Mckendrick: When nothing goes right, go lift

Photo illustration by Taylor Fenton

The weight room is a place that athletes are far too familiar with; here, trainers will make or break an athlete’s experience and improvement. Behind the scenes, the weight and athletic trainers are constantly working to improve every athlete’s game.

The current weight trainer is Health and PE teacher Jason Mckendrick. Mckendrick graduated from Bowling Green State University, has been teaching for 14 years and has been a strength coach at the high school and college level for 15 years. He has many goals in mind to improve the school’s athletic department.

“My favorite part about the athletic department at Orange is the people. We have great coaches and athletes here at Orange. I love working with them to get better as individuals but also as a team,” Mckendrick said.

The weight trainers motivate the athletes to improve themselves physically and mentally, as well as give them life lessons about working hard for that which is desired.

Mckendrick poses for a picture with junior Taylor Foreman who attends soccer lifting. Photo credit by Sami Level

“A motto of ours is MEMF (Max Effort Max Focus). It means to give your best effort and remain focused throughout the workout. We want to get better physically but also mentally. I hope that athletes learn that through hard work and commitment, anything is possible,” Mckendrick said.

The athletic trainers have many purposes, from dealing with injuries to giving nutritional advice. The trainers are constantly helping athletes stay healthy and in their best shape.

“The trainers help me improve by teaching me how to be mentally tough and how to eat properly. I’ve learned that nutrition is a key factor in weightlifting,” junior football player Graham Starn said.

According to Mckendrick, he has two main goals for the athletic department. He plans to improve the lifting room by adding new equipment. He also plans to work on improving the program and atmosphere, making it more encouraging and motivating for athletes and teams to improve.

“I hope to continue to build a strong culture at Orange. Here athletes commit to the weight room to better themselves, to reach their full potential, and to achieve success as a team,” Mckendrick said.

Mckendrick’s first priority in the weight room is to improve the athletes and help them stay motivated. He helps the athletes reach their full potential in a variety of ways.

“I try to motivate athletes by making a connection and building a relationship with the team. For me to be successful, the athletes must trust the program and me. We constantly talk about what they want to achieve, and I remind them about those goals when we train,” Mckendrick said.

“The training staff in our weight room is unbeatable. They know exactly what we need to do to be the best we can be, even if that means working a little harder than we’re comfortable with,” junior soccer player, Megan Cochran said.


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