Starting a High School Powerlifting Team, Pt. 1

by Chris Dertz Planning and Considerations The year was 2016. My son, Eli, was in 8th grade. A multi-sport athlete, Eli had been working with athletic performance specialist Jeff Lyrenmann since the 4th grade. One day after we were done training, Jeff showed Eli a photograph from years before. In the photograph, a young Jeff…

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Illinois Return-to-Training Support

Illinois, we’re heading in the right direction! There are so many exciting moments to come as we seemingly turn a corner in this pandemic. That is, if we take up the charge of ensuring a thoughtful return to training. Coaches across the state agree that the goal of the spring athletics experience in Illinois is…

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Strategies to Connect During the Pandemic

with Nicole Brinker, by Chris Dertz Nine months after first emerging in the United States, it is clear that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are both unprecedented and wide-ranging. The raw data is grim. Currently, 22,000,000 Americans have been infected with the virus and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is projecting…

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Will COVID Curb the Browns’ New Culture?

Cleveland Brown’s Head Coach Kevin Stefanski just tested positive for COVID-19 and will sit out of the Browns’ playoff game against Pittsburgh. His response? Don’t complain; take the next step. “The players understand they have a job to do. They know that this thing isn’t stopping me or anyone… we’ve got to find a way.…

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The Fitzgerald Effect

In 2009, Northwestern University battled Auburn in the Outback Bowl. They lost 35-38 in overtime. It was Pat Fitzgerald’s second Bowl Game as NU’s head coach, and his second consecutive overtime loss (they played Missouri in the Alamo Bowl the year prior, and lost an 23-30 in OT). In today’s Citrus Bowl, Northwestern University dominated…

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Be Aware of Your Body Language

by Spencer Boehm, Student-Athlete at Washington University (St. Louis) You walk into an auditorium to watch a classmate’s presentation. The classmate walks onto the stage with slumped shoulders. He addresses the audience and immediately crosses his arms. After a few minutes, he clutches the railing next to him with his hand. Within the first five…

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Will the Undefeated Big 10 Champs Miss the Playoff?

Texas A&M just beat Tennessee 34-13 to finish the SEC regular season with a record of 8-1. In his postgame interview, Jimbo Fisher made it clear that he believes the Aggies deserve a shot at the College Football Playoff. He has a point. The Aggies’ only loss was to the Alabama Crimson Tide, who has…

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Eastland Athletes Break 7 Records at Powerlifting Meet

by Chris Dertz The Powerlifting Team at Eastland High School in Lanark, Illinois is making a name for itself. Although it is a new sport at the school, and despite limited gym access, a few dedicated Cougars have found ways to compete… and they are excelling. The weekend of December 12th-13th, four members of the…

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Changing the Culture of Indiana Football

with Indiana University Head Football Coach Tom Allen On December 11, 2020, Tom Allen gave a keynote presentation at a virtual conference hosted by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association. His guiding thesis was something all coaches, regardless of sport, would benefit from understanding: Mindset drives expectations and beliefs. Indiana football had not been…

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Eastland Powerlifting Siblings Rack Up State, National, and World Records

By Chris Dertz Eastland High School senior Cadin Colehour and his sister Natalie, a freshman, overcame gym closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic to turn in impressive performances at a couple recent powerlifting meets. Training out of their basement in Lanark, the two teens are proud holders of newly-set state, national, and world records in…

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