Strength program gets stronger

Notre Dame's strength and conditioning coach gets highest certification from national association.

Legendary college football coach Tom Osborne (Nebraska) once said, “Schools should hire qualified coaches who have been trained to develop athletes safely.”

At no other time in amateur and professional athletics has that statement and the sentiment behind it been more true than it is today with such a white-hot light shining on the protection of athletes, especially in the area of concussions.

Fortunately, at Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, all coaches have been trained in the recognition and in some cases the initial treatment of many common injuries sustained on the field, in the gym and on the courts.

Also, perhaps most important is the fact that Notre Dame employs a full-time strength and conditioning coach, with Jake Siebert ably filling that role currently for the school.

Already a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with a B.A. in exercise science from Albion University and an M.S. in exercise science from Oakland University, Siebert in December received his certification as a registered strength and conditioning coach (RSCC) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). It's the highest distinction a strength coach can achieve and ensures strength coaches like Siebert have adequate mentoring and experience to independently design and implement individual and team conditioning programs. 

The new certification means Siebert joins a registry of individuals who have demonstrated experience and knowledge in the field of strength and conditioning to apply foundational knowledge to assess, motivate, educate, and train athletes for the primary goal of safely improving sport performance.

According to NSCA, RSCC coaches at all levels conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs, provide guidance (or advice) for athlete nutrition, injury prevention or reconditioning.

For Seibert, it means the programs he’s designed at NDPMA are based on up-to-date scientific strength and conditioning research that parallel the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s idea of long-term athletic development. 

“I try to develop the student-athlete as a whole person and take into consideration the demands of their current sport, correcting imbalances, minimizing injury, increasing general and specific strength, and improving conditioning and overall fitness,” Siebert said. “To help ensure the effectiveness of Notre Dame’s training program, I also regularly conduct sport-specific tests to see how we are progressing.”

He said that by using what he calls “intelligent-periodization,” he has seen many athletes at the school make tremendous athletic improvements in a short period of time. 

“My ultimate goal is to develop the student-athlete safely and effectively for the long-term,” said Siebert, who now is in his fourth year at NDPMA.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Siebert served as assistant strength and conditioning coach at Oakland University where he worked with men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s soccer, track and field, cross country, men’s and women’s golf, women’s tennis, and baseball. Additionally, he assisted with men’s and women’s basketball and women’s soccer at OU. 

Siebert's also a USA Weightlifting sports performance coach (USAW-L1SP). 

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at