Being a head coach is more than just a title for Seth Abrams and Tim Figueroa. It’s a role filled with purpose and impact. 


Every Tuesday night the duo leads powerlifting sessions for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities at IMP Fitness. Residents at Gabriel Homes join them each week to get in shape and train for the Special Olympics. Some residents attend state and national competitions under their leadership. 

Abrams has been involved with Gabriel Homes for over 20 years. When he moved to the area, he wanted somewhere to train. He found his calling when he saw an ad for the Special Olympics, and he’s been coaching ever since. Keeping the residents focused on getting stronger has been one of his favorite challenges. 

“You have to be able to read their body language and see if they can push themselves. Sometimes being with their friends gets them going. On other days, you can see it in their faces. I push with them when I see they’re ready to go.


Seeing the joy on the residents’ faces every week, Figueroa has taken pride in being someone they trust. He’s trained with Gabriel Homes for over six years, and he first found it hard to connect with residents because they had their guards up. But because he showed up at every practice, he saw the residents gradually get motivated with him. 

Over time, the results in the gym got better and better. 


“The best part is when we’re in competition. When I see the athletes doing their reps and I see that glimmer in their eyes, I feel like their guardian angel. They step up when they're on the biggest stage, and I’m proud to cheer them on.


Once the residents headed back from the competition, Abrams saw that every resident got stronger in more ways than strength.  

“I’m fulfilled when the residents are smiling after our sessions,” Abrams said. “The results may not be the same every week, but I care more about them having fun and looking forward to next week’s training.”

Get involved with Gabriel Homes and share your favorite skills! Learn more about how to lead workshops with residents.