At BFS clinics we go beyond simply teaching reps, sets, and exercises. Our clinicians teach coaches and administrators how to unify their athletic program so that it encompasses all sports for both male and female athletes, grades 7 through 12. And to keep the terminology simple, we give the school the option of referring to it as the BFS total program or naming it after their school mascot. Let’s say the team mascot is a tiger. Everyone does the Tiger stretching program. The Tigers would also have unified speed, warm-up, endurance, agility, plyometric, and weight training programs. It’s that simple-and it works!
With unification, a two- or three-sport Tiger athlete would move smoothly from sport season to sport season without interruption. Let’s take the example of a football player who is also on the basketball team. After the football season, this athlete would not have to wait four to six weeks to get started on a basketball-specific strength training program. He would just stay on the Tigers’ in-season program. Athletes don’t have a Tiger basketball in-season program; they just have the Tiger in-season program. This approach makes the coaches’ job easier because they don’t have to waste time teaching new lifting exercises. Also, the same warm-up (for example, the BFS dot drill) and flexibility exercises naturally continue. It’s what the Tigers do!
Middle school athletes would follow the same guidelines. After they learn proper technique, seventh graders can do the same workouts that high school athletes do. Because competition at the high school level continues to reach higher standards, athletes must get into the weight room as soon as possible so that they don’t fall behind. Just think of the advantages when those young kids who are maturing and developing with the Tiger total program get to high school!
Bob Giesey has been a coach and athletic director at American Heritage Academy in Carrollton, Texas. Since 1985 he has started his athletes on the BFS program as early as third grade (a group he calls the ankle biters). He came up with several benefits of getting elementary school athletes involved in BFS:
- Develops competitive spirit through physical drills
- Provides excellent physical conditioning
- Develops a working attitude
- Teaches discipline that will have a positive effect on daily living and academics
- Builds teamwork
- Develops personality
- Increases confidence
- Creates a sense of belonging to a group
- Improves communication, which in turn improves trust
- Teaches responsibility, which in turn improves caring for others and equipment
- Allows athletes to see how hard others are working to reach objectives
- Teaches respect
- Develops enthusiasm individually and as a group
- Teaches athletes to dream to achieve
- Teaches the value of commitment
- Helps athletes be organized (dress, equipment, and so on)
- Develops good decision-making skills
- Teaches promptness
- Promotes participation in middle school and high school sport
- Permits an easy transition from grade school to middle school to high school
This is an excerpt from Bigger Faster Stronger, Second Edition.