Milwaukie has averaged 70 athletes a day in its movement dynamics program

Milwaukie High School athletes are buying into the school’s movement dynamics program, introduced to the school by Milwaukie football coach Jon Wolf last summer.

JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie senior-to-be Tui Tuitele is caught by the camera in the middle of doing three sets of four overhead squats as a part of Milwaukie High's movement dynamics conditioning program. Tuitele, who is getting offers from a number of schools to play football or compete in track and field, says the movement dynamics agility, strength and conditioning program is making a big difference in his ability to perform, both on the football field and in his field events in track.“It’s going a lot better this year,” said Wolf. “We average 70 a day for three sessions. That’s up by 20 over last year.... I don’t think we’ll win a league championship this year, but we’ll be better. The kids are working harder, and they’re getting better.”

The free movement dynamic sessions, which combine agility training and strength conditioning, have been running at the high school all summer, from 8 to 10 a.m., 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

They are also held as an elective during the school year, with six different classes scheduled for the upcoming semester.

JOHN DENNY - Milwaukie High School student/athletes run through drills at a movement dynamics summer workout session. The agility and strength conditioning program has become popular at Milwaukie High, and not just with football players. Milwaukie HIgh football coach Jon Wolf, who is directing the workouts, says an average of 70 athletes have been participating in the four-times-a-week workouts through the summer, and he says the school plans to offer six classes in movement dynamics as an elective during the upcoming school year.Tui Tuitele, who competes in football and track and field, has become a regular during the summer training sessions, and he believes they are making a difference.

“It’s making me and everyone else a better athlete,” Tuitele says. “It’s making us faster and stronger. You feel it and you see it. You can lift more and fun faster and longer.”

Tuitele, who has had scholarship offers from Missouri, Miami, Pacific, Linfield and Portland State, says he now does three reps at 255 pounds in the power clean, where a year ago he was at 205 pounds.

Tuitele says that last spring his best mark in the discus was 124-6. He anticipates he’ll be able to launch the discus close to 150 feet next spring.

Tuitele says it’s not just football players who are taking advantage of the movement dynamics workouts.

“Last year it was mostly football players,” Tuitele says. “Now it’s like people from almost every sport. We’ve got drama students, cheerleaders and dance team. Everyone wants to come and work out now. Even some teachers.”

“I used to get pushed around a lot in basketball,” said Chelsea Brooks, who has taken advantage of the movement dynamics program for the past two summers. “That doesn’t happen so much anymore. I’ve gotten stronger and now I’m more stable. I’m more on-balance if someone tries to push me over.”

Brooks says four or five of her teammates from the girls basketball program have joined her at this summer’s movement dynamics workouts.

“It’s different from sports specific workouts and it’s not just for football players,” said Wolf. “The main deal is to improve athleticism. We’re teaching them as sprinters; we’re teaching them as athletes. How to train and perform. Agility, stability, mobility, posture and balance.”

Wolf said the weight-room part of the workout isn’t just to build strength.

“We do a lot — clean and jerk, snatch, push jerks and power cleans. Even overhead squats, and that’s a difficult exercise.”

Wolf said the motion dynamics program at Milwaukie is a scaled down version of the fitness program used by University of Oregon coach Jim Radcliffe.

“We started it at Gladstone High School in 2005 and it’s made a big difference there,” Wolf said. “Athletes in every sport believe in it and do it and that’s why Gladstone’s become so successful in athletics.

“Just like at Gladstone, we’ve got good athletes here at Milwaukie. We’re making them better and improving their work ethic and athleticism. And I believe that just like at Gladstone, they will become more successful.”

Gladstone had 44 athletes in its movement dynamics program in the second summer of the program there. During the following school year, Gladstone boys and girls soccer, football and softball teams all advanced as far as the state quarterfinals, Gladstone’s girls basketball team went 12-0 in conference and advanced to a state final for the first time in school history, the boys and girls track teams both placed in the top five at state, the baseball team won a conference title, and the girls golf team won district for the first time in school history.

Gladstone won its first state championship in football in three decades last fall.

Gladstone football coach Jon Jedrykowski says the turnout for movement dynamics at that school is averaging around 120 athletes this summer, with just over half of participants football players.

“Our goal is to improve our athletes’ overall athleticism and we firmly believe this program helps make athletes more competitive,” Wolf said. “This program is based on building the core and we know that helps in overall strength, and with an athlete’s ability to move and function as an athlete.”

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