Jan 28, 2017
Strength and Conditioning at the High School Level
Kevin Vanderbush, CSCS, RSCC*E

What a strength and conditioning program can do for your athletic program:

Improve performance: Athletes who participate in a well-designed strength and conditioning program will be faster, stronger, more powerful, and more athletic than they would be without it.

Reduce injuries: Strength and conditioning programs have been shown to reduce the likelihood of injuries occurring, and reduce the recovery time of those athletes that are injured.

Improve confidence: Athletes who invest time in strength and conditioning develop confidence through changes in their body composition as well as the knowledge that the development that occurs as a result of their training will give them an advantage in competition.

Why a weight training class should be a part of the high school curriculum:

•Students who participate in athletics have shown an above average interest and ability in physical education. Within the secondary school curriculum other disciplines have classes for those that require advanced learning.

•Taking care of the strength and conditioning needs of the athletes during the school day allows for a consistent year round program regardless of the after school time commitments to sport or multi-sport participation, homework, jobs, or any other after school activities.

•The separation of the class with the time spent at practice allows for recovery between sessions that would not occur if strength and conditioning had to be done right before or after practice sessions.

Why there is a need for a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS):

  • For the same reason schools require a certified trainer to work with their injured athletes, the same should be true for the coach who is designing and supervising the strength and conditioning program.
  • A coach who is CSCS understands all of the variables that go into designing age appropriate programs, and will produce more positive results.
  • Having a coach who is CSCS in charge of the strength and conditioning program alleviates many of the liability issues that would occur with a non-certified staff member in charge.

What to look for when hiring a strength and conditioning coach:

  • Certification through an accredited process — Someone who can create a positive culture within the program — A motivator — Someone with outstanding communication and organizational skills — A life-long learner — A coach who understands that they are developing athletes, not lifters.

Kevin Vanderbush, CSCS, RSCC*E is Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Ben Davis HS in Indianapolis, and Co-Founder, Board Member, NHSSCA .

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