Spring Athletes Stay In Shape

New program offering conditioning for athletes currently being piloted


Bella Moss

Sawyer Bess (11) lifts weights as part of a conditioning workout April 10. “I feel like it’s really helped me throughout the day because it kind of calms me down and makes me more focused throughout the day,” Bess said. Coach Michael Genge believes students can see all kinds of benefits from conditioning.

The spring athletes are currently working hard to improve their skill and play their hardest. Girls soccer, baseball, water polo, girls lacrosse, track and field, boys tennis, boys volleyball and boys golf are all in season. How do these athletes keep in peak condition throughout the season? Well, one way for a lot of these students comes in the form of athletic conditioning during ANP. This new program, sponsored by coach Micheal Genge, provides spring athletes with time and space to work out during school hours.

Training during these ANP hours may include flexibility, strength, mobility, resistance and endurance. Essentially, anything these athletes need to stay in shape throughout the season. There’s two sessions available to students on B days, one from 9:00-9:40 a.m. and the other from 9:45-10:25 a.m. 

“I know that it’s hard for kids that are in season to find time to work out with practices and games. They spend so much time in the off season getting strong and getting themselves in shape,” Genge said, “so I wanted to give them the opportunity to maintain what they’ve got and stay strong through their season.”

The program isn’t just limited to any certain sport. Genge has seen baseball, soccer, water polo, swim, basketball, wrestling and other athletes all using the same programs. 

“Pretty much every sport that’s been in season has been represented at some point in time,” Genge said. “It’s been a great mix of kids that have come in, and I think they’ve found some great benefit.”

Though there’s athletes from all forms of athletics, the work they do in the weight room looks very similar.

“I do a lot of research on in-season training, and so what I do is set up a workout that’s about 12 different movements. We break them down into threes so they’ll do three things at a time, two sets each. It’s kind of a higher rep, lower weight thing,” Genge said.

Because this is a new program this year, there are some logistics that have needed to be worked out throughout the semester.

“It’s kind of a pilot program for this semester. Hopefully we get to continue it. I think we’ve shown that It’s got some benefits and we’ve got some kids that are utilizing it,” Genge said. 

Some students have already seen results after participating in this new program and have begun to apply them to their sport.

“I’m in cheer, and I wanted to get stronger and throw girls up higher, so I thought, ‘Y’know what, instead of just sitting around doing nothing, I should go work out and try to get stronger,’” Drew Murphy (11). “I’ve gotten up with my maxes, bench and squat.”

Genge has started to see benefits beyond just strength though, students are starting to achieve skills beyond what they learn in their sports season.

“I’ve talked to several kids and they’ve felt like it’s kept their energy levels up throughout the season,” Genge said. “It’s allowed them to work on movements and flexibility that they didn’t really know that you were supposed to work.” 

This class is not accessed so easily as just signing up and showing up though. The program is earned through hard work and dedication.

“One of the things that we did state to the kids though is you can’t have bad grades. So y’know, you can’t be flunking all your classes and get out of ANP and come lift. You have to be passing,” Genge said. “So it’s kind of a reward situation for kids that are doing good and want to continue to get better.”

Genge is hoping to instill new workout practices and mindsets for student athletes through the conditioning program. 

“Working out is not going to hurt you. That’s the thing that I think is a misconception that I’m trying to get across to kids on game day: working out is not going to hurt you,” Genge said. “It actually is a benefit. It gets your body going, it gets your muscles fired up and it gets you in a good position to actually perform.” 

As this spring sports season continues, Genge hopes to see more students and staff taking part in the program.

“My hope is that they allow us to keep doing it, because I think that as kids see benefits, I think they will start to take advantage of it,” Genge said. “I hope that more coaches take advantage of it. I think it was so new that coaches didn’t quite understand, and so it’s kind of a mindset thing. I’m just trying to change to the idea that working out during the season is not going to hurt you—it’s actually going to help you.”