Strength Performance Network

Just wondering how some coaches keep their athletes motivated in a high school weight room during in-season training.  I am finding that a few of my varsity football players are not putting in the effort that I am looking for.  I have some kids that really get at it, but others that are just going through the motions and might not be completing their lifts.  I do have workout cards for them to fill out with weights filled in that I want them lifting.  It can't get much eaiser for them.  I can't always get on these kids when I am busy coaching the others. We meet 1-2 times per week.  Just looking for some insight on how other coaches handle these types of situations.

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Coach- You most definitely lift to make gains! 100%

You may not be striving to make as great of gains as you do in the off season, but you most definitely are lifting continue to make your athletes better. 

I suggest lifting in segments as a team and/or class. You reduce the amount of auxiliary you do during the class period. if you have 10 racks, and 30 students in that class... Groups of 3 close in max rep weight. Obviously you wont be able to pair them pound for pound. But if you have an easy cross over, pair them.


Clean Pull + Clean @ 72%

Athlete 1= 185

Athlete 2= 175

Athlete 3= 205

A1 72% clean is 185, A2 72% is 175, A3 72% is 205. You would have A2 start. When A2 is done, A1 & A3 are adding the 5lbs plates on each side. A1 start, when A1 done, A2 & A3 take off 5lbs, add 10+5lbs each side. And A3 begins. A2 would then go to the chart and get next lift weight at 78%...

All of this is down on your stop watch. You control the pace. Load time, to complete time per transition should be at your discretion. At the first of the year you may start with a 90 second time, and by mid quarter have it down to 45 second time. As time continues, athletes will fall in line systematically.


As far as kids not working out... You don't get a choice in our program. If you aren't in a group, and are not participating. Not only will it effect their academic grade. But it will effect your playing time as well. You have to create a culture. It's your culture as a strength coach. That's why we do this as a profession. I am pretty sure you don't allow your athletes to "hang out" on the field or the court.

The culture you create will be determined BY YOU! Peer pressure is the best medicine for this. If we have an athlete who cuts up, decides to act some type of way. 80% of the time our upper class men handle it before it becomes an issue for a coach. They don't handle it in a confrontational way... It's either your in the family, or out!

Lastly, you are really only as good as your administration allows you to be. If your head coaches, directors and principles don't support your way of doing things... Bad look! I am not saying you cause a strife in your school. I am saying, there is a professional way of relaying your methods. Have a reason for doing things. Show that there will be a result. Always continue to develop your "craft". Have a burning passion... It's contagious. Never lie or bullshit your athletes. If you don't know, say you don't', and then find the answer. 

Always available to anyone. I don't know all the answers. I can tell you what we do, and what does and doesn't work for us.

Sam Keator

Gainesville High School

Preach Eric T Reed!

Eric T Reed said:

Are you serious?  Do you know how boring the season would be if we “MAINTAIN”?  If a program is ran right you would have no more injuries, in fact fewer.  Football coaches want to win in the post-season, not get weaker and slower.  Football programs should be written to peak your athletes for the playoff run.  “Maintain energy through nutrition and flexibility?”  What?  I’m sorry I usually don’t call people out but advice from a LMT about In-Season training doesn’t help.  Leave that to the strength coaches.

 Dustin, you are doing everything you can do.  I have found that letting your players PT reflect their effort in the weight room.  If you are only meeting 1-2 times per week and that’s all you can get, keep that up.

Larry Warnock. LMT said:

In the first place, the in-season isn't the time to be focused on the weight room except to maintain...not to build.  This is the mistake so many coaches make.  The weight room should be the focus of the pre-season...and the in-season should focus on maintaining energy through good nutrition and flexibility.  Your cards should be ideas for good nutrition and a good stretching program. 

I treat so many athletes, especially high school football players whose coaches can't think of anything else but the weight room.  A sjprt 2X a week routine might be ok especially if it focused on core and not squats, cleans and other football grunt work.


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