The Sailors' Log
Female atheletes hit the weight roomWednesday, March 28, 2012 By Taylor Jones
Girls being weak? What? No way! Well, not anymore. In order to get female athletes in shape, Shores added a new fitness class to after-school activities. The class takes place from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday in the weight room with new athletic trainer Josh Pahl. "I really wanted the girls to become more familiar with the weight room, and I want them to take full advantage of all the resources the school has to offer to them that can help make them not only better athletes, but keep them in better/healthier shape," Pahl said. "It’s a great class to keep girls fit during the off season so that coaches don’t have to start from scratch at the beginning of each season. It is also important to me that girls are learning proper form when lifting so they can stay injury free in the weight room and on the playing field." Athletic director Ryan Portenga said he is excited to get more girls in the weight room to make the girls sports much better than what they already are. "Our girls programming is good, but it could be much better," Portenga said. "A lot of that starts with strength and confidence built in the weight room. Less than 5 percent of our female athletes touched weights on a consistent basis." Portenga said after only two months of having this class started, there has been a dramatic increase in number of girls in the weight room. "Reports are that over 120 different girls showed up at least once in its first week," Portenga said. "That’s nearly 100 more girls showing up to the weight room than we had, on a consistent basis, working out with weight training all last year." The girls first learned about the class on a mandatory meeting on Wednesday Jan. 11, before school started. The first class began Tuesday, Jan. 17, after school, but the girls that are already involved in sports do not have to attend. Portenga said he hopes to see more and more people involved as the class continues and see more wins on the board. "I hope the girls not only have fun and get stronger but understand and see the correlation to weight training and team/individual performance in athletics," Portenga said. "I just wish it could be more personal and that coach Pahl could be cloned four times." Pahl said he is trying to get the girls involved and make it their class rather than force them to do the class his way. "Right now, I’m looking to get more feed back from the girls about what would make the class itself more enjoyable and get new girls to come and keep those who are already participating coming back each day," Pahl said. Most girls may be a little skeptical about going to the weight room because they may be a little nervous about never lifting before, but Pahl has words of wisdom for those girls. "Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Experience new things and situations so you can determine for yourself what you like and dislike," Pahl said.