By Whitney Black
Many of the athletes here take Advanced Placement Conditioning (APC). Everyday they have workouts made for them to help them with their sport. These workouts are made to condition them to become the best athletes they can be. However, this would not be possible without APC teacher and assistant football coach Luke Harris .
Harris received his undergraduate and masters degrees in exercise science from Indiana State. He was then an intern and graduate assistant (while getting his masters) for strength and conditioning for all Indiana State’s athletic teams and then became a full time assistant coach. He then got certified in multiple areas and attended many clinics that make him the professional he is today. Harris uses his training to design workout plans best suited for his athletes.
“All exercises are chosen in a manner that best enables to develop the athletes. So whatever our kids are lacking in, we chose exercises to fix that. So usually [our] number one concern is choosing exercises that prevent injury and then exercises that help them become better movers. And based off those exercises, we teach the proper technique,” Harris said.
Harris has to work the APC program in a way that is beneficial to all sports. While many of the students are multi-sport, Harris cannot just focus on one sport for them. Harris discussed how he develops his program for this.
“I write the program in a way that just develops athletes and my goal in the program is to make them be able to run faster, jump higher and faster twitch, and not get injured. By covering all those areas usually makes them better in whatever sport it is. The other thing is a lot of the students play more than one sport, so I can’t just focus on one sport because they may play more than one,” Harris said.
Harris discussed how it can be difficult keeping his students motivated and how keeping positive energy is very important.
Harris has to have a positive attitude so his athletes can as well.
“It is easier in the beginning, when you’re refreshed and motivated but as it goes on during second semester it’s dark and cold and you’re tired it’s hard. If I am not excited, then they won’t be, and If I’m tired and mopey, then they will be, and I can’t be mad at them if I am myself. I just try to have a high energy,” Harris said.
Harris’s positive attitude is very motivating to his athletes, like sophomore football player Andrew Beil.
“Coach Harris keeps me motivated with his attitude. He expects us to give it 110 percent every time we are in the weight room and he supports our goals in the weight room,” Beil said.
Harris pushes his students to their limit so they can improve and get better on whatever their sport may be. Sophomore track runner Karen Salazar talked about how this is most valuable to her.
“The most valuable thing I’ve learned from him is that if we don’t push ourselves to be better, we won’t get better in that certain activity,” Salazar said.
Harris develops many exercises that he uses to benefit each and every one of his athletes.
Every day he shows up with a positive attitude and expects the same from his athletes. He conditions them to be the best athletes possible.