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Shelby Reichle Redefines Weight Room

(Claudia Klingbeil/Media)

Athletic Director, Jason Singleton, has made many positive improvements for the athletic department in his tenure at the Academy. One of his most impactful may have been the hiring of Shelby Reichle as our Athletic Performance Coach.

Reichle was hired on June 1, 2020, after touring our facilities near the beginning of the pandemic. Previously, she coached athletes at Grove City Christian School for four years, and she is currently an athletic conditioning specialist with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Sports Med and Sports Performance. She worked as an athletic conditioning specialist for two years at Ohio State and also owned her own fitness business for three years. 

Reichle reflects that she always loved sports but became committed to the fitness industry after developing an interest in how working out and maintaining a healthy diet contributes to overall wellness. 

In her first days on campus, Reichle made an intentional effort to develop personal relationships with her student-athletes. While she works with fall, winter, and spring programs in both the middle and upper school divisions, Reichle knows each athlete by name and exudes a positive, warm presence that has redefined the environment of the weight room. 

On CA strength’s social media platforms, Reichle highlights lifter(s)-of-the-months and shares when her athletes break personal records (PRs) in lifting and conditioning to encourage a mindset of growth and confidence. 

Reichle has also introduced new technology, including a mat to track vertical jump heights and a laser timing system for 10-yard dashes, 10-yard flies, shuttle runs, and other agility exercises. 

Reichle’s training sessions vary depending on whether they are a team lift or off-season session. Nearly all sessions are individualized, depending on the age of the athlete and how long they have been training. Reichle hopes to offer more specific speed and agility sessions a couple times a week for both in-season and out-of-season athletes. 

For one hour off-season training sessions, Reichle prioritizes performance preparation – working on speed, agility, quickness, and jumping. For in-season athletes, Reichle focuses on low rep/low volume strength building. Reichle ensures the exposure is minimal but asks for high effort, stimulating what the body needs to get stronger without overdoing it. 

When in the performance center, Academy athletes have access to a variety of strength and conditioning equipment, including cardio machines for performance improvement, half racks of barbells and plates, free weights like dumbbells and kettlebells, medicine balls, jump boxes, bands for resistance training, TRX bands, and several benches for heavier lifting, among others. In addition, Singleton recently introduced a fridge of post-workout drinks and shake options for athletes after they attend a weight room session. 

One misconception, Reichle says, is that you risk injury in the weight room, especially for younger athletes. She says, however, that “The injury risk for the weight room is a lot lower than being on the field, court, etc., and there is a lot of research about how the weight room is beneficial for younger kids as long as they are mature enough to understand and follow directions and also understand that there is some risk in lifting weights . . . but strength, at its core, reduces the risk of injury to athletes.”

Reichle is a self-described “conservative” coach, supervising to ensure her athletes are both safe and prepared while keeping them challenged. 

In fact, some of Reichle’s exercises in the weight room are dedicated towards injury-prevention. Examples may include neck-strength exercises to avoid serious concussion injuries for football players or rotator cuff exercises for volleyball, tennis, and baseball players to protect their shoulders. Reichle additionally employs fatigue monitoring as an indication of how workouts should be adjusted. 

Current athletes at Academy can certainly attest to the new sense of comfort in the weight room – for both female and male athletes. Reichle says that speaks to her entire mission: seeking everyone out equally. 

While sports performance and injury prevention are important, Reichle says she wants her athletes to learn life skills in the weight room and place greater emphasis “on what our bodies can do rather than how they look.”


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