By Mark Seraydarian
and Cary Volpert
When Jade Molina was hired last January to be the schoolâs Director of Strength and Conditioning, it was challenging for him to begin his new job midway through the school year.
âJust like with practice, you need to stay consistent with your training,â Molina said. âStrength and conditioning is the same way, so sometimes they would bring us in a little too close and expect magic.â
Molina canât provide sorcery, but he does oversee and supervise the training for all the teams on campus.Â On a daily basis, he talks to coaches, athletes and his support staff in order to make sure a consistent message is being sent to the players.Â He also teaches physical education at the Middle School.Â Molinaâs ultimate goal is to build a six-year strength and conditioning model that starts in the seventh grade physical education class and progresses all the way through senior year.
âWhat weâre doing right now,â Molina said, âis developing the curriculum and the program and then weâre looking at integrating that into the P.E. curriculum at the Middle School.â
He certainly has the experience necessary to get the job done.Â With a bachelorâs degree in exercise science and multiple advanced credentials obtained through work in the industry with different organizations, Molina has owned two of his own strength and conditioning facilities.Â He helped develop and launch a program called 360 Sports Performance where he worked with high-end professional athletes, and he has lectured internationally.
He has traveled to Poland to lecture the Polish Olympic Committee as well as to Guatemala to work with its National Sports Federation.Â Currently, Molina teaches part time for the National Academy of Sports Medicine and travels the country to lecture and host workshops for other strength coaches âto provide continuing education for other professionals,â he said.Â With three kids at home and their soccer teams to coach, Molina professed, âI donât sleep much.â
Molinaâs road to becoming a fitness guru started in his hometown of Bakersfield, where he was raised by his father, a three-time All-American wrestler.
âI kind of grew up on the wrestling mat and watching my dad in the morning,â Molina said.Â âI remember waking up as a young kid at six in the morning watching my dad doing sit-ups and push-ups and pull-ups in the hallway at home.â
After two years of junior college, Molina decided to join the Navy, where he ended up playing for the all-Navy baseball team.Â It was there that he was introduced to high level strength and conditioning.
âI fell in love with [strength and conditioning], and I knew that it was a way to affect all athletes at all levels not only for helping them improve performance with speed and agility and strength and power but also for affecting athletes at a personal level, because you have something they want,â Molina said.Â âThey all want to have that edge.â
âFitness was always ingrained in me,â Molina said.Â âItâs the one thing that I love to do.Â So I kind of ran with it.â
In June, Molina, with the help of strength coach Greg Bishop, launched a summer training program, and this past fall season, he worked with âroughly 318 athletes,â he said.
âItâs been good,â Molina says of his time so far at Harvard-Westlake.Â âItâs a great school, itâs a great place to work.I love the kids and I love the coaches.â