CAPTION: Faith Academy of Marble Falls freshman Wade Dillard is using his summer to get stronger and be more explosive by lifting weights and doing speed work. Courtesy photo
Faith Academy of Marble Falls strength and conditioning coach Jay Silvers has a simple word for what he sees from the Flames and Lady Flames this summer.
“Grit is doing personal training,” he said. “We really want them to focus more on quickness and move laterally and get their first 10 yards really quick.”
Silvers directs the sessions, which can include one or more athletes in the weight room and then on the field. Other members of the coaching staff, including volleyball coach Erin Sawyer and speed coach Cedric Griffin, are doing their part to help make the athletes more explosive. The training isn’t geared toward one sport. Rather, the athletes are doing lifts and movements that are found in every sport with the goal to make a complete athlete.
Silvers remembers when the goal in weight rooms was to make players stronger to overpower opponents. Now coaches are emphasizing pumping weight as quickly as possible to improve natural speed in order to gain the advantage of surprise and then to speed away.
“Mine was more of ‘I have to be stronger,'” he said. “But if you can get the first step, usually you can get the leverage. If you can get to your spot or get to the side before they do, it opens up the play. It allows us to run what we need to run quickly, especially in one-on-one situations.”
The sessions can last between 60-90 minutes, and athletes are putting in the work based on what is written on the white board in the weight room. Once they’re finished, they tell Silvers how challenging it was.
“I’m exhausted,” he said he hears quite often. “We want to see them finish. I’ve heard good things from it.”
He said he sees about 12 athletes on campus working out and knows others have gym memberships where they’re putting in the work elsewhere.
“They have to work and make sure it gets done,” he said. “If we can get them here and get basic things done, it lets us do harder things in August.”
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