Increasing funding for your Strength and Conditioning Program
One of the biggest problems we face in Strength and Conditioning at the High School level is funding. This is especially an issue if your program is designed to serve multiple sports instead of one specific sport. In many cases schools simply don't understand the cost of properly running a program on a yearly basis. Many schools fork over the cash to design a new weight room but then supply no money to properly maintain the space. Advertisement, Grants and creating a budget from all sports who utilize the facility all go a long ways in developing a yearly budget for additions and upkeep of your current facility.
When I first took over at my current school we had just finished the purchase of a jumbotron scoreboard on the football field. When I first heard the price tag it made my sick to my stomach as I thought that money could have went towards building the best weight room in the state. The project was 100% community funded and school money was not used. However through the building of the jumbotron the football team sold various advertisements rather it being commericials that play on the board during games or actual ad space on the jumbotron itself. Through these various avenues I am able to allocate funds for the weight room. Many of the companies that advertised has certain stipulations that they stated they wanted the funds used for. One company who is in the technology sector stated they wanted their funds used for technological purposes. Our football program uses this money to pay for their yearly hudl and sideline technology subscriptions. I get to use whats left in the same regard, this past year we purchased a kabuki transformer bar and a freelap timer with what was left. We also had funds from the scoreboard that were dedicated for facility improvement. Our stadium is in good shape and we didnt have any maintenence issues for the current year so we used these to purchase new bumper plates for the weight room. I also sell personal ad spaces on the fence where the funds go directly to the strength and conditioning program and do not have to run through anyone else first. Ad's on the fence are $1000 per year for the first year to cover the cost of the ad and then $500 per year after that.
Grants are also critical for funding your weight room projects. I want to start with saying I have never wrote a grant in my entire life but people who came before me and who currently still work at the school have done a phenomenal job with this. I simply just get to reap the rewards of their work. One of the most used grants we use for our Strength and Conditioning program is a medical grant. This cant be used to buy barbells, racks or bumper plates but it can be used to buy a wide array of rehab type items such as kettlebells, normatecs, medballs, balance pads and things of that nature. These are items we use every day in our programs so having this money available goes a long ways. Whoever is the grant writer at your district if you are a new coach I highly suggest you form a positive relationship with this individual as they can do alot to help grow your various programs.
Another avenue for weight room funding is through PE grants or your schools PE budget. I have no problem with PE utilizing the team sport training space and equipment at all in any way. However, when 300 plus additional kids are using equipment it isnt going to last as long so its important to pull what you can from these avenues to increase your funding for the weightroom. We recently purchased our Teambuildr subscriptions with advanced PE charter funds as well as TRX stations and rowers.
Lastly its easy to create a budget that pulls funds from all the sports that train under your direction. For example this year we have created a budget that pulls funds in this manner. Senior High and Junior High Football give $1000 between the two. Senior and Junior High Boys Basketball gives $500, Senior High and Junior High Girls Basketball gives $500, Volleyball gives $500 and all the various other sports give $250. This leaves us with around $4,000 total to add to the other various avenues we use to create funding for weight room purchases/maintenence. If your school doesnt want to do this to create a budget simply ask various sports to make certain purchases. Before we established this our volleyball team bought just jump mats for their athletes to use that stay at the field house so now all athletes use them.
Establishing funding can be an uphill battle especially when your group doesnt necessarily generate revenue through ticket sales, concessions etc but these are some simple ways to increase your funding for your strength and conditioning program. When purchasing equipent using these funds its certainly much better to pay for a premium product that you only have to buy once rather than pay for a cheaper version you have to buy three times over during the course of a several year period. Companies I personally reccomend are williams strength, samson equipment, sorinex, rogue and gopher performance. These are companies that have been around for years and have excellent customer service to go along with their products.