At CrossFit Strode Station in Winchester, Kentucky, Josh Tackett saw a need to help student athletes. Coming from a background as an athlete himself, the owner of the Box knew the importance of strength and conditioning training.
CrossFit Strode Station offers a youth strength and conditioning program. On top of that, they offer specific training for sport teams in and around their surrounding area. Recently, they just finished up a six-month training program with a local girls soccer team. They catered training to areas they knew would be beneficial to the athletes’ bodies during the season.
“With the soccer girls it was a lot of abs, hips, teaching them how to change directions, teaching them how to accelerate and trying to build overall strength,” said Tackett. “It’s not a cookie cutter program for all teams. Some of the basics are the same — teach them how to squat, how to deadlift, but there’s some nuances to each individual team.”
Convincing the athletes CrossFit is going to be beneficial to their game-time performance has been one of the main challenges for the Coaches. However, after training a local baseball team that made it to the state tournament, the results began to speak for themselves.
“Strength and conditioning is hard to quantify the results for them,” said Tackett. “Yes, they got stronger and we can prove all of that, but it’s hard to show them how it all translates over into their specific sport. But with the boys baseball team having a good year and our individual athletes doing well, people find out they train here and it has snowballed from there.”
The programs for each team lasts a minimum of eight weeks, with a required two classes each week. However, the kids are also encouraged to participate in the Box’s youth strength and conditioning program that is on a month-to-month basis.
After hosting the program for the three years the Box has been open, CrossFit Strode Station has only seen the number of participants grow. The first year they only had two participants, a brother and sister. Now, they are hosting the program for 65 kids.
“A class like this has to be something a Coach is 100 percent committed to,” said Tackett. “It’s not going to show an immediate return on investment. That first summer with just the brother and sister training with us I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know. This might not be the best thing for us.’ We were athletes once and are passionate about helping other athletes. We believed in our programming and we just kept chipping away at it. Sometimes the amount of kids we had wasn’t the best investment of our time, but it has paid off at this point.”
Because of their consistency and dedication to helping student athletes, CrossFit Strode Station has created a youth program the size of their average CrossFit membership amount.