Before Ryan Donaldson arrived at Meyersdale High School, the strength and conditioning program was an afterthought. Hired as the head football coach in 2017, Donaldson’s first order of business was to make the school’s small and humble weight room a point of emphasis for his young football program. Donaldson knew the first off-season would play a pivotal role in establishing the program culture. His goal was to foster excitement, generate buy-in, and build team chemistry.
Fostering Excitement through Competition:Coach Donaldson knew he couldn’t expect high school athletes to live for the weight room without some form of incentive. He wanted to inject excitement into the off-season and inspire his athletes to truly challenge themselves and each other. To do so, he added an element of competition through PLT4M’s “Pillar” workouts. Competitive Metcon sessions designed to challenge the motor and the mind, Pillars provided the motivation for athletes to give that extra effort, week in and week out, through a long off-season. The effect was immediate, and Thursdays quickly became the day athletes looked forward to each week. The athletes took it upon themselves to encourage one another, cheering for teammates and motivating one another to dig deeper through the finish.
“Pillars became an embodiment of what we wanted our program to look like outside of the gym. If we were honest and dedicated in the weight room, we would not cut corners on the field or in life.”