At Harrisburg High School, many athletic programs are offered for students. From an athlete’s standpoint, the strength and conditioning program run by Rony Sieperda and Joel Lubovich has helped student-athletes excel. Sieperda, a Sanford Fieldhouse strength coach, began working with the HHS Strength and Conditioning Staff in January of 2019. “My advice to student-athletes who are interested in the Strength and Conditioning Program is commitment,” Sieperda says. “Strength does wonders for your mental and physical health alongside increasing your chances of performance enhancement.”
To allude to the praise for the program, sophomore student Maddie Scott shared, “After the summer of eighth grade, I started lifting with this program.” “My biggest takeaway from the program is to be consistent and to be driven. Consistency is one of Rony’s main lessons to our team throughout the season and off season.” There are many other programs offered in the area; however, Scott emphasized her positive feedback towards the program: “Compared to other programs, I really enjoy this one. I am with people from my school and get to be surrounded by others also trying to get better for the sake of the school’s team.”
Boosting up Harrisburg’s program, junior student Sophie Smithback strives to discuss her thoughts: “My biggest takeaway from this program is the mindset to never give up and to keep going even when it becomes difficult. Some days it is hard to find the motivation and energy to workout, but the benefits from consistently getting stronger have proven time and time again. It is better than any day of quitting.” When she finished her freshman year of soccer, Smithback began working with the program. “I really enjoy the time I get to spend with my team,” she says. “We are able to push each other to be better and get stronger.”
Both of these student-athletes have noted feeling overall more athletic after beginning this program. Furthermore, they both acknowledge the positive environment in the weight room that spawns from Sieperda and Lubovich. “The best time to join this program was yesterday. Your life is moving faster than you think,” Sieperda urges. Scott and Smithback both advise students to enter the program ready to push their limits, which should already be expected. Because it is one of the only ways to get better, they encourage that it is normal to feel uncomfortable. There are new improvements to the program always being made that adjust to each athlete’s needs. Both the students and Sieperda claim that sticking to the weight room will show benefits for athletes. A very involved strength coach, Sieperda vocalizes that there are many attributes that contribute to his favorite part of the job: “Watching athletes use their improved physical attributes for competitions is special. I enjoy the preparation and the process because it translates to real life when sports are all ‘said and done.’” After Sieperda and Lubovich’s years of work, both of the coaches noted that they enjoy observing athletes grow mentally and physically.