February 04, 2009
Vince Miserandino, M.Ed., is a CrossFit Level I Trainer, Teacher, and Coach at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts. He writes about the impact CrossFit has had at St. John’s: they are officially offering a CrossFit class.
As a Physical Education teacher and strength coach for the last 10 years, I’ve long had a vision of what I believed a high-school physical education program should be. I’ve found it in CrossFit, which has had an immediate positive impact on athlete performance here at the St. John’s Preparatory School, an all-male, Xavieran Brothers-sponsored Catholic academy of 1,300 students in Danvers, Massachusetts. Next fall, we will take it a step further, becoming what I think will be the first high school in the world to officially offer CrossFit 101 as a for-credit elective.
SJP CrossFit became an official CrossFit Club Affiliate on April 9, 2008. Any given day, from 15 to 40 athletes show up after school at the weight room, including individuals and the sport teams that use the facility during their seasons. CrossFit is voluntary; most do it. I post the WOD and teach the kids the exercises as needed, constantly correcting improper form and giving feedback to reinforce both intensity and perfect technique. I train athletes in almost every sport the Prep offers: fencing, rugby, wrestling, football, basketball, skiing, and so on.
I believe that CrossFit can be the future of Physical Education curricula and that every high school should have it as their strength and conditioning program. After all, it’s all about improving the quality of life of our teens. Can St. John’s Prep be the seed that helps to grow affiliate clubs in high schools all around the country and even the world? That’s my dream.