High school coaches discuss weight-room approach, benefits

Credit: Adam Krohn

Credit: Adam Krohn

The foundation for any football program is strength and conditioning

There are many ways to approach strength and conditioning, and each program can be different from the next. The benefits can go beyond being in peak physical shape. Appling County coach Jordan Mullis said he changes the workout routine based on the makeup of that year’s team. Haralson County’s Scott Peavey said working out as a team builds chemistry. Swainsboro’s Scott Roberts said he can learn from offseason workout sessions how players react to adversity before they step foot on the field for their first summer practice.

In their own words, here is how these coaches describe their approach to the weight room and the benefits.

Jordan Mullis, Appling County

“(Our approach) is pending. We change some things up. Our routine last year, and with every team, is different. Every year our workouts are based on who we have. We did lifting as long and hard as the year before, but this year we tried to incorporate lot of things to help from an injury standpoint, in terms stretching and footwork. Our team is bigger than normal this year, and bigger than Appling County has been in a decade, but we’re slower on foot speed. So we’ve used that (workout) time to build discipline, create a standard and make sure the instruction going on in there is what’s best for our program. There are some principles, standards and framework on what you do, how you lift, percentages and reps. But if you are not tweaking it for team you have at that time, as a coach, you’re not doing your job.”

Scott Peavey, Haralson County

“There are so many positive aspects to being in the weight room ... not only team chemistry and work ethic, but injury prevention and coming back from injury bigger, stronger and quicker. Aside from the bigger-stronger-faster aspects, you build chemistry all offseason in the weight room. You’re working together, and those kinds of things. . ... With the style of play we choose to play here (the Rebels run the ball in the Wing-T almost exclusively), it’s a big-time determining factor on how big and strong we can be, which can determine our success. We decided we could sell out to that. We may not have the fastest kids, but we can control how big and strong we are, to give ourselves a chance. ... Weight training has become so specialized now. Individual workout plans have completely changed the game. A lot of times, the strength-and-conditioning coaches, that’s all they do. They don’t coach a sport. So you can get advantage when working out as a team.

“It’s becoming harder for football coaches to be strength-and-training coaches because kids require individual plans. That can take away from that team mentality. Things are changing, not for bad or good, but just different. Most schools are changing from big, strong, physical kids to training true athleticism. There’s a change in thinking, and we’re getting away from traditional methods. The weight room has 80,000 things going on. For an older guy like me, I have to find ways to keep up.”

Scott Roberts, Swainsboro

“I think the weight room is absolutely the foundation any good program. I know it’s that way at ours. We got beaten in the semifinals last year, and we were right back in weight room, building for this year and trying to put on mass. That’s where we have year-round contact with our kids. They spend more time together there in the offseason than they ever do on the practice field. I get to see how they deal with adversity and fight through stuff before they even get on the practice field. ... I think things are always evolving, including weight training. I know we do a lot more stretching and quickness drills than when I first got into coaching. The biggest thing is (the players) have to get in there and do the workouts. The administration helped me tremendously when I got here. (The weight room) has to be a place where people go to work. They don’t have to all be football players, but they’ve got to be willing to put in the work.”