A Championship Mindset: Hard Work In The Weight Room
Over the last decade, Many Football has been no stranger to the postseason. With multiple finals appearances and a state championship, this small 2A school has consistently been in the hunt.
But for the Many Tigers to stay relevant in Louisiana High School football, they know that they must put in the work.
Athletes at Many know that on-field results stem from off-field work. Each day in the off-season, during the final block of school, over 75 student-athletes head to the weight room to work out with Strength Coach Jesse Curtis.
With so many football players in the gym and the desire to drive decisions with data, Coach Curtis uses PLT4M to stay organized and on track.
“I used to spend so much time on spreadsheets, trying to track and monitor so many different things. With PLT4M, I save so much time and can focus on the athletes, not the spreadsheets.”
With PLT4M, Coach Curtis has all the information he needs right at his fingertips. Now he can unify his strength and conditioning program through goal setting.
“We set goals that are challenging. To achieve the goals we set, athletes have to invest in hard work. From there, we can use data in PLT4M to make sure that we are on track.”
With clear goals, a great coaching staff, and a system set to help stay the course, Many Tigers can attack each workout with a purpose.
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Balance Consistency With Creativity
Before any workout, athletes come together, and the coaching staff sets the tone for the day. ‘What to expect. What to focus on. Where to start.’
To allow athletes to get into a good routine, Curtis keeps the general warm-up consistent with basic cardio and mobility.
He gets creative when he sees students struggling with certain movements in the weight room and feels more attention is needed.
“If we have been doing front squats and athletes are struggling with the front rack position, I will introduce some additional front rack mobility drills during the warm-up.”
After the daily warm-up, the pursuit of making gains in core lifts begins.
Good Form and Good Data
Coach Curtis knows that using data via PLT4M can be extremely powerful but is also mindful of the consequences “number chasing” can have.
“We have five core lifts, and we set most of our goals around them. I look at these numbers to see who is improving. But I know that I have to make sure as numbers go up, we maintain great form and technique.”
When athletes at Many start to add weight to the back squat, they will struggle with proper knee positioning. Curtis uses a variety of coaching cues to make sure that athletes are aware of the proper knee path even as the weight on the bar increases.
Coach Curtis is also vigilant while coaching the clean. The clean is a movement where athletes can initially hit higher weights with sloppy form and technique. While there might be an initial jump in weight, Coach Curtis encourages his athletes to make corrections to avoid plateaus in training.
“Yes, that new PR might be exciting, but athletes are going to plateau if they cannot move with the right range of motion or land in the proper position.”
By Coach Curtis consistently providing feedback to make sure form is solid, the data within PLT4M’s reporting tells the real story around athlete growth. Better yet, Curtis can be confident that this growth is powered by good form and technique
The End Goal
Past just good form and technique, Coach Curtis is hoping to inspire much more in the weight room with his athletes.
Athletes have their individual goals and are working hard to achieve them every time they come to work out. And while the progress in the weight room can be exciting, the greater goal of winning a championship is on everyone’s mind.
Be on the lookout come next post-season for this small school that has continued to make strength and conditioning a big deal.