Loyola Academy

How a Nationally Ranked HS Trains its Athletes

Loyola Academy in Illinois is an athletic powerhouse. In the last decade, their football program has made 4 State Final appearances, which included a Championship and a Top-20 national Ranking. During the same span, the girls and boys Lacrosse teams have absolutely dominated, combining for over 15 State Championship appearances and numerous titles. Basketball is always competitive, girls soccer was in the Sectional Finals this past spring and the Girls Volleyball team has been regional champs 4 years running. Long story short: Loyola Academy knows how to win.

The question is – how does an athletic program produce such lofty results on a consistent basis? How do they produce championship quality teams year in and year out? Part of the answer lies with Jeff Lindeman, Head Strength Coach for all sports at Loyola Academy.

Coach Lindeman has served as the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator at LA for the last 11 years. During his tenure, he has fostered a culture of unity, hard work, and success. This isn’t something that happened on it’s own, nor did it happen overnight. At the time he was hired, circumstances were far different.

“When I first got here, training was all over the place. Each team did it’s own thing, and rarely did it with consistency. What’s more, it was all powerlifting-based, with little emphasis on technique or movement.”

Jeff, though, saw potential. He had a vision for how things could be done. A way in which athletes and teams worked together, work efficiently, and worked hard. He immediately set about creating a brand new, unified approach to athletic development.

The first step was to universalize and streamline the strength & conditioning program for the entire athletic program at LA. Gone were the days of teams training inconsistently on their own. Every athlete was now getting personalized workouts each week based on their own individual metrics and the team/schedule they were currently attached to. At the beginning this was all printed copies and copious Excel work – then Coach Lindeman instituted PLT4M to further maximize efficiency.

“I can now change workouts in real time, pushing it right to the athletes. Weights can even be adjusted set-by-set based on athlete input. Going mobile allows kids to get more done in less time…and has saved me $$$ on paper!!”

Coach Lindeman’s next step was to focus on the education of freshmen athletes. Coach Lindeman now delivers specific, introductory programs focused on movement education and technique to his newest and youngest athletes. Each student gets these programs via the PLT4M app, along with step-by-step instructional videos. It’s a surefire way for Jeff to have every athlete set a great foundation on which they can see true gains and improvement over their career at LA. Lastly, coach Lindeman wanted to cultivate a school-wide sense of transparency and accountability. PLT4M automatically logs every workout any athlete completes and tracks all the progress data that he wants. He then gives access to all of the athletic coaches in school, allowing them to take a peek at their team anytime they want. They can see who’s logging workouts, create progress reports, or just preview the day’s workout.

“My workouts weren’t changing, the technology was. We were getting kids more engaged through their favorite technology, bringing coaches into the process, and streamlining our administrative tasks.”

When you add all of this up, what do you get? The athletes are more engaged than ever. They are taught great habits when they arrive, and accountability is reinforced year-round. Coaches have bought in and reaped the benefits. Loyola Academy now has a training culture defined by commitment and progress. It’s this mindset, coupled with hard physical work that sets LA apart. They create better athletes, and better teams, year-round.

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