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Coaches, students share benefits of fitness, activity

With sweat on their brows, grunts of perseverance, and focus in their eyes, strength and conditioning students strive to be the athlete they imagined. Discovering the value of hard work, physical fitness, and a development of a healthy lifestyle, students discipline themselves everyday to reach their goals.

Coach Michael Fuller is one of the high school and junior high P.E coaches at Fresno Christian. Coaching physical education along with strength and conditioning, he now helps lead the after-school FC barbell club. His favorite part of coaching is watching students to improve physically and mentally.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Fuller instructs strength and conditioning students on daily routines, proper form and warmups.

“Training for strength and fitness makes a student strong and physically fit. Students who are strong are healthier and better athletes than students who are not strong,” Fuller said. “The process by which we make ourselves strong produces additional positive results as well, including improved mental toughness, ability to concentrate and focus, the ability to endure discomfort and delay gratification in order to accrue long term benefits.”

New to strength and conditioning this year Andrew Moore, ’21, focuses to get stronger for football and lowering his Body Mass Index (BMI). He enjoys the chemistry that builds up over the season, and getting closer to his teammates like their family. 

“Team chemistry is really important no matter what sport you’re in,” Moore said. “Getting to know your team members makes you like a family. When you have that family generations elevates the game and game play.”

Athletic director and P.E. instructor Jonathan Penberthy, coaches the high school varsity basketball, junior high volleyball, and oversees independent P.E students. His favorite part of coaching involves build relationships with the students around him.

“I love competing with the students and I enjoy building relationships with them,” Penberthy said. “I enjoy being apart of their athletic world and seeing them develop into better athletes both in class but also on the athletic fields and tennis, volleyball and basketball courts. Being a small school, we rely on our students to play multiple sports, which makes a great opportunity for our students to be active and a part of athletic teams.”

Enjoying the competitive aspect of P.E., freshman Avery Walters hopes to become better in all overall sports after participating in P.E.   

“I think playing soccer in P.E. would help me learn how to beat my opponent  under pressure,” Walters said. “I think it would give me an idea of what the atmosphere would be in the game.” 

Coach Fuller begins a blog series covering topics he teaches in his strength classes. Fuller hopes that his instructions lead students to grow stronger.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Bryce Foshee, ’21, performs a squat exercise.

“I want the students in this year’s classes to at least double their physical strength, as measured by performance in the four main lifts,” Fuller said. “I also want them to enroll in the class again next year and convince their friends to join as well, so that eventually, all FCS students take the class for at least one year of high school.”

Strength and conditioning new equipment this year includes, a conditioning push sled and safety squat bars for students who have shoulder/upper back mobility issues.

“The confidence we earn from one area can be applied to other aspects of life,” Fuller said. “A student who starts to feel good about himself because he is getting strong will discover that positive self perception is at work in areas he might have struggled with or lacked confidence in before.”

A new club to FCS, the campus Barbell Club, encourages students to focus on their physical strength. Meeting after school on Mondays and Fridays, sophomores Andrew Rieker and Bryce Foshee lead the club with Fuller in hopes of building mental toughness and physical strength with their peers.

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For more articles, read Sadies 2018: California’s Great America. For more articles on campus physical education, read Physical education classes encourage students to stay active, bond with classmates.

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