Report on the West Hall High School Football Programs Summer Workout Program

Submitted to Head Football Coach Tony Lotti and Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Eric Radich

Submitted by Daniel Matthews

August 2, 2013

Summary This evaluation is written for head football coach Tony Lotti and head strength and conditioning coordinator Eric Radich at West Hall High School in Oakwood Georgia. The evaluation is done of a summer conditioning workout program that took place in the summer of 2013. We will evaluate the relationship between attendance and strength and speed improvement, how a program helps develop leadership in its athletes, the types of improvement a program can make over the course of a year, and give some suggestions for improvement of the summer program in the future. It is incredible the strength and speed gains a person can have in a time as short as 17 workouts if he is willing to commit to being there and working hard every day. This evaluation will show those results. Description of the Program West Hall High School (WHHS) is a middle of the road sized high school located in Oakwood, GA. Oakwood is a small town on the northwestern edge of the Atlanta suburbs. West Hall’s 1031 members of the student body are made up of 50% white, 39% Hispanic, 5% black, 3% Asian, and 2% other minority. WHHS is a traditional public school. West Hall’s strength and conditioning Coach Eric Radich asked if I would be willing to evaluate the summer workout program they have designed. The summer workout was designed by Coach Radich and Coach Daniel Matthews for the preparation of the members of the organization to participate in the football season. The evaluation was to be about the use of time and the number of days the program runs over the summer. This year was a brand new program; the program that was in place in 2012 was completely scrapped and restructured to accommodate a reduction in number of days and time spent in the program. Now Coach Radich was curious if reducing the number of days from 22 down to 17 would make a difference in the overall strength and conditioning gains. The summer workout program took place over 3 hours. In June the team met for 3 days a week, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. They were not allowed to meet during the week of June 30 – July 4 because the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) requires all schools close down for that week. Administrators, coaches, students, and teachers were not allowed to do school related activities for that week. After returning the program met 4 days a week until they officially started football practice on July 25, 2013. The total number of days met was 17 days, 6 days in June, and 11 days in July. Secondly, the program itself was divided up into 3 phases. The three phases were strength, conditioning, and football. The strength phase took place in the weight room. The students lifted weights on a program designed by Coach Radich. He designed a program that was Bigger, Faster, Stronger (BFS) certified. It utilized mostly core Olympic explosive lifts that were as functional as possible. The second phase was the conditioning phase which consisted of the athletes running to get into better cardiovascular shape or some days the athletes did shorter sprints to train their speed as well as conditioning. The final phase was the football phase. The football phase was out on the practice field and it was run by each of the 10 coaches on staff. Each one had his own plan to carry out with his athletes, and the overall plan was designed by the offensive or defensive coordinators.

The total time was divided up among the three phases. For most of the summer, the weight room took about an hour and twenty minutes, the running about twenty five minutes, and the football about forty five minutes. The extra time was built in transition time to allow the athletes some rest time and time to transition from the weight room to the track and finally to the field. Evaluation Method This evaluation is an evaluation of a program designed for a high school football team. The participants of the program are high school aged males between 14 – 18 years of age who are planning to play football for the upcoming 2013 football season. The administrators of the program are coaches with varied backgrounds but all of them were professional teachers either at WHHS or at West Hall Middle School (WHMS). There were 53 participants on the football team and 10 coaches. West Hall Conditioning Summer Workout Program Objectives 1. Mentally prepare the athletes to play in the upcoming football season. 2. Improve strength and speed over previous years to be able to physically compete with the tougher teams in the league. 3. Improve conditioning so athletes are physically able to play both ways which can be up to 150 plays on a given Friday night game. 4. Determine if the reduction in time spent on agility and conditioning will impact the team’s conditioning and agility. 5. Develop leadership in athletes by providing opportunities for athletes to step up and lead their peers. 6. Determine the relationship between speed and strength gains and athlete attendance. For the purposes of this evaluation, we used surveys, interviews, and data sheets. Before we began the evaluation, the athletes had already complete pre-test data. We will use the pre-test data that was provided. It did not provide us with 100% of the information we needed, so we supplemented with some additional data to determine whether or not the summer program objectives were met. As we completed this we continually kept the six objectives in mind. Here is how we determined whether or not each of the seven goals was met. Objective 1: Mentally prepare the athletes to play in the upcoming football season. To determine if this objective had been met we took the data from post surveys to determine if the athletes felt ready to compete in the upcoming football season based on the training they received over the summer. If athletes decided they are ready, we determined they were mentally prepared to play in the upcoming season. A large part of success in athletics is whether or not the team believes they can be successful. We also asked questions in interviews with the coaches to gather their opinions on whether or not this objective was met. Objective 2: Improve strength and speed over previous years to be able to physically compete with the tougher teams in the league.

This was determined in the post-summer workout competition survey the team calls the “Ultimate Spartan Competition.” Each player competed for points by determining how much weight they could lift in three “core” lifts and how fast they can run in four “core” runs. This yielded results to team strength that was compared to the previous year’s data from the same competition. Objective 3: Improve conditioning so athletes are physically able to play both ways which can be up to 150 plays on a given Friday night game. The coaches determined through interview and discussion that a good test for this level of conditioning was to complete the workout of 16x 100 yard sprints in under a certain amount of time. For the sake of this competition since they did not have the time needed to complete the 16 x 100 workout during the competition, we used the mile time, and compare it to the previous year’s mile times. Objective 4: Determine if the reduction in time spent on agility and conditioning will impact the team’s conditioning and agility. This was done by comparing 2013 data with the 2012 data. It was also partially determined using post survey data from the athletes. Objective 5: Develop leadership in athletes by providing opportunities for athletes to step up and lead their peers. This was evaluated based on coaches’ interview responses. The evaluator asked coaches if kids stepped and offered positive leadership to their peers when the workouts were difficult, or if they chose negative leadership instead. Objective 6: Determine the relationship between speed and strength gains and athlete attendance. We used data sheets and individual athlete gains in speed and agility and compared with attendance numbers to determine the relationship. In order to gather necessary information a survey was given to all athletes at the conclusion of the summer workout program. All participants are required to be at the first official day of practice on July 25th, 2013. On that day we administered the survey (located in appendix A) to the athletes who are present. Coaches’ interviews were informally gathered throughout the summer and at the conclusion of the summer program. All interviews, surveys, and data sheets were completed by July 27, 2013 to allow for the report to be completed by the August 2nd date the program asked for the results of the evaluation. Results On July 25th we gave a survey (Appendix A) to the athletes on the team and asked them some questions related to how prepared they felt for the season and if they would change anything related to the summer workout program. The survey was intended to determine from the athletes’ perspective how well prepared they are, whether they have improved their conditioning, and whether they felt all phases

of the workout were appropriate to prepare them for their season. 41 out of the teams 52 athletes turned in a survey taken in the morning. Also on July 22nd – 24th the athletes competed in the Ultimate Spartan Competition (Appendix B). As they competed they filled out a data sheet listing their weight lifting, speed, agility, and conditioning numbers. The information on that sheet will be compared to their totals taken in class at the end of May, and compared to the overall (mean and median) data from summer of 2012 to determine the progress of the program as a whole. 1. Mentally prepare the athletes to play in the upcoming football season. An athlete who is mentally prepared to play and believes his is ready to go has a much higher chance of success than an athlete who does not. For this objective we will look at survey data and summer workout attendance because there is a definite link between success and attendance. The average number of workouts attended was 14.9 out of 17 workouts with a median number of workouts attended being 15. On the survey data, question 3 asked if the players felt the summer workout program had prepared them for the upcoming season. 38 out of 41 or 93% rated the program as mostly or fully preparing them for the upcoming season. 2. Improve strength and speed over previous years to be able to physically compete with the tougher teams in the league. For this objective we looked at the data from the Ultimate Spartan Competition from this year and compared it first to last year’s data, and secondly to the data from the athletes who had pretest data. The pretest data ended up fairly incomplete because it came from data of students who were in a weight training class at the high school the year before. So unfortunately it did not include any of the incoming 9th graders, and it excluded about 25% of the upper classmen. We did gain some information from the athletes who had both though First, comparing the Ultimate Spartan Competition from last year to this year, the three core lifts, clean, bench, and squat, all three had higher averages and median numbers in 2013 than they did in 2012. Clean improved an average of 16 pounds, bench press improved an average of 22 pounds and Squat improved and average of 300 29 pounds. The other piece was the 40 yard 250 dash which improved an average of three 200 tenths of a second and the pro agility drill also 2012 150 improved an average of three tenths of a 2013 100 second. Finally the mile times improved an 50 average of 32 seconds from 2012 to 2013. In 0 fact, the team improved in every major Clean Bench Squat category from 2012 to 2013 concerning their physical conditioning, strength, and speed. Comparing athletes’ totals from their May test date to the Ultimate Spartan Competition, the weight gains were not significant and neither were the speed gains, although athletes showed improvement in both categories across the board. Athlete clean improved an average of 1 pound, bench improved by 2.5 pounds, squat improved by 9.5 pounds and the 40 yard dash

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improved by 0.8 seconds. In an interview, Coach Radich stated, “We don’t expect to make huge gains during the summer workout program because it does not allow the athletes to go through a complete workout cycle and we have a long break at the beginning and another week off in the middle of the program.” However, it is noted that the athletes did not lose speed or strength after a three-week break during the end of June and the beginning of May. The major gains in strength and speed cannot be attributed to only the summer workout program, but a commitment to a year-round speed and strength program by the coaches and the athletes.. Improve conditioning so athletes are physically able to play both ways which can be up to 150 plays on a given Friday night game. This goal was to be determined by workout intensity which is determined by the coaches who are working with them regularly, and it is determined by the athletes’ mile times from the Ultimate Spartan Competition. From the result of the Ultimate Spartan Competition with an average mile time improving over 2012 by 32 seconds, we believe the athletes are better conditioned to play in a game for more plays. The size of the athletes is also up so they have to carry more weight for the mile. 100% of athletes who answered the question about time and difficulty of conditioning listed that it was appropriate amount of time and the right difficulty. Determine if the reduction in time spent on agility and conditioning will impact the team’s conditioning and agility. This was determined using last year’s pretest data along with the current year’s pretest data. As an end result it has been determined the very minor gains in speed and agility over the summer sessions does not lead to a lesser improvement of speed and agility. Both years had approximately the same speed and agility improvement with 2012 using 55 minutes per day working on speed, agility, and conditioning, and 2013 using only 25 minutes on speed, agility, and conditioning. Develop leadership in athletes by providing opportunities for athletes to step up and lead their peers. Through the interview process discussing this category with the 10 coaches, it was determined the athletes got much better at this as they progressed through the summer. The 7 out of 10 coaches asked commented that during the six June workouts athletes would consistently get down on each other and give negative comments when they were getting tired from a difficult workout. As they progressed into July with coaches constantly encouraging them to give positive words to teammates, they improved drastically. There were many opportunities throughout the 3-hour sessions for athletes to encourage their teammates instead of getting down on each other. According to interviews, the best moment they saw was the second to last day of summer workouts, the athletes were asked to run 4 x 400 meter runs on one of the hottest mornings all summer. The result was instead of the kids getting upset at each other and getting upset about the heat, they decided to take a positive leadership role and encourage team mates. More athletes made their goal times that day than any other day of the summer. Even kids who struggled to make more than one target time were making all four target times for the first time all summer. This was perceived by the coaches as a drastic improvement in encouragement and positive leadership from athletes in a position of leadership on the team. Determine the relationship between speed and strength gains and athlete attendance.

In order to determine the relationship between speed and strength gains and athlete attendance we took the data sheets from the ultimate Spartan competition and compared that data to the pre-test data from the athletes in the weight training class in the spring of 2013. Of the 53 athletes in the total program, 14 of them were in the weight training class in the spring and completed 15 or more workouts during the summer. We used 15 because the athletes were allowed to miss up to 3 workouts over the summer without penalty. We evaluated whether the missing 3 days was significant. Of the athletes who were in the spring class and competed in the Ultimate Spartan Competition and were at 14 or fewer workouts, there were 7 athletes. One more note because very low numbers of days in attendance could skew this data. Only one person attended fewer than 10 days and had his data included in this. The strength gains for those athletes who were there 15 or more days were significantly higher than the gains of the athletes who were there 14 or fewer days. The average gains were as follows: for athletes there 15 or more days, bench improved 4.2 pounds, clean improved 3.8 pounds, squat improved 16 pounds, and 40 times improved by 0.2 seconds. For athletes there 14 days or less, bench remained the same, clean decreased by 4 pounds, squat decreased by 4 pounds, and 40 times improved by 0.1 seconds. The difference for athletes who were there 15 or more days improved by 4 additional pounds in bench, 8 additional pounds in clean, 20 additional pounds in squat and improved by a tenth of a second more in a 40 yard dash.
20 15 10 5 0 Clean -5 Bench Squat 40 Time Made 15-17 Workouts Made 14 or fewer Workouts

Discussion First of all, the data from the data sheets and pretest data in the project is not foolproof. Unfortunately the number of athletes who had pretest data was lower than we anticipated, so determining growth was slightly more difficult than anticipated. Out of 53 athletes, 47 of them participated in the Ultimate Spartan Competition. Of those 47, 24 of them had pretest data available. So the pool of athletes was a “sample” of about half the athletes who participated. Although the data was not with 100% participation, the results show a drastic difference between the different groups in a few of the objective discussions. The data did show some significant statistical data that we will discuss below. The interview data that is used was gathered through informal interviews and regular conversations with the program administrators. There was only 1 official interview that took place for the purposes of

this evaluation and that was with the head coach Tony Lotti. All other data gathered was on a day-today conversation basis. The conditions and setting for conducting the survey were not ideal. The day the survey was administered the administrator was supposed to be an hour early that morning and catch the athletes as they arrived. Unfortunately he only arrived fifteen minutes early that morning because of unforeseen circumstances and was forced to give the survey to the athletes in a rush before they started their workouts. The data from the beginning of the survey is all circling the best choice information, but only 2 out of 41 students completed the final open-ended question probably because of time restraints and they were hurrying to allow other athletes to use the pens since there were not enough pens for all 41 athletes to use one at the same time. The next portion we will discuss the objectives and the results related to the objectives. Objective 1: Mentally prepare the athletes to play in the upcoming football season. The results of the average athlete missing 2 days over the summer, and 93% of the athletes listed they are fully or mostly prepared to participate in the upcoming season, we believe the summer workout program did a pretty good job preparing the students. We did notice that 32% of the students listed they wanted to have more time spent on the football field working on football specific drills. Many also stated they wished they had more “mental work” when it came to the football time. We would recommend for future years the program reduce the 20 minute break from the conditioning to the field and give them 10 minutes, but begin the next workout with a “walkthrough” or mental part for the first 10 to 15 minutes so the athletes can still get a physical break but are getting more football training like they requested. Objective 2: Improve strength and speed over previous years to be able to physically compete with the tougher teams in the league. The summer workout program proved to do small improvements in strength and speed, and the results here point to the necessity of doing a summer workout program. The interviews stated that 3 kids showed up for the first day without attending summer workouts. They could not finish the first day’s practice. Head Coach Tony Lotti stated it this way, “We do the summer workouts because we are preparing kids to play in the extreme conditions required. It is really a safety issue. If a kid misses the summer workouts his body isn’t used to working hard out in the heat with all that equipment on and he is a liability to himself, the team, and the school.” Because the summer program is only 17 days, not the recommended 40 days for a full strength and speed cycle, athletes do not experience major weight or speed gains in the summer workout. The athletes who attend the majority of workouts do experience some weight and speed gains that are significant for such a short window of work. We believe this objective was met with the summer workout program because of the gains that were experienced. We recommend the program adds in a week in the month of June, to increase the number of days to 20. This will help with the speed and strength gains and allow three more days to help accomplish the other objectives.

Objective 3: Improve conditioning so athletes are physically able to play both ways which can be up to 150 plays on a given Friday night game. Because of the number of days the athletes were in attendance and the time improvements in the mile, most of the athletes are conditioned to play both ways in a game. It will be important to continue this conditioning through the season because conditioning is something that can be lost if athletes do not continue to condition regularly. Nearly every coach commented at some point during conditioning that the athletes were preparing to play both ways and needed to keep that goal in mind. The athletes seemed to understand this and 100% of athletes felt the conditioning was appropriate to meet the team’s goals with the conditioning. It is our recommendation that the team continue to do conditioning and build it into the practice plan at least two times per week so the player do not lose, and for next year’s program continue to follow a similar plan of about 1 mile worth of running every day during the summer program. Objective 4: Determine if the reduction in time spent on agility and conditioning will impact the team’s conditioning and agility. The team’s improvement in the 40 yard dash showed significant growth during the summer. It was also a possibility when discussing the summer workout program’s strength numbers with Coach Radich that the improvement in squat weights would have had an impact on the 40 yard dash time because it is a fast run. He said the two most significant gains were in squats and 40 yard dashes for the summer program. We did not notice a drop off in athletic agility performance. It was commented in one interview that the kids all go out to the field and do agility drills anyway, so it isn’t necessary to go out and do agility drills only to rush to the football field time to do agility drills again. We believe this objective was met and the reduction in time spent on agility drills and conditioning did not negatively influence the team’s conditioning and agility. It is our recommendation that the summer workout program stick with a similar time schedule for next year because it allows for more time on the field which will continue to help with the primary objective which is preparation for the upcoming season. Objective 5: Develop leadership in athletes by providing opportunities for athletes to step up and lead their peers. The improvement over the course of the summer in the opportunities that were given were very good. In previous years the athletes were divided up into teams and a player or 2 was put in charge of each team. That player took responsibility for contacting the members of his team if they were not at the workouts and helping get to know the players on his team. This provided an additional opportunity for leadership by players within the team. When students were asked about teams on the survey 37% said they wanted to be on teams, 29% preferred it how it is now, and the rest were not here when we had teams in 2012. Overall it is difficult to determine if this goal has been met or not at this point as many of the athletes did not use the opportunities of difficult situations to portray their leadership potential with their peers. It is our recommendation that they reinstate putting the athletes into teams for next year to give the athletes more opportunities to provide leadership. Objective 6: Determine the relationship between speed and strength gains and athlete attendance.

The final objective for this evaluation is to determine the relationship between speed and strength gains and attendance. For years educators have held fast to the belief that attendance is critical to determining student success in the classroom and in life as one of the major problems for employers hiring high school aged workers is they do not show up for work, and do not show up on time. The numbers showed such a drastic difference, as a whole the group did not have astronomical gains in any of the strength or speed categories over the summer as a result of a short and interrupted training schedule, but one group did have fairly significant gains, those were the athletes who were in attendance for 15 or more out of the 17 sessions. Based on results, the number of workouts missed is a major indicator in the percentage of strength and speed improvement. Project Cost Personnel Daniel Matthews – Head Evaluator 13 Days x $500 per day = $6,500 Travel 26 miles round trip x $0.56 per mile = $14.56 per trip * 8 trips = $116.48 Supplies Printing Costs for surveys - $25 Pens to fill out surveys - $8 Mailing Costs Mailing report and surveys - $15 Total Costs = $6664.48

Appendix A - Survey West Hall Summer Conditioning Program Survey This is going to ask a few questions about the summer program. Please be honest, these are anonymous and give us an opportunity to see where we can get better as a coaching staff making our program the best possible program for future summers. 1. This summer the workout program was over 4 ½ weeks or 17 sessions. Which best describes you? I needed more time off It was about right I wish we had more workouts

2. Last year we were organized into teams within the team. I liked the teams I wasn’t here last summer I like it better now It doesn’t matter

3. Overall how do you feel the offseason program prepared you for our season? Fully Prepared Mostly Prepared Not Ready Yet

4. What did we do well to prepare you for the season (ex. Well conditioned, strength, speed etc).? _____________________________________________________________________________________ 5. What do you feel like we need to improve for future years? _____________________________________________________________________________________ Time Management: Did we spend an appropriate amount of time in each of the following phases? Weight Room Conditioning (Track) Football Field Work Too Much Too Much Too Much Perfect Amount Perfect Amount Perfect Amount Too Little Too Little Too Little

Workout: Did you feel the parts of the workout were appropriate? Weight Room Conditioning (Track) Football Field Work Too Hard Too Hard Too Hard Good Difficulty Good Difficulty Good Difficulty Too Easy Too Easy Too Easy

Comments: Please comment on anything summer program related. Was there anything you liked or didn’t like or anything we did really well or maybe didn’t do so well? _____________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

Appendix B – Ultimate Spartan Scorecard

ULTIMATE SPARTAN COMPETITION
Name: _________________________
POINTS CLEAN LB. BENCH LB. SQUAT LB. BOX (30 SEC.) 40 YD. DASH 10 YD. DASH

Date: _________________
DOT DRILL PRO SHUTTLE 1 MILE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 POINTS

115 120 125 130 135 140 145 150 155 160 165 170 175 180 185 190 195 200 205 210 220 230 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 330

140 145 150 155 160 165 170 175 180 185 190 200 210 220 230 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390 400

120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 230 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 310 325 340 355 370 390 410 430 450 470 490 510 530

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.3 5.25 5.2 5.15 5.1 5.07 5.03 5.0 4.97 4.93 4.9 4.87 4.83 4.8 4.77 4.73 4.7 4.67 4.63 4.6 4.55 4.5 4.47 4.43

2.2 2.15 2.10 2.05 2.00 1.95 1.90 1.85 1.80 1.77 1.75 1.72 1.70 1.67 1.65 1.63 1.60 1.57 1.55 1.54 1.52 1.50 1.48 1.46 1.45 1.44 1.42 1.40 1.37 1.35 1.33 1.30

1:25 1:20 1:15

5.80 5.50

5.40 1:12 5.20 1:10 1:08 1:05 5.00 4.90 4.80 1:03 4.70 1:00 4.65 4.60 59 4.53 57 4.50 55 53 50 4.46 4.37 4.31

12:45 12:30 12:15 12:00 11:45 11:30 11:15 11:00 10:45 10:30 10:15 10:00 9:45 9:30 9:15 9:00 8:50 8:40 8:30 8:20 8:10 8:00 7:50 7:40 7:30 7:20 7:10 7:00 6:50 6:40 6:30 6:20

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