Beulah High School in North Dakota embraces the power of the weight room. PE teacher and Head Football Coach Jim Dooley has helped shape a program that empowers the small school of just over 200 students with year-round weightlifting opportunities. From physical education classes to summer training, Beulah students and athletes work hard to reap the benefits of consistent strength and conditioning.
While weight training has always been prioritized, the school’s approach to training has transformed over the years with the use of technology. See how long-time coach and teacher Jim Dooley has tapped into technology for Beulah’s weightlifting program.
The Big Picture at Beulah
Like most high schools, Beulah has a mixed bag of students to manage in physical education and athletics.
First, the 9th-grade physical education classes have students with various interests and experiences. Jim says that the separate 9th-grade classes serve as an introduction for what is to come in advanced weight training classes but still offers variation for different interests and goals,
“Our 9th grade physical education classes have changed over the years to expose students to the weight room. Students can choose their preferred workout program, whether traditional weightlifting or general fitness. Regardless, they are exposed to the basic principles that will set them up for future years.”
After 9th grade, many of the students at Beulah take the Advanced Weight Training classes that are open to 10th-12th graders. In these classes, Jim has to manage the varying demands of sports seasons and schedules,
“We take a 52-week approach to our weightlifting program. We have so many multi-sport athletes, so we want to make sure we are still getting stronger throughout the year, but also mindful of the times when competitions or big events are coming up in the season or schedule.”
Overall, the big-picture goal at Beulah is to help students see the benefits of the weight room. While Jim was succeeding in this mission, he was spending countless hours trying to manage it all.
The Hudl of Strength and Conditioning
Jim has been a coach and teacher for over 34 years. He can still remember the days of driving to swap film with fellow coaches. Like most coaches, when Hudl came onto the scene, he was happy to save time and energy with new technology.
But when it came to the weight room, Jim was still spending countless hours managing spreadsheets,
“I would have to come in early, stay late, and spend most of my weekends trying to keep up with all the spreadsheets for weightlifting. And, like Hudl made the film process so much easier, I knew there were options to use technology to streamline my approach in the weight room.”
After talking with coaches and teachers in the area, Jim decided to add a new level of technology to the weightlifting program. Jim went from spending hours on spreadsheets to streamlining his approach with a strength and conditioning software,
“Adding a strength and conditioning software has saved me hours of time and made the whole weightlifting program so much more efficient. PLT4M is like the Hudl of strength and conditioning.”
New Tech, Same Philosophy
While Jim added new technology via PLT4M, he still wanted to create and manage the workouts he enjoyed using with his students,
“I have been doing this for a long time, so I have found certain ways I like to do things that I have seen work with my students and athletes. But, I was able to take that and make it way easier to manage within PLT4M.”
And with technology, Jim says it has added an extra layer of flexibility and customization to his approach,
“At the core, we keep the workouts and training programs consistent throughout the year, but with PLT4M, I can make adaptations and adjustments based on upcoming schedules and competitions.”
In addition, Jim has tapped into a lot of the different resources and content that PLT4M provides,
“It is a perfect fit for high school physical education, health, and athletics. For example, we just tapped into PLT4M’s sleep lesson plans that have been a really nice addition to our health curriculum for students.”
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Key Takeaways From Beulah High School
While Jim’s approach to writing workouts wasn’t changing, the technology to deliver workouts was. Now, Jim says that the program practically runs itself,
“It has saved me from all the busy work. I can still enjoy coaching and teaching in the weight room without constantly updating spreadsheets.”
And while some coaches and teachers are wary of technology in the weight room, Jim says he wouldn’t go back,
“The students respond well to it and know the technology is there for the workouts, not to be a distraction. Altogether, we have seen the benefits of switching to a true strength and conditioning technology.”