Athletes Succeed When Coaches Unite
When Aaron Charles first started as Athletic Director at Southmont High School in Indiana, he looked at the weight program as an area that needed improvement. As a school of 500 students and 20 sports programs, Southmont, like many schools in the area, had their fair share of multi-sport athletes. However, as an Athletic Department, they struggled to be on the same page.
“As seasons would change, coaches had no idea where athletes had left off in their training. To me, that was a big red flag.”
For Aaron, having been in education for over 18 years, he understood the challenges that high school strength and conditioning presented.
“Every coach only has so much time during the season, and we want to be mindful of that. I also have coaches that are teachers and have a ton on their plate, so I want to do my best to get them the very best resources so that they can be successful.”
And as Southmont worked towards coming together and unifying, Aaron did some investigating to find additional resources that could be of value to the program. One thing that came across his desk was PLT4M, an online strength and conditioning program that already worked with a few schools in the area.
Not quite ready to make a move in the middle of the school year, Aaron had tabled the idea of a new program like PLT4M. Only a few months later, as the COVID-19 was forcing schools and students to go remote, Aaron decided to revisit the high school strength and conditioning app.
“We quickly got our coaches together on a Zoom and looked into getting something put together for our athletes. Sending out daily workouts via emails to students was not going to work. We talked with a local school using PLT4M and they showed us how they could remotely deliver workouts and monitor activity in the app. We were all in.”
Kicking Off PLT4M
In a coordinated effort, Southmont quickly spread the word to athletes that PLT4M was going to be the home to their new training program.
“Usually, we would sit everyone down and let them know the plan, but we had to get creative to launch something completely new while everyone was at home.”
Through an initial email with registration information, social media posts, and Zoom meetings, athletes were able to get signed up with ease. The importance of training while at home was clear: coaches, captains, and Aaron all shared a similar sentiment.
“We don’t know when we’re coming back, and if you aren’t prepared, those first few weeks are going to be tough on us. We may have a shortened season so we need you in the best shape when you come to us. Whenever that may be.”
Want to see how your school can utilize PLT4M in the weight room and remotely?
Starting Simple and Growing For Future
At first, Southmont assigned At Home Workouts and Mobility sessions looking to keep things simple for students. Aaron used social media to build buzz around the athletes who were putting in the time and effort.
“A little recognition can go a long way. We tapped into PLT4M and could see who completed their workouts for the week and we shared that on social media. Slowly but surely, others wanted that same recognition and got to work.”
As Southmont’s strength and conditioning grows in remote participation, so does the plan to expand the offerings available via PLT4M.
“At first, we just wanted everyone doing something. Next, we will get our athletes on the Athletic Performance program available so that they can continue to move in the right direction for their next season.”
The Right Direction
Aaron believes that the entire athletic program is continuing to move in the right direction. While under unfortunate circumstances, Social Distancing has presented an opportunity for Southmont Athletics to come together and unify their strength and conditioning program. Aaron believes it has given them a major advantage.
“I see schools just posting the daily workout via Twitter, and it’s made me realize all of the things we are able to do with PLT4M. Past professionally built workouts, we can see who is doing what and support our athletes with feedback along the way.”
Beyond that, Aaron sees an entire community excited for what can happen with the right training plan in place.
“I have talked to coaches, athletes, and people in the community about PLT4M and our plan. We all have that same excitement about what we are doing for workouts and the success we can continue to build on in our athletic program.”
Whether it is in a few weeks or a few months, Southmont Athletics will be prepared for a triumphant return.
Shout out to Makia Pierce, Dara Watson, Emalie Ayers, Addison Charles, and Beck McIntrye for completing all @PLT4M workouts and mobility sessions each day for the Week of May 4th. Contact the athletic office if you have questions with logging in. #ProudToBeAMountie
— Southmont Pep Block (@mountie_maniacs) May 11, 2020