Nov 26, 2003

Applying Safe Principles to High School Programs

November 26 "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." -Galatians 6:7

Its been nearly a month since our last post. We apologize to those of you who check back on a regular basis. The end of October and early November was a season of mixed emotions for us. Our team clinched a conference title, defeated a rival opponent in a high-profile game, clinched a district title, finished the regular season 10-0... and then lost in a first round playoff game. While it was an outstanding season for our players we all felt that it ended too early. We wish success to our opponent who will play for the Missouri State Championship this weekend.

Dear StrongerAthletes: Applying Safe Principles to High School Programs


What follows are some examples of what promoters of safe, productive training are running into when it comes to applying their programs. We have also included the guidelines we use with all of our athletes at our high school. It is hoped that coaches can keep fighting the good fight for your kids' sakes.

Gentlemen, I am a high school strength training coach and have implemented a non-Olympic lift, high intensity program that includes 12-14 lifts each session which covers the full body We also have taken squats out of our program (due to the fact that we do not have enough qualified supervisors to spot and teach proper technique).
I am having some difficulty convincing my football coach that it would be in his best interest to maintain this program from both the safety, and injury prevention aspect. My football coach would like to bring in a program (BFS) with four core lifts and let the kids chose auxiliary lifts. Some of these lifts involve speed. 
If any of you have position statements for your programs and could find time in the next couple of weeks to mail them to me, it would be greatly appreciated. Along with teaching proper lifting techniques I also try to teach the athletes as well as their parents why we use the program that we use and how a lot of the information out there on strength training may not be correct. 
The more information I am able to show them from other programs the more willing they are to listen. 
Thank You,
Name Withheld


Coach, I would be happy to visit with you or your football coach about what we do.... Non-Olympic/squat. I am also a head football coach and have used BFS for several years. Nothing against BFS but I found a way that I feel is safer and I am very comfortable with the success our athletes have had with it.

Success meaning progress not just win/loss. Not that it amounts to a hill of beans, but our football team has had some success as of late. Now, I say that with reserve as many mis-guided coaches link success on the field with their Olympic or non-Olympic strength training programs. Your coach may be interested to know that not doing squats does not equate to losing football games.... is my point. Attached is our school's weight room policy. Each kid must sit through a brief seminar going over these guidelines and then I issue them a "membership card" to use the facility.

Good Luck. (you'll probably need it!)

Sam Knopik
Head Football Coach
Pembroke Hill School
Kansas City, Missouri

Below is a link to the guidelines our athletes, this includes athletes training for sport and those that are training for fitness reasons, must follow within our facility. Also included is our workout card and points of emphasis we use. The points of emphasis come from Matt Brzycki's "A Practical Approach To Strength Training."

Pierson Strength Training Facility: Seminar Guidelines
Workout Card and Points of Emphasis

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