Old School Mentality – New Weight Room Technology
“Attitude and effort is not a genetic condition, it is a choice.” In his 33rd year of coaching, Larry Cox has always embraced his favorite quote in all aspects of his life.
Coach Larry Cox is a Head Football Coach with a full slate of responsibilities at Talawanda High School in Ohio. With every one of his responsibilities, Coach Cox chooses to take life on with a positive attitude and 100% effort. But he only has so much time in his day.
With all of Talawanda’s different groups going into the weight room throughout the day, Coach Cox knew from his years of coaching, that writing workouts was no simple task.
“As much as you want to think you have time to put workouts together for each and every group you work with, you just don’t.”
NOT A TECH GUY
The tenured coach knew he needed programming resources for his weight room. In previous years, Cox had used the typical BFS pen and paper method with his teams. Students would log weights and reps and then return their workout sheets to a shared folder. While BFS was helpful, it actually became more work for Cox to manage all of the different sheets and packets.
Coach Cox knew that workout apps were becoming more popular, and so he considered allowing phones into the weight room.
“When you are the older coach, you grumble at technology. But you either roll with the times or the times roll without you.”
While Coach Cox admitted he was not a tech guy, he set out to find something that would allow kids to access workouts right through their phone or tablet. In researching different options, he looked to find something that not only fit his technology needs but also offered reputable programs that were easy to use for high school students.
What he landed on was PLT4M, the high school strength and conditioning program that balanced program delivery and technology to help busy high school coaches like himself keep everything organized.
PUTTING TECH TO USE
With any new technology, Coach Cox wanted to make sure that the core of his strength and conditioning program stayed the same. One of his major concerns with students using phones or tablets was that the technology would be used for anything but the assigned workouts.
Coach Cox still wanted attitude and effort to be the guiding principles of his weight room. And so he monitored student’s ability to use technology in the weight room very closely in hopes it would not become a distraction.
What came shortly after introducing PLT4M to his Talawanda athletes was something Cox did not expect. Students started tapping into PLT4M before their workouts so they could come prepared for the day’s workouts.
“Kids are always going to surf different things on the internet, and with PLT4M, they started ‘surfing’ the pre-loaded workout videos, technique tips, and reviewing sets and reps. The athletes knew what to expect when they got to the weight room, and this, in return, allowed them to work hard and spend very little time on their phones.”
The athletes embraced the PLT4M programs and were excited by the daily challenges that the workouts presented. The program’s value was clicking with Talawanda students, and the ‘old school coach’ was sold on using new technology.
Want to explore how you could incorporate PLT4M’s programs and technology into your weight room?
While Coach Cox still thinks he may not be deemed a ‘tech guy,’ he is now using a few different apps like PLT4M, Hudl, and TeamApp, to manage all of his various responsibilities.
“I use PLT4M year round because it is like having a full-time strength coach at my fingertips. All you have to do is click, point, and coach. PLT4M is handling the strength and conditioning, which as a head coach and a full-time teacher, I do not have time to do. That is the biggest bonus.”
So as Coach Cox juggles all of his coaching and teaching responsibilities with the same effort and attitude, he just mixes in a little technology to help manage it all. At the end of the day, he knows that nothing will replace the sweat equity coaches and athletes have to put in to be successful.
“In all my years as a coach, I have always seen the weight room as a place individuals and teams can grow physically and mentally. As a coach, I am always open to what will allow me to give my best to the kids. And of course, open to what will let me get the best from them.”
So whether or not Coach Cox will ever consider himself a ‘tech guy,’ Talawanda has gotten a win-win out of an old school coach open to new school resources.
Athletes have everything a top-level team dreams of for its strength and conditioning program in PLT4M. And they also have a coach free to dedicate his time and energy into their development as young athletes.