The TB12 is a program created by professional American football player, Tom Brady. TB12 allows for 12 athletes coming from schools across Massachusetts to participate in workouts and training sessions. This year’s athletes from Malden High School were picked by physical education teacher Dan Jurkowski, representing different sports in the school.
Jurkowski explained that he was first introduced to the program by Athletics Director, Charlie Conefrey. He explained that TB12 has been trying to connect with schools in the Boston area, and Conefrey applied to be a part of the program. “It's a pretty unique opportunity where we can have 12 [students] from MHS go to the TB12 training facility in Boston once a month to get a workout in,” he said.
More specifically, the student athletes have body coaches where they get to work on certain areas that are bothering them, or specific weaknesses they might experience. Jurkowski mentioned that when it came to choosing the students who would be able to participate, Conefrey left the decision up to him.
In terms of the requirements a student athlete would need to have in order to take part in TB12, Jurkowski stated that there are certain GPA requirements, but he also wanted students who “represent our school in the highest way possible.” He added that “I tried to get some student representatives from as many sports… We had six males [and] six females.”
Due to MHS having many athletes within the school, Jurkowski had to pick and choose from a large pool of students. “They were [students] who either I knew on a personal level, or through coaching, or through P.E class or being class advisor,” he explained.
Senior Sara Dzaferagic was one of the 12 students chosen to take part in TB12. Dzaferagic is one of the captains of the girls soccer team as well as a member of the track team. She explained that typically on the first Monday of every month, the athletes go to the TB12 facility after school in Boston to train and do workout sessions.
“During our time there, we receive a massage from our individual body coaches for half the time and the other half is spent doing a workout,” Dzaferagic elaborated. “The workouts are done with the use of bands and body weight exercises where the main focus is good form and completing as many reps as possible in the allotted time.”
Dzaferagic expressed that her favorite part of TB12 is the pliability massages, and that “they are something I've never done before and really make a difference in the way my body is feeling.” She further added that the massages given are specific to each athlete as the coaches consider what problem areas each athlete is dealing with.
Junior Rachel Lin takes part in girls volleyball and tennis and is a student who was picked to participate in the program. She believes that the program is “such a great place for athletes who need a break because every time I go, I always feel so relaxed and I have fun.”
Lin mentioned how after attending the sessions, “I started to drink more water because I learned just how important hydration is to daily life… I also developed a habit to foam roll everyday to prevent muscle injuries.”
Senior Tony Giech, another student who was chosen to take part in TB12, is captain of the boys swim team and is on the volleyball team. He expressed that “the workouts are a bit painful and tiring sometimes,” however he does feel that the trainers “do help to educate me on various muscle groups that I normally wouldn’t pay attention to.”
Some of the recent workouts that the athletes have done are squat jumps, medicine ball throw downs, side lunges and balance work. In addition, the trainers help guide them with other important lifestyle choices including the ways to recover and nutritional value.
Giech ultimately conveyed that TB12 is “a great place to train… They have a very nice facility with lots of cool equipment.” On top of that, “attending these sessions has definitely taught me a lot about different muscle groups… [and] new ways to roll out and stretch and the body coaches really help with tight muscles and stretching out.” Moreover, “the benefits are definitely learning more workouts [and] learning more about how to be a better athlete.”