Highlighting Strength and Conditioning coach Bobby Impson

Gavin Zaengle, Sports Editor

As we begin to roll into athletic seasons this year at Laguna Beach High School, all athletes, coaches and parents express gratitude for one specific connection. Coach Bobby Impson, LBHS’ strength and conditioning coach, trains all athletes here regardless of age, team or level. He aims to strengthen their bodies and minds prior to, during and after their seasons. 

“I came to Laguna in 2020, right in the middle of COVID,” said Impson. “It was pretty wild being new to the area and having to work through that and the pandemic. What brought me out to California was getting invited to work with 16 incredible athletes training for the NFL Combine, one of which was Joe Burrow, former CFP National Champion at LSU and AFC Champion this past year.” 

Impson got his bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. He then pursued a professional career here in the United States playing rugby. This has led him to kickstart the rugby program here at Laguna Beach. Last year was their first official year, and he had a great turnout of dedicated athletes.

“The rugby season starts in early January, and we hope to start practice in the coming months this year. Those that are new to the sport or interested, come try it out, as most of the people who try it out end up having a really good time. There won’t be any contact up until the beginning of the season. The whole team last year, other than one, had never played rugby before, and most of them will be returning this year.”

If you asked students on campus when coach Bobby joined us here at LBHS, many would say he’s always been here. He seamlessly integrated himself into our community during the pandemic, and we’re all for it. Coach Bobby values his workouts as strong methods of injury prevention. He assigns exercises that target multiple body parts, each contributing to the making of well-rounded athletes. 

“My thought is: If a lift is not helping to prevent injuries, the lift isn’t very necessary. Throwing sports like baseball and water polo are most susceptible to shoulder injury. I was lucky enough to have support from the school to get multiple sets of Crossover Symmetry cords that really isolate and strengthen the shoulder blade,” said Impson. “Sprinters and field sports are most susceptible to injuries in the lower extremities such as ankles, knees and hips. We have the hip bands that I try to prime athletes with prior to lifts or activities to help with that, along with weight training.”

Equipment such as the Crossover Symmetry cords and hip bands truly make a difference in sustainability. Throughout long seasons of field sports like football, soccer, lacrosse and even baseball, athletes’ legs tend to break down due to endless practices.

“I think the warm-ups with the hip bands are by far the most beneficial thing we do with Coach Bobby because we don’t get to do a lot of that recovery phase of training outside of his sessions. Our coaches tend to put us through more of the heavy lifts and rigorous training exercises, while Bobby is able to provide that balance through simpler workouts, stretching and using the bands,” said LBHS football cornerback Noah Landa.

Impson primarily trains teams here at Laguna Beach; however, in the winter and spring when fewer teams require daily training, he opens up an early morning workout group open to everyone. He sacrifices his own time to make it so dedicated off-season athletes are able to work on getting stronger with his support. 

“It is currently not open due to the new school schedule, as there isn’t enough time due to the number of teams that require training. However, I’m hoping that next semester we’ll have the availability and the time to open that up to other athletes in other groups, organizations or even athletes who aren’t in sports here.”

In his free time, Impson enjoys learning to surf locally. He says his favorite part about Laguna Beach, so far, is the surf culture.

“It’s really cool to have all of the sports that I grew up with here. But with surfing, it doesn’t really matter your age or your size. So many people in this town find time to go and surf. It’s been really cool for me to learn and be a part of. The community here is very much like a family, which I really appreciate.”

Locals of Laguna can safely say they appreciate you, too, Coach Bobby. Your methods of training and utter love for what you do is something everyone can admire. Your dedication and effort are valued at this school and in the broader community. 

“Coach Bobby has taught me to be resilient and to put my body first because it’s really important to maintain your mental health and well-being by getting enough rest. I value his encouragement when we practice and how you can tell he cares about what he’s doing. Bobby is very keen on recovery and pushing me to become the best version of myself, and this helps me in a lot of aspects outside of football,” said Landa.