FROM SLOW TO FAST: From a 5.7 forty to a 4.6
Since the seventh grade Conrad Ivie has consistently worked hard using all of the BFS principles, hard work ethic and a determination to excel, to go from an average athlete to an outstanding one. Hi
By Bernard Ivie
Published: Winter 1998
I've been a coach for twenty-five years. I started on the Bigger Faster Stronger Program in the early 80's after sponsoring a very successful clinic with Greg Shepard. The BFS program not only changed my life, but has played a key role in shaping the future of my son Conrad.
While watching a State Playoff game back in 1986, my friend John Thompson looked at my four year old son and said, “Boy, Coach, Conrad is going to be a real big boy.”
I said, “Yes, he is, but I don't think he will ever be fast.” That was when John set forth the challenge to make a runner out of him, and even though I had always heard you can only take an athlete so far in speed I went right to work.
I enrolled Conrad in karate and he started doing the BFS dot drill. I started reading and studying all I could on running and speed. The number one thing I knew we had to develop was motor skills. I thought karate would help, and I knew the dot drill would help. Conrad took karate for ten years and achieved the rank of Black Belt when he was eleven years old. He competed before large crowds over a four-state area. His younger brother Cole also started karate, and we started saying, “Ivies never quit.” This went along with BFS Motto and the Rules for Success.
By the seventh grade, Conrad still wasn't very fast, but we didn't stop. We lived the BFS Program. We had started the BFS Readiness program when Conrad was in the sixth grade, and he stayed with it until the end of the seventh grade. He did plyometric exercises, boxes, lunges, everything we could think of to help.
In the seventh grade Conrad played quarterback. His football season went fair and the time came for basketball. At the end of his great 13-1 basketball season, Conrad set his sights toward track. He wanted to be a hurdler. He placed second or third in every meet. He had a fair season, but was not pleased. It was then that he told me he would never let anyone else in his grade ever beat him again. That was when thing really began to change.
At this time, I put him on the entire BFS Program and turned him loose. In a matter of no time, as an eighth grader, he was squatting 225, benching 150, power cleaning 145. As a result, he began to get faster. That year he was chosen as the MVP in football and was also presented with the teams Eagle Pride Award. He also performed well in basketball but track was where he really began to set himself apart. He ran the hurdles in 14 meets and won 13 first places. The one loss was due to a fall. He took the school record from 17.9 in the 100 meter hurdles to 14.9.
As his eighth grade year was ending he set his sights on the varsity quarterback position. Conrad knew he had to work real hard and make vast improvements for the starting position but he was up to the challenge. That summer he attended a quarterback/receiver camp and played in a 7 on 7 league. After his camp, Conrad set a goal to throw 1000 times a day. Midway through the summer, I knew it was going to work. He also continued lifting the BFS way, doing plyometrics the BFS way, and living the Rules for Success. Conrad even gave up sodas and started drinking only water to help. All of his hard work was beginning to pay off and he began to look better than the senior who was scheduled to start as the quarterback, but could he handle the physical contact of varsity ball?
That summer Conrad proved his dedication to excellence even further when he and a group of boys decided to go camping. I told him I didn't like it but since I trusted him, I let him go. Around 12:30 that night I heard a knock at the door. It was Conrad and another boy. Conrad's friend asked me if I wanted to know why they were at our house. I told him that we had a rule of no questions. But he proceeded to tell me anyway. He said that two of the boys showed up with a cooler of beer, cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Almost all of the boys started to drink and smoke. He said that he just stood and watched as Conrad loaded up his equipment. The other boys asked him what he was doing and he told them that he was going home. When they asked why, Conrad replied, “I don't do these things, and I don't stay around it.” The next day, I told Conrad that I was more proud of him because of the previous night than because of all the awards he had received and the great grades he made. I was proud of him because I knew that I could always trust him to do the right thing.
Conrad was looking good at football practice as his ninth grade year started, but the coach used the senior quarterback during the first two games. He was very disappointed, but did not give up. I was relieved, however, because I still questioned his ability to handle the varsity contact.
The third football game came, and the head coach decided that it might be good if the senior quarterback was moved to running back for a few plays. The coach decided to give Conrad one offensive series at the beginning of the game. Well, in five plays, we scored with Conrad running in the touchdown on an option play – his first varsity touchdown. Needless to say, the coach left Conrad in as quarterback the rest of the game. That night he passed for 220 yards and earned the starting varsity quarterback job. That season, Conrad passed for 780 yards and ended up seventh in all of Southeast Missouri in passing.
At every game, the other team saw the “Freshman Quarterback” and was determined to “take him out.” He took a lot of real hard hits, but he always bounced back up. He really could handle the contact well.
Conrad turned an ankle in basketball and rehabilitated. He returned and hurt his ankle again. The doctor said that he could not play anymore basketball that year, so he started throwing and running every day after school.
After football, Conrad unfortunately sustained an ankle injury and was prohibited by the doctor to continue the basketball season. Determined not to let that set him back he continued hard with his training and when track started Conrad was the fastest boy in the entire school. He was running the 110-meter high hurdles, the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, the 100-meter dash, and the 200-meter dash. I expected him to do well in the hurdles and to score a few points in the 100-meter dash. But at his first 6 meets, he got 1st in the 100-meter and was undefeated. He ended up running an 11.32 100-meter and qualifying for the state track meet in the 100-meter and in the 4x100 relay. He placed twelfth in the State in the 100-meter and was the only freshman there in sprints. For the year, Conrad led the team in points, scoring 235 points, 24 of which came from the district track meet. Competing in four events, he had fourteen 1sts, ten 2nds, six 4ths and two 5ths.
Conrad is an excellent athlete who is only really beginning. But besides his athleticism, he is a great student and person. His peers have elected him to be Sophomore Class President for the coming year. He has a 3.97 GPA and is ranked 2nd in a class of 117. His freshman year, he received the English Award, History Award, Spanish Award, Geometry Award, Science Award, Weightlifting Award, and Body Conditioning Award. He received the Presidential Academic Award, and he won 1st place in the Science Fair. Beside all his athletic activities, he was also active in Student Council, Spanish Club, Students Against Drunk Driving, and Beta Club. Conrad has been selected as the Outstanding Student Award and as Student of the Month. He was selected All-American Scholar, and Academic All-American. He also earned the National Science Merit Award, National English Merit Award, National Math Merit Award, and National Achievement Award and is on the All-American Honor Roll.
I am not saying that Conrad is perfect, but he sure is a great guy to coach. I know he will make mistakes, but I will be there for him as his coach and as his dad. Conrad is my