Program Reboot – Fresh Start Through S+C
Just north of New York City lies one of the most competitive sections in the state’s high school athletic association. ‘Section 9’ as it is known in the area, always has teams performing at a high level and making championship runs.
Brian Vegliando , now Head Football coach at Wallkill High School, is no stranger to what Section 9 has to offer. As a graduate of Wallkill himself, Brian has been teaching and coaching at the school for close to 17 years.
When Brian took over the program as head coach in 2009, Wallkill football was at its peak of competition, consistently making its way to league and sectional championships. After taking a few years off to spend time with his family, Brian returned in 2017 to find the team at a low point. After two seasons of going 0-9 and 2-7, Coach Vegliando knew that the program needed a solid reboot.
Like many high school coaches, Brian looked to the schools in his area to search and explore best practices. He headed down the road to visit a fellow Section 9 school.
“Coach Bill Bianco at NFA is one of the very best, and he is always willing to share what he is doing. I went to see what they were doing in the weight room because I knew that it would be a great place for us to start.”
Upon arrival, Coach Vegliando saw the NFA Goldbacks working hard and using PLT4M, a popular high school strength and conditioning app. (PLT4M spotlighted NFA a few years ago…check out that case study here).
After his visit, Coach Vegliando was convinced that PLT4M would be a good fit for not only his football players but the entire athletic program at Wallkill. To start, he would get his football team on PLT4M for the off-season.
Check out how athletic programs partner with PLT4M for their strength and conditioning program!
Off-Season Work, In-Season Success
As Wallkill got started with PLT4M, the large class of rising seniors hungry to see the team’s success change, lead the way in the weight room.
“We had guys following the program in the off-season to a tee. They worked hard, had tremendous gains and got to see that work pay off in a big way. We were able to get back on the winning side of things.”
Finishing off the 2019 season 5-4, Wallkill was able to inch itself back into the playoffs and hold it’s own again within the mighty Section 9. While Wallkill was seeing a large portion of the team graduate, the hard work in the offseason, paired with the season’s success, was the foundation they needed for a reboot.
“Now it is really cool because we have a lot of turnover and are almost starting from scratch. But with that, we have a young core just eating up PLT4M training and excited for what the future holds for Wallkill athletics.”
Being a school of roughly 1,000 students, Wallkill shares many of its athletes across different sports and seasons. And while some football coaches lament ‘losing’ their players to wrestling, basketball, track, baseball and more, Wallkill celebrates it.
“Football put their toes in the water and gave PLT4M a try, knowing others would join. Now our larger program of coaches have really bought in and invested in working together. Now we are all using what PLT4M has to offer.”
By taking a united approach, rather than competing for athletes’ time, coaches across the athletic program look at the strength and conditioning program as an opportunity to all grow together. Instead of fighting over a ‘football,’ ‘baseball,’ or ‘basketball’ program, Wallkill helps their athletes navigate through “In Season” or “Off Season” options from PLT4M.
What started as a trip to see what another coach was doing in the weight room, has become a staple of the Wallkill program. With coaches working together, athletes working hard, and an app and program in PLT4M to support it all, Wallkill is poised for what is next.
“We have what it takes to compete at a championship level. To make that a reality, the work needs to be done in the weight room through the PLT4M program. But we are ready to do it and excited for what the future holds!”