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Muskogee’s Leo Krajewski – Athlete Spotlight – Presented by Arkansas Verdigris Valley Health Centers

The kids just call him Coach Leo “though I’m sure they call me a lot of other names too, when we’re in the weight room” laughed Muskogee High School strength and conditioning coach Leo Krajewski.

A veteran of 30 years of experience in sports medicine and strength and conditioning, Leo got started playing football and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. From there it was a master’s degree in exercise physiology at Illinois State and then years of traveling the country at colleges and high schools before ending up at Murray State College in Tishomingo and then to Muskogee High where he is in charge of strength and conditioning as well as some athletic trainer duties.

“In strength and conditioning you have to first find out what the athlete’s main goal is. Is it to play at the next level? Is it to prevent injury? Or something else? Then you have to put together a weightlifting program to meet that goal,” said Krajewski. “Each sport is different in terms of strength and conditioning. It’s not always about being able to lift 500 pounds. In some sports like track it’s about increasing stamina and learning to run more efficiently. But the overall emphasis especially in weightlifting is mastering the technique. Just as in the sports themselves, bad technique in weightlifting will mess you up down the line. But if you have good technique, the amount of weight you can lift will grow the more you repeat that technique.”

With summer approaching and the start of Muskogee’s Summer Pride program, “Coach Leo” says there are several things he stresses to his athletes.

“First of all, not all sports are at the same place in their season. The football players will lift more than the baseball players so pace yourselves accordingly. Also, nutrition and hydration are very important this time of year. I tell them to eat whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. If you’re eating food that comes out of wrapper, that’s not a good situation and be sure to drink lots of fluids.”

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