H.S. Powerlifters Get Under The Bar at the 2021 IHSPLA State Meet

By Chris Dertz High school sports are one of the many aspects of traditional American culture that was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. While most athletes were eventually able to compete in their chosen sports during the 2020-2021 school year, the seasons were shortened and held in unusual months. Jim Davis, the director of the…

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3 Keys to Support Mental Health in the Weightroom

The weight room can be one of the most powerful learning environments in all of athletics. For 9 months each year (an offseason), dedicated educators create cultures within a “classroom” full of novelty, goal-directed behavior, hard work and fun. Time after time, young people report learning valuable lessons in the squat rack, or between sets…

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Intern To Strength Coach: My Time At Northwestern University

my natural social personality is to be laid back and let things come to me. No such thing as a laid back strength coach when you’re asking an athlete to squat twice their body weight at 6 AM on a Monday morning

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2021 USA Weightlifting H.S. Throwdown Champions: New Trier (IL)

The New Trier Trevians have done it again. For the second year in a row, Trevian lifters competed in the USA Weightlifting High School Throwdown, a competition that draws athletes from all over the nation. For the second time in a row, they won.

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Are Sports at Harvard Worth the Risk?

This article originally appeared in the Harvard Crimson in September, 2019. Football season is upon us. The current instantiation of the 10,000 men of Harvard take the field on Sept. 21 and finish on Nov. 23 when, for the 136th time, Harvard locks horns with Yale. But the battle surrounding Harvard football will not end…

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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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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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Tom Sroka: Giving Back to the Barbell

In the newest episode of “Coffee with a Coach,” Jim sat down with Tom Sroka. Tom is an elite athlete, competing at a world-class level in the Olympic weightlifting, Highland Games, and pretty much anything that requires strength and power. Tom owns and operates The Strength Agenda, a gym located in Villa Park, IL that…

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Laughter and the Dragon: The Reinvention of Chris Duffin

East of Humboldt County, in the Trinity Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, Chris Duffin heated river water in a jug to bathe. He was a child then and, in his own words, “a different level of poor.” His story goes beyond poverty. During Chris’ developmental years he was exposed to crime, drug abuse, and murder.…

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Addressing Coronavirus Concerns through Strength: Powerlifting Nationals 2020

The Ivy League basketball tournament was the first to fall. Shortly after, the NCAA announced that March Madness and all other winter and spring championships were cancelled in hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus. Seasons – careers – for thousands of athletes across the country came to a screeching halt. It was the right…

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