Monday, February 25, 2008

Priorities at Priory

I want to thank varsity football/track coach Marty Combs for inviting me to spend last Friday with several of the St. Louis Priory School physical education teachers and coaches. Yep, there we were at school, while all the other coaches and athletic directors, ahem, were still snuggled in bed on a February snow day! I worked with the group on breaking down elements of the squat, snatch, clean, press/jerk and their various progressions and derivations with implements other than barbells, and how to effectively teach them. We spent a good bit of time discussing flexibility; identifying it and remedying it. We also reviewed the benefits of Burgener Warm Up and various elements of CrossFit that could be most effectively used in a PE setting.

Coach Combs has the enviable opportunity to work with small groups of athletes both in class and sport, from 7th grade on. Priory students are required to participate in athletics, supervised fitness or performance arts year-round, and have a strong tradition in cross country. Coach Combs estimates he has around 25 juniors and seniors on the varsity football team, while close to 100 guys participate in cross country.

Priory has limited facilities right now, but in fall of 2009, the school should have a brand new weight room and gym. But Coach Combs understands that his most valuable asset is a caring, knowledgeable, motivated staff; and he is taking the time to invest in himself and them, to the benefit of all the young men at Priory. He is a teacher; not just a coach looking for W's.

Finally, I would like to sent out a shout to Coach Burgener for referring Coach Combs my way. Even though I live just down the road from Priory, it would've been unlikely that I would have had the opportunity to work with these men without Coach B's recommendation. Thanks, Coach B.

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