New role to assist teams with training plans

During a lift for cross country, Jayson Patel, head strength & conditioning coach (left) assists senior Willow Kim with her squatting form. Patel has worked with P.E. classes and  sports teams both in and out of season.

Nora Skiest

During a lift for cross country, Jayson Patel, head strength & conditioning coach (left) assists senior Willow Kim with her squatting form. Patel has worked with P.E. classes and sports teams both in and out of season.

As freshmen made their way into the fitness center in the first week of school, Jayson Patel, head strength & conditioning coach, was eager to help.

“I’m working with the P.E. classes, [helping] them with programming, structuring their class, specifically the strength conditioning classes … and then I coordinate programming for all the teams here as well,” said Patel. “So I’ll be working with all off-season and in-season teams and trying to coordinate that.”

Throughout the school day, Patel works with P.E. classes and works with P.E. teachers to decide on a consistent curriculum throughout all of the classes.

“My main goal is to really start to build some sound relationships [with students] and start to build kind of a culture here within the weight room and our strength conditioning program,” Patel said.

Patel has worked with in-season sports like football and cross country, but has also recently started working with the baseball, wrestling and basketball teams for preseason workouts. 

Patel coordinates personalized training programs and adjusts workouts so athletes aren’t over stressing their bodies between P.E. classes and sports, he said.

According to senior Rachel Olshansky, Patel has brought more experience to the powerlifting club and increased the number of members from around 20 to 30.

Patel told Olshansky that she could reach out to him whenever she needed, and that he wanted to help improve the program, Olshansky said.

Before Patel was hired as head strength and conditioning coach, P.E. teacher Paul Gibbs was the fitness center coordinator. 

“I was working predominantly throughout the school day and I started early in the morning, and then I finished when school ended,” said Gibbs. “Now Coach Patel comes in a bit later. He’s a lot more involved with the strength and conditioning curriculums, and he trains the athletes after school, where as I was always coaching [sports teams].”

Patel applied for the role of head strength & conditioning coach around Memorial Day and went through an interview process during which he was interviewed by P.E. teachers and administrators. 

After he went through the interview process, Patel went on tours of both Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South in order to decide which school he would be a better fit at, Patel said. 

Patel ended up being placed at GBN, but he got to collaborate on why he thought it would be the best fit for him, he said.

In the past, Patel has had similar roles at Benedictine University, where he supervised strength conditioning for the 12 sports teams, and he has worked at a fitness training facility in Naperville with several groups of high schoolers, Patel said.

“My passion is with the high school age group because I believe this is a crucial time for development and where I can make the most impact on kids’ lives moving forward, as they mature and with the goal of instilling some good habits,” Patel said.