High School Strength Coach. Necessity or Luxury?
We didn’t have strength coaches when I was a kid. That’s just a bunch of B.S. Why does every kid have a personal trainer? Why do schools need strength and conditioning coaches? I could maybe understand at the elite college level but High School? Are you kidding me? Well let me tell you:
1. When you were a kid you climbed trees.
2. When you were a kid you on the weekends you didn’t want to stay inside all day because that’s where the parents were. You wanted to go outside and be with your friends.
3. When you were a kid you didn’t have play dates, you just rode your bike over to your friends house and knocked on the door.
4. When you were a kid you played a sport even when coaches weren’t around to run practice.
5. When you were a kid you would occasionally get in a fight and no parents would ever be called.
6. When you were a kid you may have climbed over a fence or two.
7. When you were a kid video games just weren’t that good.
8. When you were a kid you played pickup games without referees or umpires.
9. When you were a kid you had playgrounds that were open to the public.
10. When you were a kid you had P.E. class every day.
11. When you were a kid getting hurt meant a broken bone.
12. When you were a kid you played football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring.
13. When you were a kid meals at restaurants were 33% smaller.
14. When you were a kid you could do 5 pullups.
15. When you were a kid staying home was boring.
16. When you were a kid if you got cut from the team that didn’t mean you gave up athletics.
17. When you were a kid (depending on your age) girls didn’t work out.
18. When you were a kid you didn’t need the best equipment to try a sport.
19. When you were a kid you walked to school instead of having your parents drop you off and pick you up.
20. When you were a kid lacrosse was for non-athletic kids or you had never heard of it.
(Sorry. I had to throw that in there)
The fact of the matter is that today’s kids are so unprepared to play sports that they need a strength and conditioning coach. All of the physical strength and stamina that you would gain from your upbringing, today’s kids have none of it. Yes we all have accepted the fact that today’s athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster than your grandfather’s generation. What we also have to accept is that tendons, ligaments, and soft tissue injuries are happening at a much greater rate than your grandfather’s generation. Kids tear ACL’s and sprain ankles. Kids are suffering from injuries as a direct result of their lack of physical activity growing up. ACL and meniscus tears are happening at an increasing rate of 11% over the past 15 years. When a kid plays a sport now he or she usually plays it year round. This is leading to over-use injuries. Because of the lack of physical activity as a youngster the child’s body is not equally balanced enough to withstand what they are currently being asked to do. Kids need to develop a more well-rounded physicality in order to stay injury free. They need to work on muscular imbalances and correct them. They need proper instruction on how to land in a correct position. This is something your generation might have just known from jumping over fences and out of trees but today’s girls are tearing up their knees at an alarming rate because they have no idea how to land correctly. A strength and conditioning coach will keep in mind the total athlete and not just train them as if they were college athletes or professional athletes. A strength and conditioning coach would have progressions starting with body weight exercise and functional exercise that your generation learned in a P.E. class. If you can’t do a pushup then you should try bench pressing. If you can’t perform a overhead squat without corrective measures than you shouldn’t be doing a clean and jerk.
Today’s High School athletes need a strength coach because of the way they were raised. It is a job that is out of necessity rather than luxury.