Weight room dynamic altered due to Padgett’s new influence

Senior Tommy Webster does a dumbbell push press in the weight room with the lacrosse team.
(Photo by Bennett Bloebaum)

Music is blasting. The sound of weights clanging onto the floor and into each other can be heard constantly. To experience this, all one has to do is go down to the weight room.

When strength and conditioning coach Jesse Padgett first arrived in 2019, there were only a few teams that would come to the weight room aside from the football and basketball teams. Even when those teams went, there was very little consistency and drive to put in work, Padgett said.

Padgett explained that his first goal upon becoming the new lifting coach was to create a foundation for more teams to visit the weight room regularly.

“I was shocked to see how few people utilized the weight room initially, and I was eager to make a change,” Padgett said.

Now that more teams come to the weight room, he said he is very impressed with their willingness to work hard and stay focused.

“Even though it can be difficult to stay motivated to lift during the season, these fundamentals are crucial to keeping athletes safe and healthy,” Padgett said.

Senior Calvin Burzynski said that in addition to creating consistency, Padgett has developed a better culture in the weight room.

“There has been such a strong emphasis on going to the weight room no matter what sport you play because of the strong environment he has created,” Burzynski said.

He added that since Padgett has worked at the school, athletes have been able to better enjoy their time lifting by being allowed to choose their own music and work out with teammates to build relationships.

“I have made new friendships and developed old ones just by being able to work out and talk with the people I want to,” Burzynski said.

By allowing these friendships to grow, Padgett said he has been able to reach his goal of creating a more inclusive and accepting environment.

“With the amount of people that have been coming down, I have seen people from different sports working together to help each other get through their workout, whether that be spotting or just encouragement,” he said.

Girls varsity soccer and assistant varsity baseball coach Scott James said that he believes Padgett has improved the weight room’s environment for all athletes by pushing them to do their best.

“Padgett has created a fantastic environment in the weight room where all athletes are accepted and expected to work hard,” James said.

He added that Padgett has been doing well at controlling the weight room and getting the workouts to run smoothly.

“Being in the weight room to see Padgett in action is like watching a masterclass on how to handle lots of athletes,” he said.

Burzynski said that one way in which Padgett keeps the weight room organized is by helping different groups with form or specialized workouts based on injuries they have been suffered in the past.

Padgett said he is happy with his progress so far, but there is still a lot he hopes to see in the weight room’s future.

“I hope we continue to get a lot of people down here working hard, and I also am hoping we can get some more equipment to make sure everyone has access to what they need,” Padgett said.

He explained that above anything else, his goal is to keep athletes safe and help them recover from any injuries they may have.

“I am eager to see athletes continuing to come down for the rest of the school year and the summer in order to keep injury prevention at a minimum.” Padgett said. “That can only work with athletes’ consistency.”