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Shelbyville senior Jaidyn Tackett, who plays volleyball, basketball and tennis, has grown to love the weight room.

The Barbell Bear Post Fifth Edition was released at the end of last week. The fifth edition of the post, which is a newsletter created by Shelbyville Strength Coordinator Royce Carlton, features columns written by senior Jaidyn Tackett and junior Ollie Sandman.

Jaidyn Tackett (Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis)

Weightlifting started out the summer of my freshman year as a task that I didn’t really have any interest in doing. Now, it’s what I love to do everyday and it shifted from being a task to something I have become addicted to! I never realized how much lifting would impact not just my physical appearance and performance on the court, but also my confidence in myself and determination that I can be the best person and athlete I want with hard work and dedication.

My passionate journey to better myself through health and fitness really took off in March of 2020 during quarantine when we were forced to make changes in our day-to-day lives due to the pandemic. I was able to focus more on working out and educating myself on ways to improve my diet. I started setting goals and expectations for myself and never missed a workout. When quarantine lifted, I was able to go to the Parks Department’s weight room and Planet Fitness, which gave me more access to other machines and equipment. After that, my desire to be in the gym took off!

I work out almost everyday and most of my meals are either a smoothie bowl or a salad. My days consist of going to school all day, working out during fitness class, going to volleyball practices for two hours and then going straight to the gym for my own two-hour workout. Plus, still making time to go home, eat dinner, do homework and fit in time for my family! Although these days make for long nights and busy schedules, I wouldn’t want to revise any of it! Fitness has changed my life in so many ways that I am forever grateful.

My athletic performance has drastically improved, which has helped me individually but also my team as well. I wouldn’t be the mentally and physically strong athlete I am today if it wasn’t a priority in my life. Lastly, I want to thank Coach Carlton for always being so supportive and pushing me to be my best!

Ollie Sandman (Basketball)

Strength and conditioning has helped me tremendously so far in high school. It is a huge part of the person I have become today. This program that Coach Carlton has set up for us has changed the culture of our school. It made me go from rarely working out to being in the weight room almost every single day, outside of fitness class. It has changed my work ethic as a basketball player and keeps me motivated every day to be the best I can be. I weighed about 140 pounds my freshman year and over two years I have consistently gained weight to where I am at now – 170 pounds. Strength and conditioning has made me so much faster and stronger for basketball. It has helped me in all aspects of my game and as a person.

I fell in love with the weight room last year and this year and it has completely changed me into a better athlete. It is crazy how much strength and conditioning can help you. I want to thank all of my coaches for pushing me to be my best and to Coach Carlton for setting up this program to make me a better athlete for basketball and everyone else, too. I am looking forward to this upcoming season for basketball, and I will show how this program has helped me this season.