FOR INDIANA’S ARTESIANS IT’S NOT THE WATER, IT’S BFS!
No longer the secret weapon for just football and wrestling teams, strength training is now turning all the Martinsville High School athletic teams--girls' and boys'--into winners!
By Laura Dayton
Published: Summer 1999
When Indiana's first certified strength and conditioning specialist came to Martinsville High School in 1996, the girls' golf and tennis teams paid little heed. The attitude at the time was that golfers don't need big muscles, and in tennis, speed is more important than strength. Of course, they weren't winning every tournament with that attitude either.
Marc Anderson, the strength and athletic development coordinator for Martinsville, knew that ALL athletes can benefit from weight training. Further, he knew that BFS was the best all-around program available. Immediately, Martinsville became a banner-carrying BFS school and their success was demonstrated by their consistent wins. The BFS Journal first featured Martinsville in the fall of 1997 the school was on a winning streak that continues to this day.
Now, the Martinsville Artesians have even more championship trophies in their case. This past school year they won state championships in girls' basketball and girls' golf, as well as both boys' and girls' powerlifting. Thus far, this adds up to ten state championships since the Bigger Faster Stronger program was implemented!
While freshman football and boys' powerlifting are still flourishing, Martinsville's girls' teams have been stirring up excitement at the national level. The girls' basketball team finished the season ranked number two in the nation by USA Today. The lady Artesians have won 53 consecutive games over the past two seasons. Last year's Dynamic Duo of April Traylor and Kristen Bodine were named to All-American teams for the second straight year. Traylor is at Florida State now; Bodine is at Butler University. Their super star last year, Leigh Anne Hardin, finished the year ranked number two in America in her age group in golf. She attracted the cameras of the national press with her August 9th win of the 50th U.S. Girls' Junior Championship at Merion Golf Club.
BFS at the Core
“All our athletes perform the BFS system, even the powerlifters,” says Anderson. “The overall, functional strength gains are the most important aspect. Since the Hex bars were put in, you can see the difference in the kids' traps and that equates to a noticeable increase in upper-body strength. Of course, our power clean totals are up as well.”
The success that the Bigger Faster Stronger program has brought Martinsville has generated interest across the Midwest. In the past two years representatives from twelve schools in five states have journeyed to Martinsville to witness the BFS program in action. “At every clinic that I attend, coaches want to know the secret of our success,” said Anderson. “My answer is always the same: great coaches, dedicated athletes and the Bigger Faster Stronger system.”
The accomplishments of the Artesian Athletic Teams and the overwhelming student demand for their strength and conditioning program has prompted the school administration to expand the school's strength facility. Led by the efforts of principal Don Alkire and athletic director Don Lipps, Martinsville has broken ground for a new complex which will more than double the size of its existing facility. Anderson says that “this expansion would have been impossible without the contributions of the BFS program.” The new facility will open in August 1999.
New Speed & Sky School
BFS is working great and Anderson knows there is no reason to fix what isn't broken. But just as with the new facility, what's good can be made greater through expansion.
“During this past school year we have expanded our conditioning program by offering the Martinsville Speed & Sky School. The results of this totally voluntary program have been unbelievable,” says Anderson.
Students meet twice a week for the one-hour after-school, program which averages approximately 70 athletes per workout. This is an amazing number considering that the only time athletes can participate is when they are out of season.
The program is based on the drills and techniques featured in the BFS video series. “We have improved our power, agility and overall quickness. Anticipating the high demand for the Speed & Sky School, our administration allowed us to purchase virtually every speed development item featured in the Bigger Faster Stronger catalog,” said Anderson.
Anderson was honored in 1975-1976 as the Outstanding Student Athlete on the Indiana University Wrestling Team. He began coaching in 1976 and has accumulated an impressive record by coaching varsity football, freshman football, varsity wrestling, junior varsity wrestling and girls' varsity tennis to more than 253 wins and only 36 losses to date. His success with the girls' teams should come as no surprise. Anderson published an article entitled “Strength Training for the Female Athlete” in Athletic Journal in November 1985. He has also been a motivational speaker at the Indiana Football Coaches Association Clinic.
Coach Anderson has also received statewide honors including the Indiana All-Time Winningest Freshman Football Coach for 10 undefeated seasons and the Indiana Winningest Powerlifting Coach with 12 state and 3 national championships. Considering all this, it is quite an honor when Anderson says on behalf of Martinsville High School, “Once again, we owe BFS a great debt for helping us improve our athleticism, and also for keeping us virtually injury-free since we incorporated the BFS program. It would be impossible to compete at such a high level if our athletes were on the shelf due to injuries. Our athletes continue to enter each contest strong, rested and confident.”
Leigh Anne Hardin
She's Still the One!!!
In the fall 1997 issue of the BFS Magazine readers were introduced to the remarkable Leigh Anne Hardin. At the time, Leigh Anne was a starting guard on Martinsville High School's girls' basketball team and helped win two state victories. In girls' golf her ranking has already garnered national attention.
In the past year Leigh Anne has dazzled the golf world by winning the state championship and then clearly dominated the five opening matches on her way to winning the U.S. Girls' Junior National Championship at age 16. In the golf world, that's about as good as it gets for a teenager.
“Leigh Anne has always been a step ahead of everybody else,” says Ryan Carter, AJGA tournament director, “Now, she's a step above.”
Her victory aired on ESPN2 and she continues to receive incredible coverage in all the national golf journals. Her win also opened the door for LPGA events and what appears to be a lucrative and long-lasting career in the sport. All this, while maintaining a 4.43 GPA at Martinsville!
Leigh Anne's success is due to her dedication, regimented training program and innate athletic skills. She has been following the Bigger Faster Stronger program under coach Marc Anderson's direction. She's performed a 240-pound squat and 135-pound bench. She doesn't perform the clean. She also has a 24-inch vertical jump.
Preparing for the Junior Nationals, Leigh Anne spent countless hours practicing at the driving range at nearby Foxcliff Country Club in Martinsville. There she worked under the watchful eye of her father, Steve Hardin. Steve played basketball at Butler University for legend Tony Hinkle. No one prepared a team more thoroughly than Hinkle, and Steve had learned to pay close attention.
As Leigh Anne meticulously hit 100 chip shots then began lofting 100 half-wedge pitches, her dad scurried from place to place with quick, short strides, studying his daughter's stroke from all angles.
“Good tempo, Leigh Anne,” he'd shout. “Right there, your wrist is perfect right there!” and “Head down, Leigh Anne. Just like that!”
Foxcliff's head professional, Brian Sears, recalls heading out to the chipping green one morning last summer. ”All three of the Hardin kids were out there in their rain suits. Steve was holding an