An in depth look at the FHC Summer Strength and Conditioning program

An in depth look at the FHC Summer Strength and Conditioning program

Tommy Spaletto, Sports Reporter

The Summer Strength and Conditioning program is an idea that has emerged in the athletic department. FHC recently acquired the summer strength and conditioning program in 2013, partially from Byron Center High School and Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School. It’s seems to be helping athletes who attend the camp in a big way. Trainer Janae Stewart and Varsity Football Head Coach Tim Rogers brought the program to FHC and it has been a success ever since. Stewart explains why she brought the program to FHC with Rogers, and began running the camps herself.

“[Tim and I] took it upon ourselves the following summer to bring a strength and conditioning program that summer,” Stewart said. “In this school district, summer activities like strength and conditioning were missing.”

Before the Strength and Conditioning camp was implemented into FHC, summers were very quiet in the area and nothing was in action to get athletes in shape for their upcoming seasons. Athletic Director Clark Udell wanted to make a change along with Stewart and Rogers, and bring this program into FHC in order to strengthen Ranger athletes. Udell explains what the key factor was in bringing this huge program to FHC.

“Just having a conversation with [Rogers and Janae] and just saying “What can we do to take our program up a notch?'” Udell said. “It came out of that conversation, as well as seeing what other schools do to try to give our athletes every opportunity they can to get better.”

Junior softball player Molly Donovan explains the difference between her condition before and after attending the camp.

“I think it definitely changed,” Donovan said. “It was definitely better than just sitting around and doing nothing. Janae pushing us to be our best also helped us get in better shape. “

There comes a time where the camp can get really hard and tough to push through. Janae Stewart explains what she thinks the hardest part about the camp is.

“The piece that the kids struggle with the most is the conditioning,” Stewart said. “Just because a lot of athletes were not ready for [the work], but by about week two, they start showing their gains and start to complete things without having to stop.”

The hard work put in by athletes at the camp has been noticed by many coaches and trainers at FHC. Even Udell has noticed the hard work put in by athletes over the summer, and is very impressed by the student athlete’s work ethic over the summer break

“It’s awesome, ” Udell said. “I come up to my office on a Thursday in July, and there are people everywhere. Our athletes are out there and working out, and it says a lot about our athletes about how they get after it and work hard”.

Udell harps on the need for all teams to continue to increase their use in the offseason training program.

“We’re not getting where we need to be,” Udell said. “In an ideal world I would say every athlete is in there. I understand summers are crazy, but I believe [the strength and conditioning program] will benefit every athlete that is out there, from a bowler to a football player.”