ISM Stories

Health, Discipline, and Courage: ISM’s New Strength Coach Poised to Take Athletics to a New Level

The International School of Minnesota (ISM) is about to experience a game-changing development in its sports programming with the arrival of its new Strength and Conditioning Coach, Michael Blanks. With an extensive basketball and wellness background, Coach Blanks is set to take the Huskies to new heights and create a lasting impact on the school's athletic department.

From his early days as a professional player for the Atlantic City Seagulls and the Toronto Raptors, Coach Blanks has left a significant imprint on the basketball world. His talents don't stop there– he has a long history of involvement in celebrity personal training (where he created his own Masterclass) and the world of commercials.

To Coach Blanks, health and wellness have to do with much more than just physical activity, they’re a mindset, as he says.  “When it comes to P.E. and physical fitness, it all comes down to discipline. I’m here to give students lessons on health, discipline, courage, and a sense of confidence that can be achieved through hard work,” says Blanks.

Family played a pivotal role in shaping Coach Blanks’ journey into health and wellness. Coach says, “I come from a big family: 12 boys and 9 girls. My dad was a baseball player and a boxer. All my brothers and sisters were great athletes in either track and field, football, basketball, softball, and martial arts. Being raised in an athletic family, I had to jump in and be part of the tradition.”

Coach Blanks' older brother, Billy Blanks, the creator of Tae Bo, helped shape where he's at today. “I was able to be a pioneer of that with Billy, which was an experience I never expected to have at such a young age.” 

Billy, a renowned professional athlete himself, propelled Coach Blanks toward his own athletic achievements. Now, Blanks brings that same mentality to ISM, as he looks forward to inspiring and guiding young athletes to reach their full potential. Blanks is already setting up students for athletic success with summer programming that began in May.

ISM Athletic Director, De Hanuman adds that "what Coach Blanks provides our student-athletes is going to change the game for ISM."  In particular, the impact of having a dedicated strength and conditioning coach with the experience of Coach Blanks will “enrich our sports programming in many ways,” he says.

Not only will ISM athletes have the invaluable opportunity to work with Blanks directly, but soon the school's staff and families will also benefit from his expertise. With the upcoming addition of multiple varsity offerings next school year, ISM is positioning itself for a future full of athletic growth and success. 

Coach Blanks is a key player in this vision, with his guidance set to help transform ISM's sports landscape.

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