September/October 2019 - 60

40 UNDER 40 perspectives
transforming athletics through
ROBUST STRENGTH AND
CONDITIONING INITIATIVES
By Jared Felice, contributing writer
To create greater competitive
opportunities for student-athletes,
the Fountain-Fort Carson High
School (Fountain, Colorado) athletic
department sought to enhance the
competitive ability of its programs
beginning with a core initiative -
developing a high quality, year-round
sports performance program.
Given this vision, we contacted Perform-X Sports
Training in Denver in 2018. With the company's
background in performance integration, we were able to
go beyond the standard weight room. By incorporating
two interconnected spaces that are outfitted with the most
modern equipment in the industry, a unique performance
room was established to allow for several areas of
development, known as " zones. " It includes:
* Strength: Includes regular and resistance cord-loaded
core lifts using measurable resistance.
* Speed: With off-the-wall explosive resistance cordloaded
movements and drills.
* Functional: Turf area for ground-based functional
movements.
* Plyometric: Inlaid plyometric platforms for footwork
drills and resistance cord-loaded jumps that are
incorporated into every platform area in the room.
Each zone offers a variety of unique training options
that keep athletes engaged during a specific session and
throughout the year. The space has open sight lines and
has a flow between the two spaces for smart, planned and
focused workouts. Each space also allows for large numbers
of students and athletes to move from zone to zone, creating
a more organized and efficient training experience.
At any given time, the primary room includes 10 inlaid
platforms and 10 elite rack stations, which can house as
many as 85 student-athletes. The second space, where
most of the resistance and plyometric training takes place,
includes four inlaid platforms and 30 feet of field turf. It
can house 30 athletes at once.
In addition to the upgraded weight room, our
athletic department hired two year-round strength
and conditioning coaches. Their jobs are to design and
implement cutting-edge training programs for each sport
in joint-coordination with all head coaches.
60 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
Each strength coach is assigned to a particular sport.
As a result, the head strength coach, Ben Holland, and
assistant strength coach, Casey Dion, regularly meet with
their assigned head coaches to gain a full understanding
of the training goals within their own program. Together,
they determine a proper course of action regarding
design and implementation. Initial design conversations
are rooted in a requirement that each head coach must
complete a strategic action plan, which is submitted to the
athletic director for approval.
The strategic action plan requires coaches to specify
goals and needs of their program. They also must complete
a performance identification analysis that outlines current
levels of competitive performance, trends and primary
target areas to enhance students' abilities. The analysis
must be submitted to the head strength coach. Head coach
compliance in collaborating with the strength coaches is
supported through the standard head coach evaluation
process, where one element exclusively involves offseason
programming and strength and conditioning initiatives.
Head softball and girls basketball coach LouAnn Guiden
has seen the new program quickly take effect. " The
strength and conditioning program has helped our athletes
become an elite group that many high school athletes are
trying to accomplish, " she said. " It has helped with injury
prevention and allowed us to make significant strides in
making FFCHS a true college-level experience in the most
competitive classification in Colorado. "
Head football coach Jake Novotny said, " When I
first arrived at Fountain-Fort Carson High School in
2016, it was evident that a comprehensive strength and
conditioning program was an afterthought. We had a
weight room with outdated equipment, no advanced
performance classes for athletes and a lack of general buyin
to year-round strength training for all sports programs.
" Coming from the college level, I knew that the weight
room is where our football team would build its culture,
mental and physical toughness, and build a foundation of
athleticism that our athletes could rely on in competition.
When Mr. Felice was hired as the athletic director, he
shared this vision and he has worked diligently to create
a comprehensive, aligned strength program which has
included a monumental facility and equipment upgrade,
the hiring of two year-round strength coaches, and

September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September/October 2019

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