By Rich Winter
As the summer rolls along, former Todd County athlete, Kellan Herman is rolling up his sleeves and going to work as a coach/trainer for Sacred Hoops. It’s mid June and Herman has already been to Centerville, Burke, Kimball and as of yesterday, St. Francis.
“I’ve never been able to see kids working together like this,” Herman said.
On Monday, as Sacred Hoops launched their Strength and Basketball workouts at Todd County and St. Francis Indian School, Herman dove right in and got to work with the youth of St. Francis.
He came away impressed!
“They were really excited about it, especially the high school kids,” Herman said. “Twelve of them worked their butts off and they wanted to learn all the stuff we were showing them.”
Herman continued with several of those athletes into the weight room and EVERYONE, according to Herman, got after it with positive attitudes.
Herman, who isn’t that far removed from high-school, has some strong thoughts about what he would have done differently if he had the opportunity to do high-school over again.
Hit the Weight room a lot harder: “I was lifting in the summer but I would have been doing it year around,” Herman said. “I was in the gym but I would have worked a lot harder. With the stuff I know now there is a lot more I could have done to elevate my game.”
Herman played two years of basketball at Presentation College before getting his degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen. When he joined the basketball team at Presentation he noticed immediate gains from the strength and conditioning programs college had to offer.
“I noticed that instead of getting bulkier and bigger I was getting more athletic,” Herman said. “I dropped a few pounds and got quicker and really improved my game.”
The lifting at Presentation was intense and Herman found himself lifting three days per week and getting after conditioning like he had never done before.
“We went out to the football field and did lateral stuff, sprints (100 of them),” Herman said. “We would partner up and do wheel-barrow stuff, a variety of stuff and it was pretty intense.”
Herman graduated from Todd County in 2013 and he’s close enough to the current students to know exactly the challenges kids face and the talent these same kids possess.
“The athleticism on the Rosebud is CRAZY,” Herman said. “We have a lot of kids that can sprint and jump and a lot of good football players.”
Herman points to Caelyn Valandra-Prue for her work ethic and having recently won her second consecutive Class A state 400-meter title.
“With a little bit of work and everyone getting in the weight room we can get multiple kids on a podium and make getting to state in basketball a common thing,” he said.
Herman said he’s having a heck of a ride this summer. While working with Sacred Hoops, Herman has learned a ton of new drills and he fully intends to ‘borrow’ a few of them to take back to Northwestern where he is an assistant for the boys’ basketball team.
“The drills we do we’re not cutting any corners,” Herman said. “We’re not doing fancy stuff but we are doing drills that are going to translate to game success.”
As the Sacred Hoops Strength and Basketball workouts resume Thursday and Friday Herman encourages EVERYONE, even those not serious about sports to come to the workouts.
“We have a lot of kids here that have big aspirations like going on to play college basketball and we’re providing them with the tools they need to succeed,” Herman said. “Even kids that just want to have fun, come in and get a good sweat going while hanging out with their friends.”
Herman has a message for the adults and former athletes from Todd County and St. Francis, one that encourages people to get active and get involved.
“I think more former athletes need to be more actively involved in getting the gyms open and making sure there is someone in the weight room,” Herman said. “We need more youth leagues, 5-on-5 leagues, more 3-on-3 and a flag football league is something that would really help out.”
On Thursday and Friday of this week, June 14 and 15, Sacred Hoops and their staff will be at both Todd County and St. Francis Indian School.
Grades 3-6 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Grades 7-12 11:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.