Jerry Sessions, a longtime pole vaulting coach for Maple Valley and surrounding areas, has broken ground and laid foundations for a new practice facility for local pole vaulters. Sessions has coached pole-vaulting at Maple Valley for nearly 30 years. He’s seen many success stories during his years coaching. Many of his students have gone to pole vault in college, become coaches themselves, and a few have even made it to the Olympics.
Sessions is the founder and owner of Landon Athletics, his personal training and coaching services. Through his business, Sessions coaches athletes from Maple Valley, Harper Creek, Lansing, Potterville, Cedar Springs, and even Indiana. In a given year Sessions estimates he’ll coach 50 to 60 athletes. The time has come, however, where the limited space of the Maple Valley gymnasium is no longer suitable for the needs of his athletes. They don’t have enough running space, and Sessions would rather have his own facility for his business.
Sessions’ pole-vaulting facility will be 175 feet long, 60 feet wide, and will have 27-foot high ceilings. The space will be ideal for athletes who want to push themselves and train for bigger and better things, according to Sessions.
“I’ve had athletes who wanted to jump elite,” said Sessions. “I have all the equipment to do what I wanted to do, I just needed the building.”
While his clientele and coaching needs are outgrowing the space currently available in the school gymnasium, Sessions is grateful for the years he’s worked in the schools’ facilities.
“We’ve really appreciated all the time the schools have allowed us to have in the gym. They’ve worked well with us.”
The Maple Valley track team will use the facilities for free during the track season, and Sessions will likely offer deals for students from surrounding schools during track season.
“My whole goal is to keep as many kids pole-vaulting as cheap as I can,” said Sessions. “I want to get as many kids to college as I can.”
Sessions has created a legacy of coaching high school pole-vaulters into college. His athletes end up pole-vaulting at colleges all over the state and country.
Currently the building project only has a concrete foundation. Building through the winter offers some challenges for the project, but Sessions is hopeful the facility will be ready by spring. To learn more about the building project and to keep up with Landon Athletics readers can visit landonathletics.org.