By STEVE KRAH
Brian Clarke, who was a left-handed pitcher for coach Steve Farley at Butler University for two seasons (1998 and 1999), serves as strength and conditioning coordinator and Wellness Department chair at NHS.
Not a weight room monitor, Clarke is certified performance coach.
“We have event coaches (like baseball, football etc.),” says Clarke. “Our event happens to be strength training.”
When Clarke came to Noblesville a decade ago after stints at Warren Central and Pike high schools, there just 87 student-athletes taking a strength and conditioning class in a smaller space. After a referendum passed to expand the facilities, he now leads six sections of 115 athletes each (that’s 690 Millers — boys and girls — working to get better). These are done prior to lunch to give athletes time to recover on contest days.
Workouts vary for athlete in and out of season and there are sessions before and after school.
A sense of community is built across the Millers athletic teams.
“How we work at Noblesville is something special,” says Clarke. “We have a hashtag here — #WAT, which means We Are Together. (The weight room) is your second home.”
Athlete attitude and championship leadership is being built from Resistant (doesn’t do what is asked and openly opposes it to coaches and team) to Reluctant (hesitant on doing what is asked giving 1/2 effort) to Compliant (does what is asked. No more, less less) to Committed (does what is asked; goes above and beyond. Holds themselves to a high standard) to Compelled (does what is asked; goes above and beyond. Brings others with to do the same thing).
Miller S&C increases performance through many principles including core stability, joint mobility, balance and adaptability, progression.
Character building is achieved in areas like performance and moral skills, hard work and unselfishness, accountability and many more.
With Noblesville’s block scheduling, that means they meet for 90 minutes two or three times per week to engage in total body training.
“We work top to bottom and front to back,” says Clarke, who is building “balanced efficient movers with body armor (muscle).”
Athletes go through workouts with cues, corrosives and drills.
He is empowering athletes and coaches by giving them knowledge and insisting they take ownership of the program.
“Coach Keever sets the tone (for baseball),” says Clarke.
There also must be a total “buy-in” from athletes.
“I want everyone to understand exactly why we do it and can explain everything to everyone,” says Clarke. “I want everyone of them to be a junior performance coach.”
The aim is kinesthetic awareness (The ability to feel and know where one’s and others’ bodies are in space without looking or the awareness of relative force and movement).
Clarke and his staff breaks down every detail and provides “simple, productive tools that everyone every can use.”
As he prepares to host the National High School Strength Coaches Association national convention June 15-16, 2018 at Noblesville High School, Clarke screens his athletes in many areas to identify what they should and should not be doing in the weight room. These tests find if a student has a “kink in the hose” that needs to be addressed.
Every athlete has different strengths, weaknesses and needs depending on their physique and the sport they play.
“It’s not a cookie cutter thing,” says Clarke.
Benefitting from advanced technology, Clarke can track athletes through a Metrifit monitoring system which allows the logging for daily wellbeing, activities and other information. This converts into a RTT (readiness to train) score.
Brian Clarke is the strength and conditioning coordinator at Noblesville High School.