The one thing that has fueled my career as a strength & conditioning coach, and the one area of which my life has focused on vocationally, is my firm belief in a single truth. EVERYONE CAN GET FASTER!
For me, it’s a belief based upon the evidence of personal experience. Evidence that I’ve seen throughout my 18 year career focused on the pursuit of the best possible improvements in speed and movement for all my clients and teams. The most pivotal experience that forever engrained my confidence in that possibility happened very early on in my career.
It was the spring of 2000 and I was the newly appointed speed development coach for Northwestern University’s football team. We had come off a disappointing 3-8 season and needed to desperately make a change.
I had 12 weeks of training with the team prior to training camp. We trained 4 days a week with 2 to 3 sessions focused on sport specific speed development. I coached them not only on the importance of effort, but on the skill of how to run and cut, executing that skill with each rep they performed. The results were nothing less than astonishing. The AVERAGE improvement of the starting offensive and defensive units during that time period in their electronically timed 40 yard dash was .15 seconds. Football is a game of inches and we had just improved Northwestern’s team speed by close to 2 yards at the 40 yard mark.
The players were elated, the coaches were pumped and my career direction, passion and focus was forever cemented. Head Coach Randy Walker told the coaches in a staff meeting after seeing the results that he was excited about the numbers, but that he didn’t even need to see the times to know that the team was faster. He could see it with his own eyes just watching the guys run!
The impact of that huge improvement in team speed was evident the next season as Northwestern finished the season 8-3 and won their 3rd ever Big Ten Championship. Our tailback, Damien Anderson, was an All-American and finished 2nd in the nation in rushing yards. He improved his 40 time during that 12 week period from 4.5 to a 4.33. The year before, he had very few runs for over 15 yards and in the 2000 Big Ten Championship season after going through the speed program he repeatedly scored from anywhere on the field with multiple scores over 70 yards in length. His average per carry went from 3.7yds to 6.6yds and finished with over 2000 yards in the 2000 season. Overall offense improved their yards per play by 50%!
12 weeks of commitment and work significantly impacted the future success of that team. As the winter rapidly approaches and many fall and spring sport athletes are entering an offseason period I have a challenge for you. What are you going to do over the next 12 weeks to impact your future? Speed is the greatest physical differentiator in sports. Make a commitment to a great speed program and you will be amazed at what is possible. TCBOOST offers a 3 month unlimited package just for that reason, we know what is possible and we want to make that same impact we had for Northwestern on every athlete we train.
(TCBOOST influence on NU football has now spanned more than a decade with consulting, training, evaluation, program design and NFL draft prep. During that period, NU has been to 9 of their 12 Bowl games).