Times Sports Editor
If you examine successful high school sports programs in any area of the country, you're likely to find a training regimen that prepares its athletes for success.
At Northview High School, first-year boys' basketball coach Ernie Maesch has implemented a new program that has already begun to have positive results for participants in all sports.
Maesch has begun the Bigger Faster Stronger program that not only benefits those in sports, but also for those interested in simply a general workout to remain fit. The BFS program has workouts geared towards each specific sport designed to increase strength, speed and explosiveness.
"I have already seen incredible improvement on strength, speed, and vertical leap," said Maesch. "On Monday, Wednesday and Friday we lift and on Tuesday, Thursday we have an agility day that works on speed, footwork and plyometrics."
At the center of the program is six core lifts that include bench press, towel bench, parallel squad, box squad, hex bar dead lift and clean lifts. Depending on the specific sport, the auxillary lifts change with the sport.
The BFS computer program records a participant's top-10 lifts in all agility drills and weight lifts after students are tested each month.
"The students can see where they rank in their gender, grade level, school level or athletic team," said Maesch. "It has created a very good, competitive spirit in the weight room."
The benefits have already become apparent as Maesch mentioned that one participant has increased his vertical leap seven inches from the plyometric and cone workouts.
As basketball coach, Maesch has seen first hand some of the improvements on the court.
"The main thing with BFS is that we are trying to shape the athlete as a whole," said Maesch. "Not only do we want them to become stronger, but we want them more explosive, quicker and more flexible. The more you lift, the less flexible you become. We do not want to ever lose the athlete's flexibility. I am constantly harping on the students to do extra stretching at home. This program works on strength, explosion, flexibility and nutrition."
Maesch didn't happen upon the BFS program by accident. While at Shakamak High School, the Northview alumni began researching various lifting programs that he might implement with his own program. He initially had the idea of beginning the BFS program at Shakamak, but the Advanced PE program was cut.
What was Shakamak's loss has become Northview's gain when Maesch was hired.
"In my interview at Northview I told them this was something I wanted to become certified in and teach to our athletes and anyone else that wants to take Advance PE," added Maesch.
"I have seen a difference in the weight room, basketball court and I think each sport will start seeing a big difference in explosiveness,."