The Performance Course athletic program is almost ready to kick off another summer.

Performance Course is available in six high schools, two community colleges and two sports at Oklahoma Baptist University. Thanks to a grant from the Avedis Foundation, Shawnee students only have to pay $40 for the summer strength and conditioning program.

The window for athletes to sign up is still open but the female athletics program begins May 29, so the clock is ticking.

The boys start a little later because their fall sports begin later.

Performance Course started in Texas where more than 20,000 students will take part in the program this summer. The founder of the program has Shawnee ties and Jeff Diamond discovered the program when his son was getting ready to enter middle school.

Diamond was hoping to find a program to give his son an edge, what he found was one that did more than improve athletes just as individuals.

“This program does help athletes of all skill levels to get stronger and faster and improve their conditioning,” Diamond said. “But more importantly, it helps build teamwork through accountability.”

Diamond said that Performance Course is open to all athletes in Shawnee.

“We have kids from every sport here, but the more encouraging thing has been the number of pom girls who participate,” Diamond said. “If you are in any sport, this program will help you.”

Beyond being stronger and faster to have a competitive edge, Diamond said Performance Course focuses on training the athlete to help with injury prevention.

“That is especially important in sports like baseball and softball where there are a lot of games each week,” Diamond said.

Athletes who take part in the program will learn training techniques but also leadership and important team-building traits like consistency and desire.

“We want this to be as hard as anything they have done,” Diamond said. “From that adversity, they learn how to push themselves and lean on their teammates for support. When tough times come during the season, they will already have the physical and mental training to deal with it.”

Diamond encourages athletes to sign up early, but they can join the program anytime before it starts. For girls, that is May 29; for boys, that is June 11.

Go to https://www.performancecourse.com/ to sign up today.