The inaugural Maverick Strength and Speed Camp, led by Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Virgil Campbell, cut to the chase in a three week fitness program designed to inspire, instruct, and incorporate a new core language of heavy lifting.
Not sure of what the turnout would be, Campbell was on his toes when the word spread that the first Maverick Strength and Speed Camp wasn’t complete torture. The numbers jumped from the teens on the first Monday morning workout to 42 on the last one. The afternoon program saw a rise in attendance as well, even with the dreaded “Gut Check” sprint interval thrown into the mix.
“They came back for more,” said Coach Campbell, now in his first year as a full time strength and speed coach.
“I was apprehensive at first but Coach Campbell is caring and challenging at the same time,” said Taylor Welch ’15. “I am discovering muscles I never knew existed. The Speed Trac workout is my favorite routine.” There was no comment on the “Gut Check,” a 400 meter run by time which Campbell inserts into the routine on anaerobic days.
While the class is composed of students of various ages and abilities, they all come together with the Speed Tracs
workout, a system that works out 32 athletes at a time on change in speed and direction type of explosive movements. Once the whistle blows, it is controlled chaos.
“I want to win a SPC championship,” said Jake Horowitz, ’13. “The group atmosphere here is more motivating than working out alone.”
“Kids want to be coached,” said Athletic Director Vince Arduini. “The bottom line is when players invest in the training and preparation they believe and expect more of themselves and their teammates, and they perform better.”
Arduini was very pleased to see so many middle school participants. With 35 years of coaching experience including his most recent stay at Florida’s Pinecrest Schoo
l, he knows first hand which programs are leading the way in athletics while coexisting with the expectations of academic excellence. American Heritage School
, voted the top prep athletic program in the country by MaxPreps
, and St. Thomas Aquinas
, FL are examples of institutions with high standards on and off the field.
“These schools provide year round opportunities for students to excel in athletics and academics,” said Arduini, who wants to raise the bar athletically while not adding more to the back pack of a students’ daily schedule. “Coach Campbell’s full time status is the key to going from a casual smorgasbord approach to a program with a consistent core standard accessible to fit the needs and schedules of each student year round.”
The summer program is over, but this is just the beginning for students to find their fitness edge and go beyond it. During the school year all high school students will have the option of substituting any study hall for a strength and conditioning session. 11th and 12th graders can also sign up for a separate fitness class. 6th graders will have a full unit on fitness. Furthermore, Coach Campbell will be working with off-season athletes in the afternoons and select mornings in addition providing guidance and fitness coaching with in-season teams. All students will be able to track their progress with a computer program set up by Coach Campbell.
“By having Virgil here full time we are able to speak one language in strength and conditioning,” said Arduini. “It is time to walk the talk on both sides of the street similar to what outstanding institutions such as Stanford, Williams, and Amherst to name a few, are achieving at the next level in academics and athletics.”
Campbell picked a captain every day to lead the warm up and the “break” at the end. Wes Wallace ’14, who had not missed a day, took command of the last one and belted it out from the gut.
“1, 2, 3, MAVERICKS!”
Sam Chambers-Athletic News