Dan Studer, CSCS, USAW
Massillon Washington High School



1. How long have you been coaching?

I've been a strength coach for 16 years . 2 years at the college level as a Graduate Assistant and 14 years at the high school level.

2. What is your educational and employment background?

I have an undergrad in Physical Education and a Master's in Exercise Science. I've worked mostly with high school athletes, but I also owned a private gym for a few years on the side. I am currently considered a physical education teacher, but I only teach weight training classes mainly to athletes.


3. What certifications do you have?


4. What training methods do you implement in your programs or what it's your coaching philosophy?

We use a traditional periodization model with squat variations, explosive movements, pushes, pulls, core stability work, and spend a good amount of time on the posterior chain. I believe in the basics because they always work. It's easy to get lost in the fancy stuff you see on social media, but we stay away from the gimmick things. If you focus on the fundamental movements of sport in the weight room, it will transfer to the playing field.

5. What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you first started?

If athletes don't trust you, your program will never work. We build trust by being genuinely interested in the success of our kids. Building trust does not mean being their friend.  It means being consistent in your expectations, holding the kids accountable, and demanding the best out of the athlete as an individual. Some kids take longer than others, but once trust is built and they commit to what you are doing, then any intelligent program will give you amazing results in high school kids.


 6. Do you have anything new or unique to your program that you would be willing to share? (Motivation techniques,  assessments, training programs,  technology,  surveys,  communication methods,  fundraising,  etc).

We are probably late to the party on this, but we added TeamBuildr to our program last year. The software is awesome for programming, tracking the progress of the athletes, and as a motivational tool for the kids (being able to see their own progress in the app). Probably the most important thing in the last year was using TeamBuildr in our off-season work during the COVID quarantine. We were able to get workouts to the kids and customize the training based on which kids had access to a weight room and which did not. It made a less-than-ideal situation manageable.

We also used the app this past season to take surveys on our kids towards the end of our football season to get information on how recovered our kids felt throughout the playoffs. We lift weights the entire season and one of my major concerns is not being fresh when we get to the semi-finals and finals. I was able to get a good idea of how the team felt as a whole, what parts of the body to focus on during our active recovery days, and what types of mobility work to focus on. If you don't have TeamBuildr you can also use Google Classroom to do this type of thing. I think it paid off for us, the kids seemed healthier and had more "pop" at the end of this season.