New course for Spartan athletes a success


Kathryn Kemp

A semester-long 6th period Weight Training class was added to the athletic courses available to students this school year, offering another opportunity for one to improve on their sport or overall physical fitness at Mountain View High School.

The MVHS athletic director, Shelley Smith, came up with the idea for the class in order to provide an opportunity for MVHS athletes to train during the day in a way that doesn’t interfere with their time outside of school or the amount of sleep they get.  He decided that offering a course in which students could train during school hours and also receive credit for it would be the best way to do so.

“It’s a good way to re-energize yourself after finishing your academic classes.  It helps athletes a lot because it serves as a pre-workout to our sports. With it, we’re warm and ready to go out and do our sport,” Jodi DeMassa, an MVHS senior in Weight Training, said.

The class typically begins with a warm up, which usually consists of a lap around the pool and quad area.  Each student then proceeds to their individual workouts customized for them, based on their initial abilities and sports played.  Progress is tracked so everyone can see how far they’ve come over the course of the year.

“The personalized workouts are beneficial because it allows an athlete of a specific sport to focus on lifts that will most prepare them for their sport.,” Chris Moreland, an MVHS senior in Weight Training, said.

The class has done work outs in the pool on several occasions.  They even visited the Ultimate Fighting Championship Gym in Sunnyvale as a field trip. For fun, the class went to Golfland at the end of the school year.

Rick Esparza, the class instructor, explains that a variety of skills and equipment are put to use and learned about throughout the semester, but back-squats, the clean and jerk, and the snatch are most used.

“The power and strength gained from focusing on these three lifts can be transferred to any sport and be utilized in the skills an athlete’s sport requires,” Esparza said.

Esparza stresses the fact that students will succeed in the weightlifting class, regardless of skill level, if they have a good attitude and strive to improve.

“I have improved as an athlete both physically and mentally. I am able to complete more reps in each set at heavier weights. Mentally, I know that I am prepared for my track meets with more muscle mass. I feel at ease knowing that I have worked hard throughout the year. In my track season this year, I started my first track meet 0.5 seconds faster in the 100m than last year. I have been dropping my times each meet,” Rachael Estelle, an MVHS sophomore, said.

Due to its success this year, the class will be offered in the 2015-2016 school year. To enroll, one must have passed the Physical Fitness Test administered at the end of freshman year PE.

“I love getting the chance to be around not only great athletes but great people too.  It’s a loose atmosphere with music playing, we all have a good time while working hard and learning from each other,” Esparza said.

**this article was previously published in the May edition of the Oracle**