High School Athletes Benefit From Weight Training


Elise Bowen

LVHS weight room freshens up with new equipment for athletes.

Evan Schoonmaker, Staff Reporter

The modern high school athlete is bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before. There are many factors playing into this physical increase, such as more dietary discoveries leading to better nutrition, better recovery and post-injury services provided for these athletes. Despite the abundance of factors assisting the performance of student athletes, there is arguably no bigger reason for this increase in performance than the growing implementation of weight training programs in public schools. Nationwide, schools are putting more and more money into their weight rooms and the schools that aren’t are rapidly falling behind in the success of their sports programs.

While there are certainly sports that don’t require as much weight training such as cross country. Other sports like football, baseball, and basketball require weight training to compete and maintain their physical ability. Senior Sam Hummer sees the effectiveness of weight training on sports programs.

“Yes, a lot of schools are now implementing weight training and if a school isn’t doing that then there’s going to be a notable difference on the field,” Hummer said.

The increase of schools adding weight training isn’t just increasing players physical performance but also their mental performance while teaching them valuable life lessons along the way.

 “Weight training has definitely increased my discipline and self-confidence,” senior Zachary Dantzerward said. “For example, when you’re doing a heavy set or a one rep max and you need that grit to push through a set and believe in yourself to keep working.” When asked about traits he picked up from lifting, strength coach Mr. Phillips stated, “weight training really helped me with setting up goals, which is something that I’ve incorporated in many parts of my life and has helped me to stay on track and succeed at whatever I want to accomplish.” 

Outside of being an athlete, physical fitness is important for everyone and can reduce stress and anxiety. A study at the University of Wisconsin during the COVID-19 pandemic found that 65% of athletes reported anxiety and 68% reported signs of depression during COVID. While this can be traced back to a couple of factors such as less socialization, many believe this is due to a 50% decrease of physical activity during the school closures. 

The implementation of these weight training programs in high school also allows players to reach levels of physical fitness that they never would have been able to achieve on their own. Senior Camden Craun recognizes that without the opportunity to weight train, he probably wouldn’t have improved as an athlete.  

“We’ve grown a lot since we started weight training our freshmen year and it’s really helped improve our game,” Craun said. “Weight training makes us stronger, faster, and helps us prevent or recover from injuries quicker allowing us to stay competitive with other schools.” 

The addition of weight training also helps lower income students that can’t afford lifting outside of school still get the ability to grow as an athlete, and get noticed by programs at higher levels of their game.

Historically, at the college level, most freshmen come into the program and have to increase their strength, speed, and stamina for a couple years before seeing the field and becoming competitive at that level. However, in today’s game we are seeing more and more freshmen coming into college and making immediate impacts for their teams. Whether it’s baseball, football, soccer, or basketball which has more freshmen entering the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft than ever before. 

Not only has weight training seemingly grown and improved the games that athletes love, but it has been proven to  help make people physically and mentally healthier. While many schools already have weight training in their programs, it may not stop there: many people believe there is always something more we can do to help our players improve on and off the field.