Off season training vital to athletes

Brandon Kirchner, Sports Editor

When it comes to building and establishing a dominant sports program, it is critical to have an offseason training program built in. With the recent rise in Rolla; athletic dominance, it could be traced back to an overhaul in offseason training management and the new football head coach, Jon Franks. Through his many years involving football, Franks knows what to build through the offseason training program.

“With offseason, there are several components we are trying to accomplish. One is strength, with that we are just getting stronger, and we are allowed to apply more force, which causes a bigger explosion. The other components in the workouts is that we are gaining flexibility and a range of motion, so there are a lot of components physically to an offseason program. However, during the offseason you are building a commodity, the athletes grow closer together and play better together to build a better demeanor,” Franks said.

One of the key factors in working out during the offseason is keeping the body in shape for the start of the season. Senior Dakota Chiles has went to every offseason training day in preparation for the track season.

“I feel like without being in a winter sport, makes me feel more prepared for the track season and keeps my body in shape, rather than just resting during the offseason. It keep my progression of getting stronger for the season, rather than just lifting in weight training during the school day,” Chiles said.

Getting lower classmen or new students interested in joining a sport is a task in itself. However, Franks, through his many years of coaching, knows how to recruit kids into the program.

“Well, one thing is that you have to build a connection with them, that’s our job as adults. Even though it’s hard sometimes to build the connection with kids and try to show them we are here to provide a service, provide an opportunity. People want to do things that they find enjoyable, and sometimes we have to work it into the program to have some fun. I think we do a decent job at doing that, just sometimes I think the most important thing is to build a relationship with each one of the guys and girls. I think that’s why it is important as a coaching staff to have a variety of characteristics. Because not everyone is going to hit it off with me, where some might hit it off with Coach Shockley or Coach Kinder better. That’s not only in sports but school in general, where you’re trying to build that relationship with the kids,” Franks said.

With Coach Knapp retiring last year, Coach Franks took over as the head coach of the track program. Senior Dakota Chiles is excited to see a new change to the program.

“I feel as if it will definitely be a change, because there will be more integration in between the parts, like more challenging programs through all competition levels. There will be a definite change in the workload and work protocol coming off of the offseason program,” Chiles said.

Coach Franks has spent most of his life participating in athletics on a playing and coaching level. Through his time with sports he has learned many lessons, making him the coach he is today.

“I know a lot of things I learned young, when I was at Stockton I was an assistant then a head coach I learned that when you’re young you’re stubborn, you’re competitive and fiery, everything is a win lose situation. I learned not everything is a win or lose situation. A teacher or coach wouldn’t have a job without students. Our job is to bring them in and not run them away, it’s why you need to have a good ego into help, not just the students but people in general. I’ve gotten a lot better in that world. The best thing I’ve gotten better at is dealing with parents, involving them, keeping them communicated. There’s always more room for improvement though, and there are many things I’d like to get better at,” Franks said.

Playing in one of the most difficult conferences in the state of Missouri, it is hard to have constant success year in and year out. That is why coach Franks is so key on the offseason program is critical to teams so not only they get stronger and faster but build a dominant attitude.

“There’s an attitude we are trying to establish, that Rolla is a hard working and tough place to play. It’s a culture, we want to be physical, we want to look good and we want to perform good. All that is tied into the offseason program so ultimately the offseason is to build the culture of collectivism, working hard with each other an building that family, building that Rolla bulldog family,” Franks said.