I must admit I was a skeptic. I had read the success stories in the Bigger Faster Stronger magazine for many years. I had even attended a few BFS Clinics. Each time, I came away more and more impressed, but still maintained that my old computerized program of periodization was superior. In reality, I was probably afraid of change.
However, early last year, my computer program developed a glitch. I could no longer run my computerized programs. I was writing over 300 student-athletes programs by hand. With my demanding teaching and coaching schedules, I quickly realized that this was not an efficient use of time. Our highly successful girls basketball coach Jan Conner, suggested that I try the Bigger Faster Stronger program. Coach Conner raved about the results her athletes had achieved at a former school. With nothing to lose, and abundance of curiosity and the perfect excuse to make the plunge, we switched to BFS the next day! As they say "the rest is history."
This past school year, Martinsville High School won state championships in girls basketball, volleyball and golf. (Our one-class Indiana state tournament format includes nearly 400 schools.) Our boys and girls teams captured American Drug Free Power Lifting Association state championships in their first year of competition. Martinsville also powered its way to the "final 4" in football. In addition, the Artesians were state scoring and rushing champions and produced Indiana's "Mr. Football."
As a result of this incredible success, Martinsville received an abundance of national recognition. The girls basketball team finished the season ranked 10th in the nation by USA TODAY. The volleyball team was rewarded with the #18 ranking in the country by VOLLEYBALL magazine.
This recognition did not stop with team honors. Martinsville produced an astounding 5 All-Americans this past year. Israel Thompson in football, Kristy Burns and Heather Wright in volleyball, Leigh Anne Hardin in golf and April Traylor in basketball. Kristen Bodine was also honored as honorable mention All-American in basketball.
Five state championships in one school year! These are the types of results that produce legends. Martinsville knows a little about the subject. Ten time NCAA championship coach Johnny Wooden of UCLA is a graduate of Martinsville High School and led the Artesian to the 1928 state title. The man, for whom our gymnasium is named, rewarded each member of our championship girls basketball team with a beautiful "Pyramid of Success" Trophy. What a great tribute from a great man!
What we found, with the BFS set rep system, was that each athlete began to compete with themselves to break personal records on a daily basis. With my old computer program, the individual had no input to his workout and little motivation to exceed what was printed out for him. He became a robot. With the BFS set rep system, I found a renewed interest and a never before seen level of intensity. Our athletes began to compete among themselves to see who could break the most records each day. In my weight training classes, we even had a pizza party for the class that broke the most records in one grading period. This built a team-like spirit and bond in our classes. Each class would come in and ask how many records the previous class had broken that day. Class sessions became as intense as a practice! In just one semester, our enrollment in weight training classes nearly doubled.
I had always incorporated the BFS lifting techniques. However, I was amazed by the progress that our athletes made on the total BFS program. On the old computer program, each lifter had to wait 8 long weeks until our next test to break a record. On the BFS system, we are breaking records every workout. I believe that periodization was actually holding us back.
Not only do we owe BFS a great debt for helping us improve our athleticism, but also for helping to keep us injury free. All of our athletes have been virtually without injuries since we incorporated the BFS program. The BFS In-Season Program has helped our athletes to compete at an upper limit level without fear of over training. Martinsville athletes enter each contest strong, rested and confident.
Our strength and athletic development program has been a key component to our success. However, the great leadership of our outstanding coaching staff is immeasurable. Sharon Most's Artesian golf teams have captured 5 state championships. Carol Burns has produced two state runner-up volleyball teams to go with this year's state title. Coach Jan Conner has made two trips to the "Final Four" at a previous school. Bill Siderewicz is the 7th winningest football coach in Indiana with over 250 victories. Our coaches demand the best and they accept nothing less than the Bigger Faster Stronger Program.
While other teams may be anxiously waiting in the wings to assume Martinsville's throne at the top of Indiana high school athletics, it should be noted that:
Editors Note: Marc Anderson is the Strength and Athletic Development Coordinator at Martinsville High School in Indiana. It is a high school with about 1,700 students.
* The Artesians return all 5 starters
from their championship girls
* The entire golf team is completely
intact after a meet record score
in the state finals.
* The volleyball team returns four
of six starters.
* Both Power lifting teams return
8 of 10 starters.
* The football team returns two
All-State players who are
both being recruited at the
Coach Anderson has coached at six Indiana high schools since 1976. During this span, his teams have won numerous state powerlifting championships. In addition, he has accumulated some amazing win-loss records as a wrestling and football coach. In 1994, Coach Anderson was the Indianapolis News' Football Coach of the Year at Hamilton Southeastern High School. He began his duties at Martinsville in 1996.