The box jump.
A simple enough plyometric exercise designed to blast your lower-body strength and explosiveness.
Standing in an athletic position with feet about shoulder-width apart and at a comfortable distance away from a box — some of which can measure up to three feet or above — one squats quickly, extends the hips, swings the arms and pushes the feet through the floor, or in Erin (Fralick) Luckhardt’s case the ground to propel yourself onto the top of the box.
Good box jump technique typically states one shouldn’t simply “stick” the landing, but rather envision the way cats land when they jump from something.
Luckhardt not only could stick a solid landing doing that simple exercise, but she also envisioned herself rising above and beyond all the competition on the court or on the track through those box jump workouts.
And boy did she ever.
Luckhardt’s father and former Petoskey High School girls’ track coach Mark Fralick said his daughter performed countless box jumps in the yard under his careful watch, and at certain times she would count out “One, All-American; two, All-American; three, All-American.”
True to form, she knew then what she was talking about.
Luckhardt, a 2002 Petoskey High School graduate, went on to become just that, an American Volleyball Coaches Association first-team All-American volleyball player at Alma College and a standout middle hitter/blocker for the Scots, where she also was named the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s Most Valuable Player her senior year.
On Friday, Feb. 8, at the Petoskey High School gym during halftime of the Petoskey boys’ basketball game against Traverse City West, Luckhardt, 28, will be inducted in the Petoskey High School Athletic Hall of Fame along with other inductee Harry Compton.
The youngest of the 33-member Hall of Fame, Luckhardt earned 10 varsity letters in track (four), basketball (three) and volleyball (three) and also earned Class B All-State honors in all three sports throughout her stellar career from 1998-2002.
“To follow Michelle Welch (Hall of Fame Class of 2011), it’s kind of humbling because there’s such a great group of fantastic and amazing athletes and people throughout the history of Petoskey athletics, so it’s definitely humbling,” Luckhardt said.
“My dad always said when you get the awards, that’s cool, but when you don’t that’s OK too,” Luckhardt added. “This just kind of blows me away.”
For someone who quit volleyball halfway through her freshman season at a junior college, Luckhardt — now a wife, mother, teacher and coach to go along with being a former All-American — not only blew away records at Alma College, but also walked away with a lifetime of memories and valuable lessons she uses today.
“Really it was all about sports growing up for me and I think it’s really valuable as far as lessons about teamwork, staying motivated and having a focus or goal on something.
“That has helped me in the rest of my life as well.”
Luckhardt dabbled in a variety of sports before she entered high school including gymnastics, soccer and basketball.
As a third-grader when most girls’ didn’t start youth basketball until the fourth grade, Luckhardt recalls her first day of Saturday morning basketball which was run by her eventual high school varsity coach Matt Tamm.
Above and beyond: Petoskey's Erin (Fralick) Luckhardt reached unbelievable heights
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