does it look safe? (11:45 – 13:20 )
  • Movements Over Maxes – Landmine Progression (13:20 – 15:20)
  • Help Students Understand A Good Program – The End Goal Of Class (15:20 – 17:50)
  • Last Tips and Tricks From Trent (18:30 – 21:10)
Check out how Physical Education and Athletic Departments partner with PLT4M!
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Weight Training – Student-Athletes’ Perspective

Weight Training – Student-Athletes’ Perspective

The Kingsford Flivver Flash is a podcast hosted by football coach John VanDusen. 

On the most recent Flivver Flash episode, Coach VanDusen talks with a few of the student-athletes about their experience weightlifting and using PLT4M. 

Intro From Coach VanDusen

John introduces the episode talking about the flexibility that PLT4M has provided. 

With busy student schedules, the online app has taken the pressure off student-athletes and allowed them to work out on their own time (before school, after school and on the weekends). 

It has also helped take the pressure off the coaches who can check the app’s data and reports to see who has been working out and who hasn’t. With so many kids working jobs, playing other sports, and juggling life, John highlights how it has been nice to have some flexibility for the kids to get their workouts done. 

What Students Are Saying

Following John’s introduction, he sits down for a round table discussion with a group of football players who have been getting into the weight room.  

While the weight room flexibility is nice, most of the kids still try their best to find time together. Here is what one student had to say,

“I think it is nice to go on your own time because I work and it is hectic, but it is also nice to go in with your friends and push each other.” 

All the student-athletes highlighted they loved seeing their weights go up. When asked about their favorite lifts, just about everyone said the bench, squat, or deadlift. They loved logging worksets on the PLT4M app and seeing their numbers start to rise. 

Want to see how you can integrate PLT4M in your program?

Tips To 8th Graders

And while just about every student said they loved the big lifts and putting heavy weight on the bar, they knew that form came first. When asked what advice they would give the 8th graders everyone had very similar responses,

“Work on your form, because THEN you can start increasing the weight. If you don’t have good form, you are going to get hurt.”

Another student had this to say to the next generation of football players,

“Keep hitting the weights! Once you start, keep going, you can increase weight a lot. I didn’t go as an 8th grader a lot, and then I went a lot as 9th grader, and I started seeing results and wanted to keep getting better.” 

It is no surprise that high school athletes were interested in the weight on the bar, but when Coach VanDusen reaffirmed proper technique first, all the students agreed with putting form first.

“I am glad you guys mentioned form and safety because you can actually lift more weight if you have the proper form. If you have kind of shady form on something like bench press, or squat, it is a safety issue, but you also cannot do as much weight. When you build on good form, you can really start to see numbers go up.” 

Closing Thoughts From The Flivvers

As Coach VanDusen wrapped up the podcast with the boys and asked for closing thoughts, they all shared the same sentiment: “It goes by fast! Enjoy it.” 

What a great closing message for other coaches and players to take away from this podcast. No matter what happens, spending time with your friends in the weight room or on the field will become some of the most priceless memories. 

The Flivver Flash are building something special, and it goes far past weight room dedication or on-field success. The Flash are creating lasting memories together, and this podcast was a great celebration of that. 

Starting Somewhere – Growing Weight Room Attendance

Starting Somewhere – Growing Weight Room Attendance

“Over 60 kids came in this morning before school to get better. How about the commitment from this group!?!?” 

If you scroll through any of your social media apps, you will probably see a coach boasting about their crowded weight room. Rightfully so! What an incredible achievement to have a large group of students bought into strength and conditioning.

In recent years, it seems more and more high schools have embraced the weight room as an integral part of their future success. Male and female athletes of all sports are getting after in the weight room! 

Blame Game

Yet some schools still have not caught up to this growing trend of high school strength and conditioning. Why? 

Athletes not caring? Coaches not investing? Administrators not prioritizing? 

Before we cast the blame on the easiest victim, let’s stop and notice the coaches who are willing to at least start somewhere. Even when only a handful of students come to workout, there is still a coach willing to open the doors, coach the kids up, and give them the very best. 

Those coaches are worth a spotlight! 

Justin Shaffer

For this spotlight, we turn to Justin Shaffer at East Buchanan High School in Iowa. Coach Shaffer is used to the feeling of: One step forward. Two steps back. 

“There are times we get everyone in the weight room on a consistent basis. But with high school athletes, playing multiple sports and being busy, sometimes the weight room commitment can start to slip.” 

And instead of pounding his head against the wall, he sees some basic similarities to even the most elite programs. 

“I love the 10-80-10 principle that Coach Urban Meyer is famous for outlining. 10% of your group is elite, 80% are compliant and 10% are resistant. The challenge Meyer talks about is getting those members of your group in the 80% pack to move towards being elite.” 

And we all know that middle pack very well. Good kids, who do the right thing when they need to, but might not necessarily go out of their way to do that extra work. Getting THOSE athletes to show up to the weight room on a consistent basis is where teams can start to really make progress. Especially difficult at a small school like the one Shaffer is at. 

Starting to get athletes in your weight room? Let PLT4M help with your program and process!

Help From Other Coaches

While Shaffer can preach the importance of the weight room, he knows he needs others to share the same mission as him. 

“Multi-sport athletes get pulled in a lot of directions. But as a small school, if we can get coaches to all to come together we have a great chance to grow the strength and conditioning program that every team will start to benefit from.” 

One of the biggest things Shaffer wants both coaches and athletes to understand is that S+C is a work in progress. No athlete is going to walk into the weight room and be perfect, nor should they. What Shaffer hopes for is improvement, and to do that, people need to be willing to start somewhere. 

“Athletes will look towards their coaches for direction. If they look and see their coaches in the weight room. Well, that is where they will go.”

And while that step takes education and empowerment for coaches and athletes, Shaffer knows that making change takes time. For now, his best chance at growing the program is giving his very best to those athletes that are showing up consistently. 

Praise and Promise

Shaffer goes out of his way to highlight even just the few handful of athletes who are part of the East Buchanan “Committed Club”. 

“It goes a long way for kids to get recognized. It shows them that they are valued and respected for doing the work.” 

Shaffer will promote and post out the athletes via Twitter, and while it sometimes feels like a shortlist, those kids get a well-deserved nod. 

Better yet, he is confident that those athletes will be the ones who see the field and see success. While it may take some serious leg work to get more athletes in the weight room, Shaffer still shows up every morning before school to help those looking to get better, get better.

So while some coaches might see a small group of athletes as a sign to give up, Shaffer knows to grow the program to what it can truly become, he has to start somewhere. 

Chalk Talk – Episode 49 – The “Squat” – What, Why & How?

Chalk Talk – Episode 49 – The “Squat” – What, Why & How?

Come see how PLT4M can partner with your school!

“The Squat” is probably one of the most talk about movements in strength and conditioning.

Some people immediately jump to thinking about the barbell back squat, but we break down all the variations and progressions that the squat has for your high school athletes!

Time Stamps: 
  • The Squat – What it is and why are you doing it? (1:45)
  • A movement not just a heavy barbell back squat (3:30)
  • Teaching The Squat – Starting with body weight (5:00)
  • No such thing as a perfect squat (7:23)
  • Starting with the feet (9:00)
  • Ankle mobility (11:20) Knees can track over toes (13:20)
  • TIP ALERT: Tear the paper (17:06)
  • Problems are not exclusive to students just learning, issues will come back up. Help and correct. (19:05)
  • Finally getting to depth – full range of motion and strength (24:25)
  • Use variations of the squat (27:56)
  • Building weight and starting to develop more skills (33:02)
  • Air, goblet, back to front (37:50)
  • Torso incline – hinging in the movement (40:27)
  • There will always be faults – its not perfect! (44:26)
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Wisconsin Dells

Athletic and PE Department Collaboration (WEBINAR)

Athletic and PE Department Collaboration (WEBINAR)

Brad Rohling presents on his school has used PLT4M to unify their athletic department through Physical Education classes. 


  • Brad Rohling Background (0:59)
  • Life Before PLT4M: “Coach by Coach, Unpopular PE Classes” (3:31)
  • Transition to Unity: Admin Support, Planning & PLT4M (5:49)
  • The Plan: Athletic Department Unity & then integrate with PE (9:25)
  • Executing the Plan: School-Wide Unity (12:27)
  • Where Are We Today? (13:56)
  • Student Buy-In – Leaderboards (16:38)
  • Benefits of Athletics & PE Working Together (19:50)
  • Advice for Schools (20:39)
  • Q+A – What devices do you use? What if I want to look at PLT4M? What other equipment would I need? (22:47)
  • Reach Out to Sam Cleveland – PLT4M State Rep (Sam@PLT4M.Com) with any questions (25:49)
Want to see how you can use PLT4M to unify your Athletic and Physical Education departments?
Wisconsin Dells-Brad Rohling
Brad Rohling – Wisconsin Dells High School (WI)

Chalk Talk – Episode 48 – Professional Development feat. Eric Davolt

Eric Davolt

  • PE Teacher Advisor for K-12 Physical Education
  • Founders of The Phys Ed Coach 
  • Recognized as a SHAPE Teacher Of The Year

Chalk Talk – Episode 48 – Professional Development feat. Eric Davolt 

Eric Davolt is a Teacher Adviser for k-12 physical education at one of the largest school districts in California. He joins Chalk Talk to discuss what he does as a #PhysEdCoach.

Time Stamps: 
  • Meeting Eric Davolt (0:00 – 4:20)
  • Teaching Standards Based – “Moving away from rolling the ball to teaching students the value of Physical Education teacher.” (4:20 – 7:00)
  • California State Standards – Introducing the framework and encourage teachers to use model lessons when possible.  (7:00 – 10:15)
  • What other teachers are willing to share. Physical Education Twitter is a POWERFUL tool (10:15 – 11:15)
  • Different Resources That Are Available To Teachers (11:15 – 13:00)
  • Teachers often learn how to instruct, but not as much assess. Putting on great lesson, but struggling to assess it. (13:00 – 16:20)
  • Don’t test fitness, test learning and life long understanding of fitness (16:20 – 19:00)
  • Follow state or national standards – use guiding principles – prove student learning (19:00 – 21:40)
  • Using Different Models Of Teaching (21:40 – 23:30)
  • Often we teach and grade, the way we experienced it as students. Want to try and do the best in changing moving forwad (23:30 –  26:02)
Check out how Physical Education and Athletic Departments partner with PLT4M!
Here’s how to make sure you never miss an episode:
  • Rate & review us to tell us what you’re loving and help us to reach more listeners.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on Chalk Talk updates. Use use #PLT4MChalkTalk to connect with us!

Have an idea or topic you would like us to cover? Feel free to send us along a suggestion!