At Kelly Walsh High School in Wyoming, the physical education enrollment numbers are exploding. While the weight training classes typically had 40 students per period, the physical education department now expects to see 60 students in each section next year.
As the largest high school in Wyoming, Kelly Walsh has always been accustomed to thinking big. So to help empower the large swaths of students participating in the weight training classes, the PE department utilizes flexible technology to fit their unique needs. We take a closer look at the success Kelly Walsh High School is having inside the weight room during PE class!
Kelly Walsh Weight Training Classes
Like many schools, Kelly Walsh’s physical education courses are open to all grade levels. PE teacher Bart Stricklin describes what a typical class roster looks like,
“We have a total mixed bag of students all in one class. We have 9th to 12 graders all in the weight room simultaneously, which means you get a mixture of kids. Some students have never stepped foot inside a weight room, and others have been there for 4 years.
Within the weight training classes, Bart explains that they approach every student with the same long-term goal,
“It doesn’t matter if they are an athlete or non-athlete. And it doesn’t matter if they are a brand new 9th grader or a senior. We want to help every student lift safely and confidently, leading to strength and improvement.”
All The Different Variables To Manage
Kelly Walsh has to manage a myriad of variables to achieve success for all students.
First, they have multiple teachers running the different sections of the class. The goal is to have a consistent program and approach across all sections.
In addition, they have a unique schedule to consider. The school follows an accelerated schedule. Students meet 5 days a week during a semester for 83 minutes a day.
Next, they want to ensure that every student, regardless of experience level, has appropriate programming and opportunity to improve. This means that students need to have access to personalized weight training workouts.
Lastly, the schedule needs to be mindful of competitions and events for the student-athletes in class. For example, many student-athletes have games towards the end of the week, so Kelly Walsh wants a program that handles volume and intensity over the week.
In the past, Kelly Walsh had used paper sheets to try and manage all the different variables, but over the last few years, have turned to flexible technology to empower the physical education program.
Flexible Technology Fuels Success
Bart and his colleagues turned to flexible technology that would allow them to tailor workouts to fit their unique needs. Over the last few years, Bart says the addition of flexible technology has helped improve the weight training classes at Kelly Walsh,
“What I like most about using PLT4M is the ability to mold and adjust the program to fit our goals exactly. There is a great structure and set up to PLT4M that allows any physical education department to tailor the program to their specific needs.”
Before PLT4M, Kelly Walsh had countless sheets of paper they were trying to manage and keep track of. Now, the weight room has Ipads throughout the weight room that students can easily access and log all of their workouts. For Bart, he sees this as a significant advantage for students, teachers, and coaches in the building,
“Everything is right there for the students. They see personalized weights and have a completely customized experience. For teachers and coaches, we can all be on the same page throughout our big school.”
Ready For Anything With Flexible Technology
Because many of the students in the class are also athletes, Bart says that they are mindful of intensity and volume throughout the week,
“Because most competitions are towards the end of the week, we can go a bit harder at the beginning of the week and then pull things back and use some of PLT4M recovery workouts towards the end of the week.”
And while the semester is usually smooth sailing, Kelly Walsh also is ready for things to change at any moment. Bart says that the flexible technology proved to be beneficial over the winter,
“We had a lot of snow storms and snow days. But I could send an at-home workout with a click of a button and keep our students working out at home.”
No matter the situation, Kelly Walsh weight training classes have a plan ready to go.
Bonus Content From Inside the Kelly Walsh weight room!
Key Takeaways From Kelly Walsh Weight Training
Kelly Walsh High School has hit its stride when it comes to weight training classes. And Kelly Walsh can point towards many measures of success to highlight the power of weight training classes. Increasing enrollment, student progress, and more are all signs of the powerful impact that class is making.
But none of these should come as a surprise. Kelly Walsh High School has prioritized physical education. First, the school has a group of invested and motivated physical education teachers. Next, they offer daily physical education classes to support student wellness. Lastly, they support students and teachers with flexible technology to maximize success.
And for Bart, the true sign of success is the powerful connections and relationships students are forming at Kelly Walsh High School through weight training classes,
“The weight room is a unique place for students of different walks of life to work together. Students work together at the same station in the weight room that they otherwise never would have talked to or connected with at our big school. But now I see these amazing friendships and positive relationships coming from the weight room.”