It’s no secret that Wolverine athletes put in long hours each week. For in-season teams, not only do they have at least one weekly contest, there are practices and fitness training as well. Teams that are not in season also spend time focusing on their physical well-being, including strength work, mobility, and reaching towards personal fitness goals. Bridgton’s strength coach, Mr. Brad West, works to juggle all of these needs for our student-athletes. We are pleased to introduce you to this staff member who has truly hit the ground running in his first year at the Academy.
Q: Can you share some of the exciting things you are doing with the Class of 2021?
A: Ultimately, the goal I have for every student is to help him become a better athlete. Some of this is done as I work with the teams weekly in the weight room, helping them to develop a strong base on which they can build. Beyond the training they get there, I also offer small group sessions. Because it is difficult to coach in great detail during team lifts, the small group sessions help athletes “fill in the missing pieces” when they are looking for more. This can be achieved through speed, change of direction, acceleration, and plyometric training.
Some students also choose to make use of additional one-hour sessions that I offer. During the extra time they spend in these weekly sessions, I help them with body control, flexibility, and strength. So many of these students will go on to compete in athletics at the collegiate level, but they won’t necessarily get the individualized attention that we are able to provide for them at Bridgton. I want to teach them skills and techniques that they can take with them and use on their own. When they are in the weight room, I want the time they spend there to be quality time and not wasted.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work with our Wolverine athletes?
A: I love watching our students develop that strong base. At this age, they are still so moldable and it’s great to help them build good habits. It’s neat to see them learn a skill and recognize how it benefits them. I see many of our students making improvements on a consistent basis, helping them to be more confident athletes.
Q: What is the toughest part of your work?
A: Helping athletes deal with injuries. For many, an injury means they won’t compete for the rest of that season. As they deal with that mentally, I am working with them to maintain strength. Watching a student deal with an injury is hard, but they often come out stronger on the other side.
In addition to sharing a bit about his work, Coach West recently took some time out of his busy schedule to pass along a few exercises that any of our Wolverine family could perform at home. While many of us continue to work from home during this time, it’s important to remember to be active and move, providing exercise for body and mind. Here are a few exercises for you to feel free to try, straight from North Bridgton!