Coach Swain generates change to strength and conditioning program

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Photo: Michael Kelley

Coach Swain instructs his student-athletes at the beginning of an after school workout session.

The need for a leader or role model in the life of a young adult or teen is crucial. Having someone to confide in during a time of need is something most young people yearn for. Whether it’s a teacher, a coach, or even a strength and conditioning trainer, they all impact young people in their own way.

Fairmont decided to take charge and hire a strength and conditioning coach to provide its athletes with more opportunities in the weight room that would in turn enhance performances on the playing surfaces.

Fairmont sports teams compete in the Greater Western Ohio Conference, which some say is one of the most competitive conferences in all of Ohio. All that matters to some players and spectators is what the scoreboard reads, but others focus on the behind the scenes work that is needed in order to win those games.

Randy Swain was hired two years ago as a full-time teacher and strength and conditioning coach for all of Fairmont’s athletic programs.  He graduated from Wilmington College with an undergraduate degree in Sports Management Wellness and Mathematics in 2011. In 2013 he completed his graduate degree in Special Education and Reading. Almost immediately, he became a leader and role model for all Firebird athletes. His positive impact in a mere two years is undeniable.

Swain has affected his athletes in many different ways and has loved being there to support them on a daily basis. “You don’t do it for the pay or the hours, but the relationships you make by working with athletes and watching them develop over time,” Swain said.

Swain enjoys being around the athletes and loves being the guy that players can lean on if they need anything. “Sometimes you don’t know what kids are going through and just being that pillar for them is important,” Swain said. “You’re there to support them in their games or when they’re going through tough times.”

Chris Weaver, Fairmont Athletic Director hired Swain and hasn’t regretted his decision. “We were able to not only bring him on as a teacher but also have him running our weight room,” Swain said. “It was one of the best hires we’ve made here since I’ve been at Fairmont.”

Weaver hired Swain to help athletes grow in their strength and conditioning, to help coaches and ease their job responsibilities, and also to help fill a void that he felt Fairmont had. “He not only had the credentials, the background and the expertise in the field, but he filled a void for us,” Weaver said.

On top of the coaching job, Swain is also an Intervention Specialist and teaches math.  Swain takes on the ambitious schedule to help all students reach their potential while helping them become better young adults. “It goes hand and hand to just pass down information to younger generations and make them better than what they are,” Swain said.

Swain has been a good fit for Fairmont by being a good coach in the weight room and a good teacher in the classroom. “He’s taken a program and just blown the doors off of it by providing our coaches, students, and athletes with opportunities they haven’t had in the past,” Weaver said.

Blair Albright,  boys basketball head coach, has monitored his athletes the last two years on the side of Swain’s workouts. “He has brought a lot of accountability to the weight room for us, and done an excellent job at tracking our players progress and making a workout regiment that challenges our guys daily,” Albright said.

Albright believes in Swain’s methods to better his athletes and knows that they’re receiving the best workout regiment possible. “I don’t even feel that I need to be over anyone’s shoulders, because I know that when our guys are in the weight room, they are being worked and that Coach Swain is doing a great job.”

The workouts that Swain has provided to his athletes are very beneficial and go above and beyond your average high school program. They have also been said to be painful, challenging and extremely exhausting. “Athletes and coaches may say the workouts are tough, miserable, or it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done, but they come back the next time,” Weaver said. “They know they continue to get better, continue to get stronger which motivates and inspires them to want to be better than they were from when they first walked in the door.”

Even though the workouts are tough, the athletes and coaches are seeing the benefits both short term and long term. “It’s been nice to take one more thing off my plate and our players have a very good rapport with coach Swain because he handles them very well,” Albright said.

Swain continues to workout with teams in the mornings and everyday after school during all four seasons. He strives to share his passion for strength and conditioning with his athletes. “It’s truly amazing,” Swain said. “Just watching a kid come in and barely stand up and six months to a year later he or she has turned into a hard worker and a decent athlete.”