There’s a word that is used frequently around Zachary High School’s strength and conditioning program that sums up Pat Hall’s core philosophy: physicality.
“It means to line up and totally dominate your opponent,” said Hall, who is in his second year as the school’s strength and conditioning specialist.
Since Athletic Director Jesse Cassard recruited Hall to join the Broncos’ staff, the improvements in the athletes have been dramatic.
“Football is a gladiator sport,” said Hall, who joined the program about the same time as football coach David Brewerton. “There’s a mindset you have to have: ‘I want to dominate my opponent from start to finish.’ You have to train that way and they do. They constantly push one another.”
The commitment also has been made with a strong investment in new equipment. Twelve new racks for training, 10,000 pounds in extra weights, speed bags, bungee chords and some equipment that is used to train Navy Seals have been added.
The concepts Hall has developed during his 17-year training career focus on trunk and core strength and stability. Not only is the goal to increase speed and strength and ultimately, performance, but also to prevent injuries.
Hall said his program also teaches proper nutrition. “We’re building strength for the total body, inside and out,” Hall said.
When he joined Cassard’s staff, Hall said he had to have complete buy-in from all involved for his strength and conditioning program to work — from the coaches, athletes and even administrators.
“We’re training to accomplish something,” Hall said. “We want to win state championships. That’s the reality and that’s attainable with all of our programs.”
Hall said he trains 461 athletes in all sports at the high school.
He said the football players are much stronger, quicker and more agile.
Quarterback Lindsay Scott, for example, has improved his 40-yard dash time from 4.9 seconds to 4.5 seconds. Running back Terry Sullivan has added lean body mass while decreasing his 40 time from 4.8 seconds to 4.57.
“The team as a whole is much faster, even the linemen,” Hall said. “We’ve decreased their total body mass index, and they had a tremendous increase in their strength and speed.”
The Bronco baseball team, which was ranked in the top five for much of last season, dramatically increased its home run output and improved its team batting average.
“We not only want to be the best program in state, we want to be the best program in the entire region,” Hall said. “All of the coaches have bought into that approach.”
Hall grew up in north Louisiana and graduated from Cedar Creek High School. He played baseball and threw the javelin at Louisiana Tech. He moved to South Louisiana with his wife, Veronica, a teacher at Copper Mill Elementary, and their five children.
“I couldn’t do it without her support,” Hall said. “I’m blessed to be able to go to work every day and love what I do.”
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