Basehor-Linwood strength and conditioning program continues to thrive under Schwisow
When Ross Schwisow steps into the weight room at Basehor-Linwood High School during the dog days of summer, he can see it immediately. The sweat, the determination, the tenacity. Athletes are being forged by the iron that litters the room, their every repetition preparing them for the upcoming season.
Summer is an important part of the calendar for high school athletes, especially those striving for greatness in their respective crafts. Schwisow, who is now in his ninth year organizing the program, said more than 400 students have been participating this time around. He hopes that number will continue to soar.
“Probably one of the biggest things that we stress is commitment and an investment in whatever result they’re trying to reach,” Schwisow said. “They need to be working and putting in that investment and commitment to hard work. Honestly, their opponents are doing the same thing, so whether it’s a baseball player, basketball player, they need to spend the time in the gym, but they also need to be making that commitment to their bodies.”
The program consists of three levels and reaches all the way down to the district’s middle school students, who are primarily focused on athletic motor skills such as footwork and hand-eye coordination. The high school athletes are working on more advanced training, and weightlifting is one of the primary pillars.
“We try to have several opportunities for each kid as they progress,” Schwisow said. “We’re very goal-oriented. The kids will say their goals, and that will allow us to find out where we need to place them. We run three different types of programs in the summer, so we have Levels 1, 2 and 3. We give them those opportunities to work on those different levels, and we also offer them the opportunity to stay and put in extra work with their teammates.”
With falls sports such as football, volleyball and boys soccer only a couple of months away, Schwisow said the enthusiasm level will really begin to rise in the final three weeks of the program. The athletes, beginning today, will have about a week and a half of rest before picking back up again for the last stretch of summer.
“They came in extremely motivated to start,” Schwisow said. “I use the analogy that they come in like Rambo with their shirts off and machine guns firing. But after the third or fourth week, it’s hard to keep firing at that pace, so it is a grind. I think every person goes through that in life.
"We’re taking a break, and we don’t come back until July 6. The monotony of the training and the grind is part of that commitment. We’ll come back again in July, and Rambo will probably be back in effect, we’ll be close to the fall seasons, and the excitement will really start to build up.”
Jon Poorman is the sports editor at The Sentinel. Follow him on Twitter at @JonPoorman for all of the latest community sports news.