By Jaime Waymouth
Strength & Conditioning Coordinator
Why does Guerin Catholic, a 3A high school, have a dedicated room full of weights and an individual dedicated to teaching them proper technique? At Guerin Catholic we understand the importance of reaching our God given potential. Luckily for me, our administration understands that the Weight Room helps our students achieve that.
Let’s start with the obvious: lifting weights and becoming better technicians at movement allow us to become better athletes as well as athletes that stay healthy. I start every session with a comprehensive Movement Prep. We are doing more than “warming up”. We are getting prepared to move. Because our kids sit for the majority of our day, I try to undue that. If you pass by, you will see our kids doing a variety of movements. I’ll be honest, it can look pretty weird; jumping, landing, on all fours, crawling, and tag games are just a few of the activities done before the lifting even starts. All of these movements are carefully planned out to allow the students an opportunity to better fine tune their movement capabilities. Next we begin with our lift.
Depending on the time of year, we generally lift 3 days a week. These lifts target the entire body. All athletes are pre-screened at the start of every Trimester; giving me the opportunity to assess each athletes’ movement capabilities. By doing this each athlete will perform lifts that best cater to their movement abilities. Not every athlete is performing the same lift, but will be performing the same movement. An example of this: squatting. The back squat is a lift that has received some negative press. Do all of the athletes at GCHS squat? The answer is yes, but the type of squat varies for all. Every athlete is different, therefore; each athlete will squat differently. The movement is performed, but with a different external load. This goes for all of the main movements we perform in the Weight Room: squat, hinge, press, pull, and explosive.
Finally, the mental component is utilized. We have a comprehensive tracking protocol that our kids follow. Every day we record certain lifts: the amount of weight lifted and the amount of reps performed. This allows for consistent progress and progress that is done safely. I will also include certain challenges and competitions weekly. They range from individual competitions to team challenges. The athletes are athletes for a reason, they love to compete. During the monotony of the off season, competitions are a great way to break it up.
I truly believe that the Weight Room is one of the best places for the kids to reach their true God given potential. Like St. Irenaus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive” and what better way to be fully alive than to be both mentally and physically fit!