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BARBE HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
Once again, another High School baseball team proves that weightlifting is not just for the football team!
By Glenn Cecchini, Barbe HS Head Baseball Coach
Published: Spring 2000

Editor’s Note About the Cecchini’s:

Glenn Cecchini has been the head baseball coach at Barbe High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana for 14 years. Cecchini graduated and played baseball collegiately at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL).

His teams have made the state playoffs 12 out of 13 years, have won seven district championships and won the State Championship in 1998. Cecchini has been named District Coach of the Year eight times and Southwest Louisiana Coach of the Year once. He was named, along with his wife, Assistant Coach Raissa Cecchini, Easton National Master Coach of the Year in 1997. In 1999 Cecchini was named head coach for the Louisiana High School All-Star Game.

_____________________________

Barbe High School Baseball has been nationally ranked #1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and won a state record of 47 consecutive wins from 1998 to 1999. Barbe holds the state record of 76 home runs, the 4th highest total ever hit in the nation. Forty Barbe players have received baseball scholarships during Cecchini’s tenure. Eight of his players have been drafted by the major leagues. His career coaching record is 287 wins and 85 losses for a winning percentage of .772.

In 1999, Glenn and Raissa Cecchini published their book, 101 Championship Baseball Drills.
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In 1996 Greg Shepard called me because I had a first-round draft choice, Joe Lawrence, a 16th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays. Joe was also a Parade All-American. Greg called all the coaches who had Parade All-American selections for an article he was doing. At the time I was proud of our strength program and felt we had a good program. Greg agreed that we were doing some good things, however, he suggested we could get better and faster results on the Bigger Faster Stronger Total Program. The baseball article in the BFS Journal was entitled “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” He was referring to all the home runs that were being hit and the future home runs that were going to be hit at all levels of baseball as a result of strength training. There were two awesome photos of two athletes in action. It just showed their legs and hips which looked the same. One was Stefan throwing the Discus and the other was of Sammy Sosa hitting a home run. I learned that strength development for any athlete should concentrate on the lower body but I still was not open to change.
In 1998 we won the 5A High School Baseball State Championship (5A is the highest classification in Louisiana). After the completion of the season, we have individual and team meetings with the players to evaluate our season, including team and individual goals. During this time, we gave the players an opportunity to express themselves freely concerning any area in which they felt we could improve for the next season. The players almost unanimously felt they had been worn down during the season especially later in the year. They felt we needed an in-season strength training program as well as an off-season strength program.
In 1999, for the first time, we implemented an in-season training program used by two successful college baseball programs. We had tremendous success. We hit a state record of 76 home runs and the 5th highest total ever hit in the nation. Barbe won 47 consecutive games dating back to the 1998 season. But even with all this success and a good in-season and off-season program, we continually strive for improvement and excellence. During our season, we travel to baseball tournaments at West Monroe and Evangel High Schools who are national power houses in football. It was at their tournaments that I realized that as good as our strength program was, theirs was better. West Monroe and Evangel are both on the Bigger Faster Stronger Total Program.
What makes the BFS Total Program so unique is that the players are highly motivated. They break records and chart their records every time they go into the weight room. This creates competition. The players compete with themselves and their teammates. By charting record breaks, the players can see immediate progress in strength and speed. The players and coaches can keep track of record breaks and improvements. Every player on our team has told me that they think the BFS Total Program is the best. They love the program and believe that it has improved them both physically and mentally. Each player is motivated and challenged. They are so excited to get into the weight room each day to break records and become an upper limit athlete. We post all core lifts, rep maxs, and percentages from our off-season total program during that four-month period.
What makes BFS so unique is the total program concept. It combines flexibility, agility, core lifts, plyometrics and sprint work combined with the motivation and charting which is a must for any sport in order to reach your full potential as an athlete. Since we began the BFS Total Program, our players have increased their strength by at least 33% on core lifts. Our average varsity starter bench presses 304 pounds, power cleans 226 pounds, box squats 458 pounds, and squats 400 pounds.
Our baseball program is so convinced and our progress is so dramatic that our football team has changed their strength training program to BFS. Our basketball program also was using a successful college strength program and began using the BFS Total Program four months ago. They have experienced tremendous strength and speed improvements like our baseball program has. It is so exciting now that our football, basketball and baseball programs are all on the BFS Total Program. Since we share athletes, it creates unity, competition and a smooth transition from one sport to the next.


COMMENTS
BY DR. GREG SHEPARD

Coach Glenn Cecchini is my kind of coach. The man is passionate about his program and his players. He and his wife Raissa coach together and share this passion. They make a wonderfully unique team. Coach Cecchini is adamant about setting off-season and in-season goals. He records everything. His goals include a variety of strength goals with a Dot Drill and 60-yard dash goal. The goals set for the 2000 baseball season were indeed ambitious but the Barbe High School team had already achieved their off-season goals by mid-January and then some.
For example, their varsity player team goal was to get their 60-yard dash to under 7.0 seconds. By January, the average time was 6.8 seconds. The freshman goal was to get times in under 7.5 seconds. No problem . . . 7.2 seconds. All team members complete the BFS Dot Drill in under 55 seconds with most in the mid 40-second range. The first time they did this drill, no player could do it under 55 seconds.
Coach Cecchini times his players quite frequently in the 60-yard dash. The times of the players reflect an average of ten trials taken on different days. So the times are very accurate. Position players improved, on average .30 seconds in the 60-yard dash in just four months. The Barbe players experienced a 43% increase on the Hex Bar Lift for an average lift of 426 pounds, a 26% increase on the Power Clean, a 36% improvement on the Parallel Squat, a 45% increase with the Box Squat, a 31% rise in their Bench Press and a 35% increase in the Towel Bench. All in just four months on the BFS Program! Seven players Towel Bench Press at least 300 pounds. The average varsity starter does 304 pounds. Six freshmen had an increase of 75% for an average of 219 pounds. The prior experience of these freshmen was none before beginning the BFS Program. It should be noted that Coach Cecchini’s pitchers do not Bench Press to the chest but do the Towel Bench twice per week.
Coach Cecchini also has another excellent program feature. He has all the players sign a contract and the coaches in turn sign a

A unique husband and Wife Coaching Combo. Coach Raissa Cecchini (l) with Greg Shepard and Head Coach Glenn Cecchini (r).
The Parallel Squat Club: (front Row L to R) Logan Gandy 350, Drew Kramer-405, Aaron Ardoin-350, Turner Brumby-425, (back row l to r) Alex Radford-360, Jeb Brown-350, Bryan McCaulley-485 Gabe Scott-500, Austin Nagel-420
Gabe Scott, a four year starter, cut his 60 yard time from 8.3 to 6.9 since his freshman year.
Gabe Scott Power Cleaning 265 lbs. Notice his powerfully developed legs.
Turner Brumby Box Squatting 500 lbs. Turner also does the BFS Dot Drill in only 43 seconds. His other records include: Squat 425 lbs., Trap Bar 405 lbs., & Towel Bench 315 lbs.

Return to Spring 2000 Articles


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