Volunteer Teaches Strength and Conditioning at NCYF

Volunteer Teaches Strength and Conditioning at NCYF

Eight months ago, fitness trainer Tim (TC) Collins was approached by the owner of Body Masters Fitness where he works, to take over a contract at the Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility (NCYF) teaching a Strength and Conditioning course. At the time Collins wasn’t sure what he was getting into, or if he had the time to commit. Today, he looks forward to the time he spends with the young men and the rewards he gets out of it.

“There’s more to fitness than just doing routines and doing the same thing every day. Ninety percent of the time is not on machines. It’s helping build other areas of fitness they didn’t know existed.”

Collins comes to NCYF twice a week for two separate one-hour sessions consisting of 10 men each. During the six-week session, Collins gives assignments to work on between visits. He teaches the participants about nutrition as well, emphasizing that there are more metrics to fitness than just weight. The young men get points for completing their assignments and one hard worker is crowned champion for the session. 

He has witnessed firsthand tremendous growth in the young men he mentors – physically, socially, and emotionally. He’s enjoyed watching them build each other up, and has instilled in them that nobody is better than anyone else and that everyone is there to improve.

 “TC has been a fantastic addition to our team here helping the young men work on nutritional and physical training,” said Religious and Volunteer Coordinator Geri Knight. “One goal that I set for TC was to improve the team spirit within the population. Prior to TC coming to NCYF, the competitiveness and bullying at the facility was a significant problem. TC encourages the guys to work together and to build each other up.  Soon after he began training sessions, the inmates stopped making fun of each other and began helping each other with difficult tasks.  An example would be pull-ups. If an inmate could not do a pull-up, the group of guys would stand around him at the pull-up bar and encourage and cheer him on while he tried. It has been an amazing transformation.”

Collins credits his dad for who he is today. “He pushed me to be successful even when I didn’t like it. He instilled discipline,” Collins said. “I’ve been blessed so much and I need to pay it forward.”

“Tim has also been encouraging to our staff.  As he is escorted through the facility, he will greet staff, shake hands, and tell people thank you for the work they do,” said Knight. “He is always telling me how great I am, what a good job I do, and what a difference I make for the guys who are housed here. Tim is so valuable to what our mission and vision are.  He truly understands what transformation is and we are blessed to have him here.”