MORENCI MIDDLE SCHOOL
In lieu of study hall, 8th graders at Morenci Middle School in Michigan could take a class entitled “Fitness”. In this class, Coach Hoffman implemented the BFS Readiness Program, the results were sta
By Matt Shepard
Published: Fall 2001
Coach Dan Hoffman has been acquainted with BFS since he was playing high school football in 1981. He continued football through college and saw all the various training methods athletes brought with them. Coach Hoffman recalls, “I kept some BFS principles and also picked up a lot of new methods. After college I began teaching and coaching. We began the BFS Program and had some early success.” Coach Hoffman took Britton-Macon High School in Michigan to the second round of the playoffs his second year as head coach.
Success didn’t last for Hoffman. He regrets, “Along the way, I tried to keep up on new training methods through clinics and magazine articles. I strayed away from BFS while listening to these many so-called experts out there. What a joke! I even tried Circuit Training as an in-season program. A waste of time for football players!”
In 1993, Britton joined its football program with neighboring rival school Deerfield and became known as Britton-Deerfield. “At the time the program began we had one athlete who could bench press 200 pounds. I knew it was time to get back to BFS,” remembers Hoffman. “I had Coach Shepard put on a clinic in the winter of ‘95-’96. Several of the younger kids became very motivated. I began a couple of classes and, wow, what great gains in athletic performance were made. Even the less motivated kids got better.” These young men turned Britton-Deerfield into a state football power.
New Job at Morenci
Often regarded as “coaching suicide”, Coach Hoffman left his up and coming program and took a job at Morenci, an already established program. Hoffman brought with him a commitment to the BFS Program. Coach Hoffman had his work cut out for him at Morenci as he recalls, “The only free-weights they had were three bench press stations. Everything else was machines. It took me a couple of years, but I finally raised the money and purchased enough equipment to begin BFS. Believe me, it didn’t happen without some resistance.” He then put on a BFS Clinic with Jeff Scurran and picked up his 3rd Level BFS Certification. “Things are headed in the right direction,” believes Coach Hoffman.
Last year an opportunity opened up to Coach Hoffman that allowed him to start developing middle school students into future high school stars. In just one year, Hoffman’s middle school program has became a huge success. The following will give you an insight into what he did and will hopefully give you some ideas of what you can do.
The Morenci Middle
Coach Hoffman, how did you get your Middle School Program started?
About ten years ago one of our football coaches began a class in place of study hall. He called it “Fitness”. He took athletes and worked on weightlifting, agilities, plyometrics and speed work. I took over the class, purchased new equipment and started teaching the Readiness Program. By the way, I truly believe teaching strength training as part of the curriculum is the key to kids involvement.
What is your primary focus with the program?
One of my major goals with the Readiness Program is seeing students learn great techniques with lifting, running and various movements. The benefits of the program go so far beyond this.
Can you give me an outline of how your class is structured?
The class is every other day for about 85 minutes because we have a block schedule. We begin each day with a warm-up, either the Dot Drill or a set of 100 on the jump ropes (25 each - both feet, right foot, left foot and alternating). We didn’t use the Dot Drill every day for warm-up because we only have two Dot Drill pads. I found that when the kids did the dots without the pads, they had an awful time hitting the dots when it came time to test. If we warm up with jump ropes, they each can do their dot drill during work-out time on the pads.
After warm-up, we stretch. Coach Scurran was great for helping us learn to stretch more effectively.
Next, is our work-out time. We divide into groups and do core lifts, auxiliaries and agilities. About once a week I take the group on agilities and do our testing.
With about 5-10 minutes remaining in class I bring everyone together to work as a group on various things like medicine balls, walking lunges, sprint technique, starts, jumping plyos, etc.
Is testing an important part of your class?
I truly am committed to testing athletes on a regular basis. This not only motivates the athletes by showing progress, but can be a part of training. Kids give their best when their performance is measured. We test in the Vertical Jump, Standing Long Jump, 20, 40, Dot Drill, Steeler Drill (an agility drill) and 30 second Jump Rope. The kids love to test and when they achieve their best ever, you know it makes their day.
How did the kids end up doing?
The gains made in the class were outstanding. It is great to see talented kids get better and better, but maybe the most exciting thing is to see those kids who can’t do much as far as controlling and moving their bodies turn into strong, quick, flexible athletes. I can’t help but shake my head and say, “Wow! Do you remember when...?”
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2000-2001
MORENCI MIDDLE SCHOOL FITNESS CLASS
11 boys at 135 pounds or more.
4 boys at 185 pounds or more.
11 boys over 200 pounds.
4 boys over 250 pounds.
2 girls over 135 pounds.
11 boys at 135 pounds or more.
2 girls at 85 pounds.
Hex Bar Dead Lift
9 boys at 300 pounds or more.
2 boys over 350 pounds.
40 Yard Dash
Average improvement .36 seconds.
9 boys under 5.3 seconds.
20 Yard Dash
Average improvement .16 seconds.
11 athletes at 3.0 or less, including one girl.
Average improvement 25.8 seconds.
13 athletes at 70 seconds or less,
3 of which were girls.
5 boys under 60 seconds.
Average improvement 9.6”.
10 boys over 7’. 2 boys over 8’.
All 4 girls over 6’.
Average improvement 2.8”.
12 boys at 20” or more.
All 4 girls at 17” or more.
Corey Love, is 5’5”, 127 pounds and is in the 8th grade. He scored 10 TD’s on a 6-0 football season. He is the point guard on the basketball team that won all but one game, including a tournament. He holds a 3.9 GPA, Bench Presses 195 pounds, Squats 275 pounds, Power Cleans 155 pounds and Hex Bar Dead Lifts 300 pounds. Corey can do the Dot Drill in 52.7 seconds, the 40 yard dash in 4.92 seconds, the 20 yard dash in 2.75 seconds and can Vertical Jump 26”. Corey was awarded the American Legion Outstanding 8th Grade Boy at Morenci Middle School. He also received an award for outstanding character. Corey is truly an Eleven.