In a recent interview, Mike Walker, the school’s director of athletics at Second Baptist School, and Nick Mascioli, Director of athletic performance, discussed the why a strength and conditioning program is important. “The weight room is essential for the overall success of an athletic program”, according to Mike. He also highlighted the importance of training students as “humans first, athletes second,” emphasizing the need for functional movements and core strength. This can be achieved through early exposure to weight training, which can also help prevent injuries and improve performance.
According to Walker, hiring Mascioli was “one of the best things” for Second Baptist School. He emphasized the importance of getting kids in the weight room as early as possible to create “foundational, core strength, human movement” that will help them adapt to any situation and stay upright to avoid injuries. Not only does strength training improve performance on the field, but it also helps to build confidence and self-esteem in athletes. Walker shared the example of his daughter, who has avoided major injuries while playing multiple sports thanks in part to her dedication to strength training.
Nick Mascioli, the school’s director of athletic performance, also emphasized the benefits of teaching proper movement patterns at the middle school level and the importance of providing athletes with year-round training. He believes that with the right training, some injuries can be avoided. Mascioli added that a well-equipped weight room can act as a “center of gravity” for an athletic department, benefiting all sports programs. He also discussed the benefits of teaching proper movement patterns at the middle school level and the importance of providing athletes with year-round training. Mascioli, who was part of a national championship team in 2012, believes that strength training can help prevent injuries and improve performance.
“Actually injuries were something that got me into this field, so in high school I was never injured and in college I got injured a lot and it actually really hindered and stunted my ability to play. And because of that, it gave me the thought of, hey, if I had a good strength conditioning professional at the time, could maybe some of this have been avoided?“
In addition to preventing injuries and improving performance, the weight room also provides a sense of community and camaraderie among the school’s athletes. As Mascioli puts it, “When you’re in here, you’re part of a team.” This sense of belonging can have a positive impact on student morale and can lead to better performance on the field. The weight room is also a valuable resource for coaches. With a professional like Mascioli on staff, coaches can work with him to develop individualized training plans for their athletes. This ensures that each athlete is getting the specific training they need to improve their performance and reduce their risk of injury. “Having a dedicated space for strength training also allows athletes to train more efficiently and effectively,” says Mascioli. “In a crowded gym or on a busy field, it can be difficult for athletes to get the individualized attention and focus they need to improve their performance. In a dedicated weight room, athletes can train without distractions and can receive the guidance and support they need from trained professionals.”
A well-equipped weight room can also help to recruit top athletes to a school’s athletic programs. With a state-of-the-art weight room, a school can show potential recruits that it is serious about athletic performance and is willing to invest in the necessary resources to help athletes succeed. Overall, both Walker and Mascioli emphasized the crucial role that a strong weight room program can play in the success and safety of an athletic program.
Some Key Points to Consider:
- The weight room is essential for the overall success of an athletic program
- Early exposure to weight training can help prevent injuries and improve performance
- A well-equipped weight room can benefit all sports programs at a school
- Year-round training is important for athletes’ success and safety
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