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Bronc Strong
Bronc Strong
Kevin Thompson
Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Where are all the student athletes this summer?
Three days a week, about 150 of them can be found in the high school weight room and surrounding areas.
The summer weights program has taken off in popularity since this iteration started four years ago. 
Lifting happens on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
High school boys lift at 6:30 in the morning, high school girls at 7:30, and all middle schoolers lift at 8:30.
The program has moved to three sessions this summer because the numbers have grown so much, according to athletic director Nate Schmitt.
This summer, that means 12 lifting days in June and 12 in July
Students got an 11-day break right after school let out, they get an 11-day break 
over the July 4th break, and an 11-day break at the end of summer before fall sports practices begin, Schmitt said.
It seems like that's all the students do all summer, he noted, but they get four days off each week, with the 11-day built-in breaks.
"It's 60 total days off from weights from the time school is out until the first day of practice in the fall," he said.
Workouts are designed for all athletes, Schmitt added, which benefits all athletes. No workouts are specific to a certain sport.
Instead, the workouts are comprised of flexibility, strength training, agility and conditioning, from which all athletes benefit.
This summer, each day is averaging 150 students per day.
High school boys average 45, high school girls 41, middle school boys 33 and middle school girls 31.
At the end of last week, 77 students had perfect attendance
"These numbers are incredible. This isn't normal for a school our size," Schmitt said. "People across the state are calling us every week asking us how this is happening."
One reason participation is so high, Schmitt said, is due to the Summer Olympics and draft concepts.
Students are drafted into teams by selected captains. Teams hold each other accountable and get each other to weights.
Teams earn points through a number of ways, with weekly winners and overall winners. Businesses around town hand out gift certificates each week.
At the end of the summer, all summer weights students who attended all workouts will receive a gift sponsored by The Stampede, the district's booster organization.
These athletes will also be recognized on the Champions Club board in the gym.

The program is overseen by coaching staff, with 20-27 coaches each day representing almost every sport, middle school through high school.
"Coaches are volunteering their time for very little financial pay but a huge pay off during their season," Schmitt said.

Coaches hold team practices separately, but all athletes have to attend the morning weights program to attend the practices.
"We believe weights is the first step in being a successful athlete," Schmitt said. "No weights equals no practice on that particular day."

One of the misconceptions about the program has been that the weights program restricts students from having a "normal" summer, Schmitt said.
"We sometimes hear that 'kids need a summer,' 'there's no time to work,' 'vacation,' among other things," he said. "Our weights schedule allows kids to do these things.
"Where we need to get better as an athletic department is making sure our practices and camps align to give the kids a break. We are aware of it and are in the process of improving it," Schmitt said.
There was a time when only a few teams did something and now everyone is doing something, he added.
"We are in the process of making the summer schedule for 2022 more kid-, parent- and coach-friendly," Schmitt said.
 "A big thank you to all the kids, coaches and parents for making this a priority this summer," Schmitt added. "We appreciate the commitment to making Lakin Bronc athletics a success."