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Our DeKalb football team had been experiencing relatively good success for the last few years, including a second-place state finish in 1998. However, that championship game was a 58-16 blowout-it was like boys playing men. The last two seasons DeKalb finished 6-4-not bad, but not good enough to make the playoffs. Not long after the end of the 2001 season I received an issue of the Bigger Faster Stronger magazine and enjoyed reading it as I always do. I had read of the BFS system and how teams using it had experienced success. I wondered if it would work in our situation. Motivation to lift was low among our players, though I had tried various methods to keep them interested. Adding to the motivation problem was our facility. All we have is one squat rack, two bench press benches, some pieces of rubber flooring, about 700 pounds of plates and about 350 pounds of dumbbells. Fortunately, the BFS system required only the equipment I already had. I started by implementing the BFS system in my weight training and conditioning classes. Luckily, most of the starters on the football team were enrolled in my conditioning classes. The BFS core lifts and set-and-rep system were super for keeping the workouts fairly short and within our time restrictions. The system for record breaking is the best motivator I've ever found, although reading BFS magazine doesn't hurt anything either. My athletes read some of the stories and wanted to be as successful as those in the articles. DeKalb is a very small rural Missouri school with grades 9-12. Most of the student athletes are involved in every sport offered, so we needed a flexible program such as the one offered by BFS that would fit the multi-sport athlete. Nevertheless, some athletes became so hooked on the BFS program they would put in extra time whenever they could find it. Also, during the summer months the athletes would come in the morning between seven and nine on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so they could go on to work when they were done. Almost immediately we saw changes in our athletes' strength and agility. The BFS record-breaking system was such a tremendous motivator that I observed a big increase in positive attitude and team spirit. The athletes in the program were now enthusiastic about their workouts, and that enthusiasm was displayed through their leadership both in the weight room and on the practice field. It also ignited a competitive spirit that caused the athletes to push each other to excel and to help each other achieve personal goals. In addition to winning DeKalb's first-ever state championship, the 2002 Tigers boasted three all-state linemen and two all-state running backs. This power running game and our team's never-give-up attitude can be attributed to the BFS system. In both playoff games, when we were behind with only seconds left, the BFS philosophy of one more rep, one more record to break, definitely came to the forefront. Our players already knew from months of training successes that they could achieve the goals they had set for themselves and the team. The BFS system not only made our athletes stronger and quicker, it also helped to build a strong team spirit and work ethic. Individual successes combined with a super team attitude were what I had been looking for, and BFS was the answer.
Coach Vernon Pike is carried off the field after winning the state championship