Andover’s Approach To Athletic Development

Andover High School student athletes work out in the weight room.

Andover High School faces the formidable challenge of competing against some of the largest schools in Minnesota. With the football team in the second largest division and every other team in the top division, Andover athletes and teams go head to head with the biggest and best in the state. But the school doesn’t shy away from facing some of the fiercest competition in Minnesota.


Instead, Andover High School taps into the weight room to prepare athletes for success. Through a year-round strength and conditioning program, student-athletes are seeing their hard work translate to the fields, court, ice, and track.

Emphasizing Athletic Development For Andover Athletes


Over 600 students at Andover High School participate in the strength and conditioning program throughout the year. Before, during, and after school, students come to the weight room with teams and PE classes to lift and train. In addition, Andover boasts an impressive summer program that supports a year-round approach to strength and conditioning. Altogether, the numbers and turnout are fantastic.


While there are many reasons for the massive and consistent turnout at Andover, Strength Coach Ken Weikel says a major reason for high participation is the emphasis on athletic development,


“Our goal is to build better athletes, regardless of their sport or sports. And that means all athletes can see the opportunity to have hard work in the weight room translate to athletic success.”


Ken explains how the mindset around athletic development isn’t just held by a few teams and coaches, but is embraced by the entire athletic department and school,


“Our athletic director has been incredibly supportive of us being on the same page and taking a unified approach, and the coaches have pushed student-athletes to see that the weight room isn’t just for football or any specific sport, but for all athletes to make progress.”

Andover High School student athletes work out in the weight room.
Andover High School student athletes work out in the weight room.

Building A Strong Foundation Early


Another significant factor for success is the middle school program Andover offers over the summer. Each summer, Head Football Coach Tom Develice and other coaches encourage and welcome middle school students into the weight room to learn the basics.


Andover dedicates specific summer sessions twice a week for middle school students to build a strong foundation in the weight room. In addition, older athletes and recent graduates come to offer additional coaching and support for middle school students.


Ken says that the middle school program helps to teach students at an early age what the weight room is all about,


“The weight room can be intimidating for many students. But when middle school students can get in early to develop form and technique, rather than worrying about lifting super heavy weights, they can see the actual purpose and benefit of strength and conditioning.”


As a result of these efforts, more students are excited and eager to be in the weight room once they arrive to high school. And because form and technique are the focus early on, student-athletes are set up with a foundation for long-term progress and growth.

Unified Training For Andover Athletes


At many high schools, training can often be disjointed across different teams because of the varying goals of coaches and athletes within the athletic program. But Andover has made unified training a top priority for the school of over 1,700 students.


Ken says that when working with student-athletes, coaches encourage students to see the big picture of what the weight room is about,


“We say we offer a general training program for all athletes, specific to their needs and goals. From there, they can develop sport-specific skills in practice. That means we all train as athletes in the weight room, regardless of our sports.”


To achieve this mission, Andover High School utilizes PLT4M so every student can access personalized workouts. While the themes and training plans are consistent across all the athletes, each student has individualized weights within the app that they can tap into. Ken says that this gives students the motivation to pursue individual progress and growth,


“It isn’t about lifting the heaviest weights possible all the time but gaining functional strength, mobility, and other vital skills that translate to competition. And with PLT4M, student-athletes can see that progress within the app and feel it as they compete.”

Andover High School student athletes work out in the weight room.
Andover athletes come all throughout the day and year to train and work hard.

Choice & Ownership Within Workouts


Although the core workouts within PLT4M are consistent across the board, Andover makes it a point to allow for choice and self-selection to honor what student-athletes feel they need to work on within the weight room. At the end of each workout, student-athletes can dive into different accessory work options to focus on what they want, whether that means mobility and flexibility or just a little extra bis and tris (a fan favorite for any high school student-athlete)!


Ken says finishing with choices gives another extra boost to student-athlete engagement and buy-in,


“Between personalized weights and finishing workouts with choice, students have a sense of ownership in what they do in the weight room. They aren’t just there because a coach says so, but because they see progress in the weight room and how it then impacts performance in their sports.”

image oh student squatting and a phone with graph

Ready To Raise The Bar?

Our platform is the #1 choice for coaches looking to elevate their program. Learn how you can get hours back in your week while improving accountability and unlocking gains. 

Key Takeaways On Andover’s Approach To Athletic Development


Andover High School has committed to athletic development through strength and conditioning. As a result, student-athletes see the results of hard work pay off as they compete throughout the school year.


A few key takeaways from Andover’s approach include:


  • Training athletes, not bodybuilders: Andover focuses on an athletic development training plan that builds skills in the weight room that translate to competition.

  • Building a foundation early: Through the middle school program, Andover is building the foundational skills that equip students to succeed long-term within the weight room.

  • Committing to unified training: Andover is a big school with many teams and coaches, but they work through a unified training program to stay consistent and avoid disjointed programming.

  • Utilizing technology for maximal results: Andover taps into PLT4M to support and streamline all of the efforts within the strength and conditioning program.


Altogether, Ken says that the strength and conditioning program is helping to build Andover athletes who are prepared for anything that comes their way,


“We have a lot of committed coaches and student-athletes that all see the weight room as a key element to success. There is a lot to be proud of at Andover, and it is exciting to see what our program can continue to support athletes in the future.”

Share this article:

Related Posts

Interested if PLT4M can work at your school?

Schedule a Free Demo

Follow Us!

Built for every student, and any fitness level

See what schools are saying.