Offseason workouts are crucial to the success of any high school athletic program. The hours spent in training away from the daily grind of regular season play can make a huge difference when a game is on the line.
Northmor head football coach B.J. Trainer said the Golden Knights’ offseason weight lifting program continues to evolve and has really taken off in recent years with the creation of a winter power lifting team.
“The parents I’ve gotten the opportunity to speak with have told me, ‘Boy, that weight lifting you’re doing in the winter is really starting to pay off,’” Trainer said. “It does, as long as the kids show up and if they’re willing to do the work, it’s gonna make them better. It’s gonna make them bigger and better. They’re young men. They’ve got tons of testosterone coursing through their veins. They’ve got all the perfect things working for them and we just try to provide them an avenue to be able to use that and grow and get stronger.”
Trainer said it’s rewarding for him as coach and a mentor to see the progression the athletes are making with each passing season.
“For me, it’s kind of fun,” he said. “I enjoy seeing the kids change and the growth that they get to go through over that time period. It’s a really good thing, I think, in the long run. We really have fun with it.”
The coach said the creation of a power lifting team at Northmor that competes in events during the winter months has only upped the ante for Golden Knights athletes.
“Anytime you can compete — I don’t care if it’s checkers — anytime you’re competing, that’s a great thing,” Trainer said enthusiastically. “For these guys, it gives them an avenue to be able to show they hard work they’ve put into it. They get rewarded. They get medals. We get team trophies.”
Trainer said while the power lifting team is a relatively new program at Northmor — just three years in operation — it has quickly grown in popularity and success.
“The last two years have been very good our program,” he stated. “We’ve been doing it for the last three years, but in the last two years, we’ve had great kids who have really bought into it and they’ve really sold our offseason weight lifting program to everybody else.”
While not all Northmor athletes have been able to take advantage of the program — in particular those who play winter sports — Trainer said that many Golden Knights fall and spring sports athletes have gotten the weight lifting bug.
“We’d love to have all of them come in and join us, but that’s not a reality. We’ll take the ones that we can get,” he said. “We have girls that come in and join us. We’ve had golfers. We’ve had track runners. We’ve had softball players. We’ve had the gamut of athletes as part of our winter power lifting team. And everybody gains from it. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been awesome.”
The Northmor power lifting team competed in five events this past winter, Trainer said. He said the team participated in five or six competitions the previous winter.
“That’s about as many that are in the immediate area, about an hour’s drive,” he said. “Now, we could go clear up by Cleveland, we could head clear down past Zanesville, but those are a little hard as far as travel time is concerned. The lifting competitions require the kids to basically give up an entire Saturday, and I don’t want to push beyond what they’re willing to do.
“We enjoy it. The kids enjoy it,” he added. “We’ll just keep going with what we’ve done.”
The 2015 winter season saw Northmor host its first power lifting competition. Trainer said it was a great experience.
“We had a blast with it,” he said. “We got a lot of great feedback from the community, from the other teams that came in. They were really pleased with the set up. We’re shooting to do that again. I’ve already talked to our athletic director and Coach (Tim) Laird has approved it, so we’re going to get it on the books for this coming January or early February, and get it out and get it rolling.”
Trainer said while he’s glad to see Northmor football players involved with the power lifting team, he’s also encouraged when his athletes keep busy during the winter by playing other sports.
“Just keeping that mind working and competing. It’s all about competition,” he said. “Breed that competitive fire and just fuel that and keep them hungry and working. All that is gonna help not only the football team, but the entire athletic program in the end. That’s really what we’re shooting for.”
Andrew Carter can be reached at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048. Connect with him on Twitter @ACGalionSports.