...just got back from a huge trip of checking in on a few of the top programs in college football. Plenty of photos and video to come in the coming weeks! We got into Clemson, South Carolina in time to catch a look at some pretty good sized Tigers! Head Strength Coach Joey Batson and Assistant Coach Adam Smotherman had the guys cranking out some serious reps in their stadium centered strength training complex. Yep...right there in Death Valley. Here'a a few pics from Clemson to get you started: Click on the plate.
Here's a video that I recently recorded while in Tucson, Arizona. Coach Rob Harris, an Assistant Strength Coach at The University of Arizona, explains a TRX technique and exercise done while in a stride stance. Coach Harris will implement this training method with athletes as a spinal mobility type movement and also as a warm-up and movement prep exercise.
ASAP continued its Summer 2014 Road Show and we set our sites on Lexington, Kentucky.....home to the winningest basketball program anywhere: The Kentucky Wildcats. And with this premier program comes huge expectations. They have an incredible fan base that expects one basic thing: victories.... and championships...as in National Championships.
So, as I left my very comfy confines and suite at The Campbell House Lexington, I made the quick drive to the University of Kentucky Basketball's Joe Craft Center. basically the headquarters of this basketball juggernaut. You know it when you walk through the doors. The basketball office is on the left and then it requires coded entry for access to the rest of the facility. Once downstairs, I'm just a few yards from Head Strength Coach Ray "ROCK" Oliver's office within the basketball strength training center. Key code access required here, too. Finally inside, there's some of the top players of the college game going through some intense training using some med balls. Assistant Strength Coach Robert Harris also led a specialized core workout routine as Rock kept watch with a look of "unsatisfied" on his face.
Rock Oliver flanked by Andrew & Aaron Harrison
Rock Oliver knows no complacency. He's not giddy over last season's NCAA National Runner-up "Final Four" appearance. In fact, quite the opposite. Like the Head Coach, John Calipari, and the #BBN.... Big Blue Nation- Oliver expects championships, too. And he's is on a mission to have his trainees prepared to make another run for a national championship. That would, no doubt, return the gleaming smile.
On this day, I witnessed the players finishing up strength workouts and recovery nutrition only to find them heading across the hall to the Kentucky Wildcats Sports Medicine Complex, where Head Athletic Trainer Chris Simmons is located, for some under-water treadmill training. Coach Oliver learned all about HydroWorx helping injured QB Carson Palmer rehab his blown out knee. While a coach with the Cincinnati Bengals, Oliver added this training method to his already bulging notebook. Check out this training in the video and photos!
We recently were in Evanston, Illinois at Northwestern University to attend Head Strength Coach Jay Hooten's strength and conditioning clinic. Coaches Al Johnson and Troy Sutton are up there, too! The clinic had some very good presenters and was well attended for the first year! Coach Hooten took a time out to get us up to speed and filled us in on Chicago's Big Ten School. Her's the podcast:
ASAP Sports Science Director Ted Lambrinides and myself came away from our site visit at West Virginia University Basketball very impressed....to say the least! I know that it's the most impressive basketball specific training center that I have seen. Not only was it a most architecturally impressive facility, but Coach Andy Kettler has made sure that the Mountaineers have every type of modality and equipment that's necessary to strengthen and condition the basketball team to meet the demands of Head Basketball Coach Bob Huggins.
Of course, we saw Coach Kettler at The Final Four in Indianapolis a few years ago where we conducted our Indy ASAP Podcast. We intentionally waited long enough for our drive to Morgantown so that the new facility would be completed. It was worth the wait!
In this ASAP Podcast, Andy Kettler discusses the new facility and their off season program that they are presently working on.
It's nestled into the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountain range, the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort..... giant saguaro are everywhere you look and it's tough to leave those comforts....even just for a few hours! But, I did. And it was on into Tucson I went , down Speedway Boulevard, a left onto North Campbell and it was into the heart of Arizona Wildcat country....and there it was. The McHale Center. And Arizona Stadium. Arizona Wildcat fixtures.
It's about a twenty-five minute drive from there to The University of Arizona and that's where I caught up with the strength and conditioning coach for the Arizona Wildcats. Under Head Basketball Coach Sean Miller, Chris Rounds directs the training program for one of the premier programs in college basketball. Coach Rounds realizes that he's working with some of the elite athletes of the sport...and trains them accordingly. Injuries to players are at a minimum. And therefore, players like Aaron Gordon flourish in a program like the one at UA. Gordon was able to test out near the top of several categories at the NBA Combine. And his vertical jump was astounding! Interestingly, Rounds prefers to lessen extra conditioning work during the off season so as "to minimize the wear and tear on their bodies and hopefully they'll have long professional careers without breaking down."
So in between the steaks at Lil' Abners or the fine dining at The Flying V , I was able to get thisASAP Podcast with Coach Chris Rounds. The Podcast
Former Michigan linebacker Jibreel Black suggested to ASAP Director of Sports Science Ted Lambrinides and me that when in Ann Arbor Michigan, we have breakfast at Benny's Family Dining...and that it's a sure bet. And, since Jibreel is 6'2" and 285 pounds, you have to figure that he knows a little bit about where to get a good meal! Well, Ted and I had some custom made omelets that definitely hit the spot and got us the proper nutrition needed to attend the 2014 Michigan Football Strength Clinic.
This year's speakers included speed coach Tom Shaw, strength guy Dan John, Michigan Athletics' nutritionist Joel Toloro, and Wake Forest strength coach Jim Smith. The clinic kicked off with a keynote talk by Michigan Football Coach Brady Hoke who was followed by Michigan Football's Director of Strength and Conditioning Aaron Wellman. In addition, Kevin Vanderbush and Etan Reeve served as clinicians. We got some pics and video while there...check it out!
Just before spring ball started at the University of Tennessee Strength Clinic, we checked in with the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach Dave Lawson. As you'll hear, things are going good in year two. Lawson, who came in with Head Football Coach Butch Jones, is very optimistic with the football team's progress in Knoxville. A very talented incoming recruiting class coupled with Coach Lawson's organized approach to preparing for the game of football indicates nothing but bright side for the Vols.
Hang with ASAP~Athletic Strength And Power as we further delve into the transformation of the Michigan State Spartans. The 2014 Rose Bowl Champs and Big Ten Champions don't seem to be complacent. They're on a mission. Watch for us this summer...until then, here's something to keep you motivated.