Raising the bar: Coach Curtis Davis brings a sport-specific strength and conditioning program
FARMER’S KORNER – The athletes checked their lists. Day 3 says squats: six repetitions at 62 percent. Then it’s on to power shrugs: four repetitions at 70 percent. Leg curls, arm curls and hyperextensions follow.
The summer workout program at Summit High School has never been this specific or regimented. The player is made in the offseason, the saying goes, and the payoff should begin in August.
SHS physical education teacher and assistant football coach Curtis Davis, who has been with the school one year, is responsible for the workout program. Davis is a certified strength and conditioning coach who has worked mostly with college athletes.
He has brought his expertise to Summit High, creating sports-specific workouts for all the school’s athletes. Davis was married last week and could not be reached for this story.
“It’s more structured,” said former Summit football coach Tom Dickey. “Mine was a hodgepodge – hit or miss. We tried to work a lot of the same muscles they are working but not with the organization he’s got.”
The weight room is open 5-7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The football team makes up most of the program’s participants on any given night. The girls basketball team has also taken Davis’ program seriously this summer. Second-year coach Julie Norman said she looks forward to working with “stronger, more physical players.”
“The program will help them to be better basketball players, but also better athletes,” Norman said. “We’re really fortunate to have someone like Curtis. He put into place something that is doable, but also very challenging.”
About seven girls basketball players are dedicated to the program this summer, and several others are at the weight room occasionally. Incoming freshman basketball player Nadi DeJulio was the only girl, among about a dozen football and hockey players at Tuesday evening’s session.
“It’s been hard,” DeJulio said. “I guess it helps. It makes you tougher.”
The program isn’t just about strength. There are also drills aimed at the development of speed and agility.
“You’ll find the kids who really want to develop and be really good players will come in here,” said incoming junior Max Miller, one of three hockey players at Tuesday’s session. “That’s what it takes to get to the next level.”
For the football team, the strength and conditioning program is a way to earn varsity points, which each player needs a certain amount of to play in the fall. While players can wait until preseason practice begins Aug. 11 to earn their points, the ones involved in summer workouts have a head start.
“We don’t want the kids walking in in August saying, “alright, I’m ready to play football,'” said Summit football coach Rob Royer. “We really feel it’s to their advantage to spend some time in the weight room and be somewhat physically fit when football starts.”
After football and girls basketball, participation from other SHS sports has been limited. For the sake of Tigers athletics, Royer hopes that changes.
“I wish some of the other sports would use this resource we have,” he said of Davis and his knowledge. “He’s willing to do it.”
Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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