School’s out for summer, but the Desert Vista High School campus will be hopping starting early next week.
That’s when Desert Vista strength and conditioning coach Doug Christophis gets the annual summer Athlete Total Performance camp rolling in the school’s weight room.
This is the fifth summer Christophis has taken athletes from every sport at Desert Vista, as well as club activities like lacrosse and hockey, and put them through six weeks of hour-long strength and agility training. Varsity football is a two-hour slot three days a week and an hour and a half on Wednesdays.
But while the sessions will be in the weight room, it isn’t just about how much they can lift or bench press by the time the camp ends on July 16.
“You can press 400 pounds, but if it doesn’t translate to the athletic arena it’s just a waste of time,” said Christophis, a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a certified personal trainer
Instead he trains athletes in agility, endurance, strength and speed.
“Basically,” Christophis said, “it’s like spokes on a wheel. You have to have every element or the wheel becomes unbalanced and doesn’t work like it should. ”
Sessions are booked back-to-back from 8 in the morning through 7 in the evening Monday through Thursday.
Christophis has also added a slot for middle school athletes going into seventh or eighth grade this fall.
He calls it Youth Training and it involves resistance training as well as work on speed and agility.
Camps and clinics are old hat for Christophis.
He has lectured on performance training to the Arizona Wrestling Coaches clinics and the USA Youth Football Coaches Clinic.
In addition to the Desert Vista strength and conditioning coach, Christophis has been the Thunder girls cross country coach for seven years and lectured at state cross country coaches’ clinics. He is also former USA weightlifting coach and has worked with pole vaulters at Mesa Community College and Arizona State University.
It isn’t easy for campers or athletes to slip under his radar.
Christophis worked for the U.S. Secret Service before returning to education.
The camp is also getting a couple of celebrities to help with track and field throwers.
In addition to Desert Vista throws coach Troy Hinkel, Ross Walker, a Desert Vista teacher, and his wife, Sarah Stevens, one of the most decorated track and field athletes to come out of Arizona State University’s program, will help on strength training and technique.
Walker is a 12-time All-American and two-time NAIA national champion in the shot put and Stevens is a 15-time All-American and two-time national champion in discus and shot.
There is also a session called Athlete One for tennis and golf or a make-up session for athletes involved in summer programs during their regular time slots.
The entire camp schedule is available under the “Athletes Total Performance” link in Christophis’ name on the staff section of the Desert Vista website.