Training program

Over 200 athletes dedicated to Jays’ BAD training program – Jamestown Sun

JAMESTOWN — Bill Nelson walked over to the stereo in Jamestown High School’s weight room, turned up the volume, then turned and inspected his class full of 31 athletes.

With a huge smile, the head strength and conditioning coach at Jamestown High School said:

“Seriously Katie, does it get any better than that?” »

Nelson and Jamestown High School athletic trainer Nolan Love dedicate eight weeks of their summers to the Blue Jay Athletic Development (BAD) program, where athletes from 22 sports come to JHS to work on their strength, flexibility, agility , their speed and Injury Prevention.

“That’s my class,” Nelson said. “I can go to work with children and even if there are very long days, it never works out.”

“When I feel like I have to go to work, it’s time to find something new, but right now I love it.”

The BAD program started on May 31 and will continue until July 28. The program runs Monday through Thursday each week from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each session lasts between 50 and 55 minutes.

There are 230 athletes participating this summer, which is one of the best numbers Nelson said he has seen in his 11 years at the helm of the program.

BAD22 is in a summer school format, where there will be 1/4 credit for physical education electives for high school student-athletes. If high school students decide to take the course for credit, the entire program is free. If a student-athlete does not want to take the course for credit, the cost of the high school camp is $50.

For those in college, there is a $30 fee to participate in the program. No credit is offered to college students.

Nelson said the Blue Jays offer weightlifting year-round, but there is an increase in numbers in the summer due to the teams being off-season.

Nelson said he used to hold college sessions three days a week, but last summer he decided to increase it to four days and attendance improved significantly.

“No day is ever long because every group is different,” Nelson said. “The 11 o’clock group is the smallest of the day and they have juice there.

“The last group for the day comes in and they’re excited to practice and it’s like, okay, let’s have fun. I’ve been doing this for 24 years, but what we’re doing now is very different from what it was then. We are constantly growing and evolving.

One of the ways the camp has been adjusted this summer from previous sessions in the implementation of Speed ​​School three days a week, where athletes will be challenged with regards to their speed and agility .

The speed school takes place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 am to 7.55 am at the Erstad field. In case of bad weather, speed school takes place at the Jerry Meyer Arena. Nelson said the program averages 50 participants over the three days and has seen more than 150 different student-athletes at least once so far this summer.

The 2022 Summer Strength and Conditioning program is open to male and female middle and high school athletes. Addison Marker, left, lifts 85 pounds, while Lexi Kirkeby works out with 115 pounds in a full clean workout.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Students are not required to attend Speed ​​School, whether they attend the program with credit or not.

“He’s grown a lot since the first summer I came here,” Nelson said. “(At the time) they had a few handfuls of kids doing stuff, but it was kind of a one-off thing.”

Student-athletes participating in the credited program will be allowed two absences which will not count towards their score. If athletes end up missing more time, Nelson said they can come to the school on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. to catch up on the missed session.

Evening sessions are also available for athletes who wish to double up and participate in more than one lifting session per day.

“It’s always going to be about the kids, but they have to be responsible, they have to show up on time, they have to want to climb stairs, and they have to be coachable,” Nelson said. “No and can’t are two words we don’t use, sometimes we have to make changes but we always find a way.”

Nelson had to make modifications for program participants who tweaked something in a previous workout or in a summer sport. The head coach also takes into account the athletes’ limitations and whether or not they play a summer sport.

“If someone does something wrong, we want to fix it,” Nelson said. “Safety is our top priority. Is every rep perfect? ​​No, but we preach and preach and preach and over time it starts to click.”

Having another pair of eyes never hurts either.

Love has been in the BAD program for 11 years, when he started as a freshman in high school.

“He was one of my student-athletes,” Nelson said of Love. “We’ve changed a lot since he arrived, but it’s still the same philosophy.

“It’s so nice to have him because he loves this piece as much as I do, but he asks the questions and has great ideas. It’s nice to have someone to brainstorm ideas with. To have more of eyes always helps.”

On days when Nelson is assigned to watch the weight room, Love is in the hallway or on the track supervising pull-ups, holds, warm-ups, and more.

“I strongly believe that when we compete in sport our bodies get tired and weak so we have to be strong to protect them,” Love said. “What we are doing here is useful for a lot of athletes.”

“They understand that we’re not here to yell at them, but we know what we’re doing and we’re having fun,” Love said. “We’re passionate about it and the older these kids get, the better they get.”

Love said he would encourage athletes to participate because the stress bodies go through in the weight room prepares bodies for training on the field and nothing bends, breaks or tears during the season. athletic.

So everything works in tandem.

“I tell them if they spend more than an hour in a weight room, you’re wasting time,” Nelson said. “We always work in a rotation because one exercise does not affect the other exercises – they work together.”

Nelson said the BAD program advises against maximum weight lifts, but instead focuses on moderate training with correct form to improve endurance while building explosiveness and power – which is essential for every athlete. , whatever the sport.

“We’re not going to get complacent or say it’s like that – we’re going to keep growing and getting better every day so we can get better,” Nelson said. “It’s fun – we’re here to have fun.”

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Many student-athletes attend the 2022 Strength and Conditioning Summer Camp at Jamestown High School.

John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun