BUILDING CHAMPIONS (American Heritage Academy Elementary School)
American Heritage Academy Strength Coach Bob Giesey of Carrollton Texas implemented a strength program that starts with the 3rd graders and ends with the 12th graders. Learn his secretes to breaking
By Bob Giesey, Strength Coach, American Heritage Acad
Published: Fall 2001
Not only does American Heritage Academy of Carrollton, Texas believe in implementing BFS programs at the high school and middle school levels, but we also believe BFS has a lot to offer our elementary kids as well. Starting in the 3rd grade, our kids learn to set goals, develop a good work ethic, and prepare physically for middle school athletics. Surrounding all of those objectives is FUN!
Since 1985 our children in the elementary grade have done essentially the same workout as a varsity or middle school student.
We teach the same flexibility, agility, drills, dot drills, speed improvement and weight lifting techniques using broom sticks and plastic PCV pipe. Each child is expected to master every technique perfectly. We have low-level contests to make it fun. We do this in groups each week and give T-shirts out for the best over-all group. When the kids enter middle school and advance to the training plates they are well trained.
We also get to know our kids prior to entering middle school. They are familiar with us and we see an easier transition especially with our athletic program.
Training begins with getting kids to our Summer Bigger Faster Stronger Conditioning Camp. We begin this the first Monday in June and run our camp for one month, five days per week. Each workout is two hours in length. Our varsity comes in at 7:00 a.m. followed by our middle schoolers at 9:00 a.m. and then the “ankle-biter’s” (grades 3-5) at 11:00 a.m. Every boy and girl receives a BFS T-shirt, certificate and commitment card during camp.
We begin all groups with short testimonies of what BFS can do for them. We progress to the BFS warm-up program, comprised of Dot Drills, Jump Roping and Flexibility. We then go through our Championship Road consisting of various agility stations. After this we break the 70 children into two groups. Group I goes to Weight Training Technique. Group II goes to Speed Improvement. Halfway through, we switch. All techniques are taught exactly the same as what we teach our middle school and varsity athletes. Not only do the kids love BFS, but they are building a rock-solid foundation that will put them far ahead of other kids they will compete against in later years.
We feel the benefits of beginning at a young age verses beginning at a later age are overwhelmingly an advantage for the younger group of kids.
I am sure there are more benefits of this worthwhile program. I can only share our experiences with young people over the years that have led to the outstanding athletic careers in middle school, on to high school and the college / university levels.
BFS is a terrific vehicle for young children. Parents are highly supportive of the program. Our classes pack-out every summer with 70 in each of the three groups. These same kids come back to school in the fall with a high level of knowledge for a physical education class. For the kids going into summer baseball, football, cheerleading, gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, track or other sports, the BFS program is the best program they could possibly be in. Injuries have been few to none over the years with an occasional bump or bruise.
In closing, I would like to thank BFS for supporting our program in its magazine. We sincerely hope that a coach in every community in America gives the kids a great chance to improve their physical skills and encourage fun at the same time by starting a BFS program for the younger children.
THE BENEFITS OF BFS &
ELEMENTARY AGE TRAINING
1. Develops a low-level competitive spirit through physical drills.
2. Excellent physical conditioning.
3. Develops a working attitude.
4. Teaches discipline that will positively impact their daily living and academics.
5. Builds teamwork.
6. Develops personalities.
7. Increases confidence.
8. Creates a sense of belonging to a group.
9. Improves communication, which, in turn, improves trust.
10. Teaches responsibility, which, in turn, improves caring for others and equipment.
11. Allows them to see how hard others are working to reach objectives.
12. Teaches respect.
13. Develops enthusiasm individually and as a group.
14. Teaches athletes to dream to achieve.
15. Teaches the value of commitment.
16. Helps them to be organized (dress, etc.)
17. Develops good decision making skills.
18. Teaches promptness.
19. Promotes participation in middle school and high school sports.
20. Makes an easy transition from grade school to middle school to high school.