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2023 Hall of Fame Inductee: Michelle Hart-Miller

Michelle Horizontal

Michelle Hart-Miller was hired by Londonderry High School in New Hampshire in 1993 as one of the state’s first full-time athletic trainers working in a public school system. She assumed this position after receiving a bachelor’s of science degree with a concentration in athletic training in 1992 from the University of New Hampshire.

In 1997, Michelle fulfilled the requirements to become a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. And as a Certified Athletic Trainer, her primary responsibilities are to prevent injuries and to aid in rehabilitation, recovery and return to sport if an injury does occur. She fulfills both of the responsibilities as a strength coach and athletic trainer through her Lancer Power Programs at LHS.

Michelle’s tenure at Londonderry HS is fulfilling in another regard: She was a three-season Lancer athlete who graduated from LHS in 1985 and already had a deep commitment to Londonderry athletics.

Michelle has worked hard to build a program that brings a “college level” weight-room to the high school athlete in Londonderry. She works with all athletes and teams that are interested and willing to utilize the program and has done so with great success.

Her programs may be geared toward the team sport workout, but her programs also focus on the individual athlete who has more specific needs. Students who have gone on to participate in sports at the college level have returned to LHS to thank Michelle for giving them an advantage over other incoming freshmen. Their strength and conditioning experience at the high school level is an invaluable help to these athletes in transitioning to the most competitive college sports atmospheres. Michelle enjoys seeing several alumni return during breaks to ask for advice and continue their college programs in the LHS facility.

Michelle takes pride in having currently 6 alumni working in the field of strength and conditioning and 3 currently enrolled in exercise science programs with a goal of becoming coaches. These students return to Londonderry to gain real life experience as interns and many are employed as coaches in our summer program.

Michelle’s professional goal is to keep up with the trends in strength & continuation and athletic training, and provide the Lancer athlete with the best tools to stay healthy, perform at the top of their game, fulfill personal or team goals, and prepare for their future as a college or scholarship athlete if they so desire.

What do you enjoy most about being a strength and conditioning coach?

I enjoy working with the student-athletes the most. I also enjoy continuing to learn from other great strength coaches.                

Please describe your training philosophy.

I want athletes to utilize the program by taking the opportunity to improve individually. Train in a team setting as much as possible to promote accountability, effort and team chemistry, and use our program format to identify and develop leaders by allowing athletes to take control of the room, coach each other, and hold each other accountable. 

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments as a strength coach?

Receiving feedback from alumni on how I had an impact on their health or accomplishments after graduation. Watching alumni go on to become strength coaches themselves and then impact others. Those are great accomplishments that keep me motivated.

Which Strength Coaches have most influenced your career?

Mike Boyle definitely kicked off my passion for this career, followed by Vern Gambetta, Eric Cressey, Brijesh Patel, and Devon McConnell to name a few. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by great coaches in the Northeast who are willing to mentor and share information. Now thanks to my involvement in the NHSSCA, I have made connections with some tremendous high school coaches who have provided guidance and motivation to continue improving my knowledge so I can pass it on to my athletes. 

How has your dual career and experience as an athletic trainer shaped you a high school strength coach?

When I emerged from my college experience and became certified as an AT, I felt I lacked confidence in rehabilitating athletes. My experience and connections with the strength and conditioning community has provided me with the ability to have a better understanding for not only assessing and rehabilitating injury, to incorporate movements into my training programs to reduce injury. My role as an AT allows me to understand injury histories based on sport and position; having the dual role improves my efficiency in both areas.

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