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E71 | Nick DiMarco: Rethinking Football Strength and Conditioning

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Nick DiMarco was named Elon University Director of Strength & Conditioning in February 2018. Prior to coming to Elon, DiMarco spent three years with the Iowa Hawkeyes as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the football program. The Hawkeyes made bowl game appearances in every season during DiMarco’s tenure, including a Rose Bowl appearance in 2016. He rejoined the Hawkeyes after spending the 2013 season with the program as an intern. DiMarco rejoined the Iowa program after playing in the NFL as an outside linebacker in 2014. He spent time with the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. DiMarco previously was an intern with the strength and conditioning program at William Penn University, where he was a member of the football team. DiMarco also designed and implemented all phases of strength and conditioning for the track and field throwers and jumpers, along with the women’s basketball team, and assisted with training of all sports.

DiMarco is Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) through the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), CPR/AED and PES Certified. DiMarco earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education and strength and conditioning from William Penn in and a Master of Science in exercise science, performance enhancement and injury prevention, from California University of Pennsylvania. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Health and Human Performance from Concordia University-Chicago.

Topics Discussed:

  1. Nick’s current position and responsibilities at Elon
  2. Nick’s simultaneous experience as a strength coach and college athlete, his transition to the NFL, and how playing in the NFL changed his perspective on coaching
  3. The philosophical pillars of Elon’s strength and conditioning program
  4. How the execution and practical application of that philosophy has changed over the years and what Nick is doing differently now compared to a few years ago
  5. Popular practices in the industry that Nick avoids and why 
  6. What Nick’s weekly training plan looks like in the football offseason and how that reflects the things he wants to prioritize
  7. What football “conditioning” should look like
  8. How Nick balances staff development with staff autonomy
  9. What excites Nick about the future of Elon’s program

Links of Interest:

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Episode transcription: 

Welcome to the Resilient Performance Podcast I’m your host, Doug. And today I’m joined by Nick DiMarco. Nick was named Elon university director of strength conditioning in February, 2018. Prior to coming to Elon, Nick spent three years with the Iowa Hawkeyes as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the football program.

The Hawkeyes made bowl game appearances in every season during Nick’s tenure, including a Rose bowl appearance in 2016. Nick also played in the NFL as an outside linebacker in 2014, or he spend time with the New York jets and Baltimore Ravens. Nick is currently pursuing his PhD in health and human performance from Concordia university, Chicago.

I remember encountering some of Ilan strength and conditioning content a few years ago, and being consistently impressed by the clarity of their information and the quality of execution and everything they demonstrated. Elan’s YouTube channel posted in the show. Notes is an internship experience in itself.

So many ideas and progressions for all the relevant areas of human performance. One of the things that I respect about Nick is that he’s very definitive when he feels like it needs to be. Well, nuance is important. One has to draw boundaries and develop concrete standard operating procedures. Nick does exactly that during our conversation, and he’s not afraid to challenge existing dogma in the field.

Nick, thanks so much for coming on. Um, would you please begin by talking a little bit about, um, your current responsibilities and role at Ilan and the kind of, um, teams and athletes you work with? Yeah, first. Thanks for having me, um, go into it here. So current position, director of sports performance at Ilan university down in Elon, North Carolina, um, primary school possibility is, is my director role.

So overseeing the rest of our staff. Uh, right now we have four of us on staff typically, or sorry, five of us on staff. Typically we have six, including myself, um, waiting to rehire because of the COVID situation. Um, but we work with 16 different sports here at Ilan myself. I directly oversee the training of our football team.

Um, And really, really good staff that I get to work with. So I’ll just intro them as well. Cameron stead came here as an intern, uh, works with our basketball programs. Jordan Nieuwsma came here from the university of Wisconsin as an intern. He was at Concordia St. Paul beforehand. He works with our soccer teams.

A lot of our field sport teams helps you. Football, Brendan Robinson works with our baseball team, a few other sports. And then algebra. Jesse is our newest hire. He came here from wave married, um, and really fortunate to work with those guys. And a lot of guys that were here beforehand, Jake and John Waters, um, pro uh, um, have been all fantastic staff members.

So they’re, they’re really a big part of what we do and what we have done. Got it. And as far as like you getting into this field, if I’m not mistaken, I think I heard you on a different podcast. Talk about how. When you were an undergraduate, you were also an athlete, but simultaneously you were a strength coach.

So if that’s true, what was that dynamic like of being an athlete, but also presumably coaching your peers and maybe what did that kind of, what insight did that lead into the field itself for you? Yeah, I think, uh, anyone who I said a few weeks ago on, on Twitter or something, cause we had elect our team captains.

I think if you’re a captain type player, you’ve earned the respect of the people, your teammates, that’s a big step. So for me, it never felt weird, like coaching guys on the team, just because they knew, you know, that was a big interest of mine. I had spent the time researching it. I was always round our staff and.

If the staff felt comfortable letting me coach, then they felt I was qualified to coach and they respected me. So it always felt pretty natural. Didn’t feel weird at the time necessarily. Although looking back now, it’s like, Oh, I don’t know how that, that did happen. Um, definitely a small school thing.

Like it wouldn’t happen at a bigger school, but went to a small and I, um, but like one example was when our coaches went to the NSCA conference. They left me the key and I opened the weight room and the football group trained at 6:00 AM and I was coaching it and leading it, I was signed off guys cards and it was an absolute blast.

It was like my favorite day there, more so than being an athlete, almost like I had an absolute blast doing it. Um, but it was just an invaluable experience for me. And I think that’s why you have to get out and do internships. You’re not necessarily going to get that experience at the school year app, but getting out an intern in as many places you can and hopefully.

Some smaller schools, some bigger schools where you get a wide array of experiences and the more chances you get to actually coach athletes, the better it’s going to turn out most likely. Got it. So, I mean, I’m envisioning like you being at football practice, being coached with your peers and then going to the weight room after practice, and now you’re the coach.

It wasn’t literally that seamless where you’d have that experience in the same day like that. Uh, yeah, so typically I’d get up. Um, this was my like third. Year that William Penn beforehand, I was just typical athlete. And that was always kind of a elite around our strength coaches trying to learn as much as I could.

And I would shadow some groups here and there, but I wasn’t directly involved as much. Versus that third year we had a strength coach transition. We had some openings and they kind of let me plug in. So it would be. I lived in the first group and then I would get to help out with the remaining lift groups.

Uh, I got to run a few teams at that point. I was working with, uh, women’s basketball for awhile. I was leading all their training, uh, worked with track and field for a while, leading all their training, right in the programs, running the, the training forum for, um, full semester and then go out to practice.

Do my normal classes. I always had a pretty easy workload class-wise um, just because. I don’t know how it worked out. I stayed in the summers most of the time, so I could get ahead on my classes. Um, but it never felt weird to me. But looking back on it, it’s definitely a little bit of a unique situation.

Yeah. I mean, I give you credit because I think about myself when I was like 18 to 22 and I would not have had the maturity or the confidence to do, to do what you did to kind of bounce back and forth between those two roles. Um, and then, so after, after you finished undergrad and your college career athletically.

You played in the NFL. How did change playing in the NFL change your perspective as a strength coach? Cause you were a strength coach before the NFL, a strength coach after the NFL did that, you know, that playing experience altered, maybe how you looked at preparation from a coaching standpoint. Um, definitely unique experience.

Um, and I didn’t play super long or. Uh, very well by any means you were an NFL player. I’m lucky to have a chance, but, uh, it was actually unique situation while I went to Baltimore. Uh, cause I did my internship at the university of Iowa, between my junior and senior year. Went back, finished playing, went on to the NFL afterwards and Brett main Sloat and, uh, actually came in as an undrafted free agent at the same time I did.

And he was a guy that coached as an intern at Iowa the year before. Uh, and then Marshall Yonda was a guy who I coached. Quite a bit after helping with some of his rehab stuff. And he was a guy that I worked with quite a bit while he was still there. But so two of the relationships that I had were guys who had already coached and went on to coach even afterwards, while being a player there.

Um, but I don’t think it taught me a ton necessarily, um, outside just the fact that athletes are extremely different and it’s a lot more individualized at that level. As it should be because you have guys with such drastic differences in training maturity. Um, but I think a lot of what I learned there, I’d already kind of learned at the university of Iowa just because they had that same array and differences.

And they’d had an NFL group that I was exposed to, but the biggest thing was the individual differences. And it also. Was a good experience. Just seeing the relationship between the strength coach there versus strength, coach relationship you see in college. And I think I’ve gravitated a lot more towards the professional side and that.

They treat the athletes more so as equals versus a lot of times, I think in the college setting, you see this very dictator like strength coach, because they’re the one that makes money. You know, you’re here to do what I say. Verse the strength coach in the NFL is the lowest paid. And the room, even though he was pretty high paid and they have a good peer to peer relationship and they’re, they’re both professionals and it goes about that way.

It’s more of a guided, um, I’m here for you and it doesn’t mean there’s low standards. It just means that it’s a different dynamic in the relationship. And I, I definitely gravitate towards that side. Got it. And I know that you’ve, you’ve talked at length over the years about how, how you’ve changed your program and various modifications you’ve made.

And I want to get into the specifics of that later, but as far as like your, your program, what would you say are kind of the, the core tenants or philosophical pillars of your program? Where if I asked you the same question, presumably in like 10 years, the answer wouldn’t really change, but maybe how you would execute, implement that philosophy might change.

Yeah, great question. I think a lot of people will have, you know, might list the same generic principles, but then you look at their program and it, it doesn’t change or they’re just copying and pasting stuff that don’t necessarily fit their principles. Um, so just, it all stems from very, very basics of our primary means or, you know, we want it to be ground-based multi-joint three-dimensional um, and then we’ve added a fourth one.

Just kind of isolate to integrate with just goes into what are the other principles that govern it general, the specific, you know, slow to fast, short to long on the field. And if you have those very, very general principles, it can lead into a lot of different things like early in my career, which we can touch on the specifics, but conditioning-wise, it was a work general to specific.

We do GPS. BP go into repeat sprint ability. And as specific as we can get first, now we still follow the same general. The specific we’ve just changed. The means that we operate within, um, longterm athlete development is a big thing for me. That’s one of our principles. So it kind of falls into the same thing.

It’s genital to specific. We’re just looking at athletes career over four years, um, individual needs. So we’re always gonna. Have our training maturity dictate what athletes are doing. So how long they’ve trained, how well they train, uh, look at a movement analysis. We don’t use a true FMS, but we’ll take as their movement screen and then positional needs and sporting needs.

So we’re not gonna train every team the same, even though the, the big rocks and our principles are going to be the same. There’s probably going to be, you know, 20 to 10% variance in what they do. And then a little bit of a deeper variance based off the position. Um, so it’d be kind of a broad outline and then, you know, always going to have the same goals of just trying to make athletes actually better at their sport, not just get strong for strong sake.

Goal. Number one is do everything we can to mitigate injuries. Goal. Number two, get better at your sport and goal number three, build some foundational habits cause we spend, that’s why I really love the college setting. You spend so much time with these guys every single day as an girls. Um, and you can build some really good relationships and build some good habits and help them become better people.

Yeah. And to your point, I mean, I think if I asked that question to any college strength coach, they’d probably give a similar answer, but the interesting part is how do you implement those principles? So for you, how was the execution and practical application of your philosophy changed over the years?

Like what are you doing differently now than what you did? Two, three, five years ago. Yeah. Um, you know, I’ve got to ask that question a few times. At first, when I look at the program like, Oh, we haven’t really changed a whole lot. We’ve we went to this, but that’s from six months ago, when you start looking at what I was doing three years ago, five years ago, I think there’s a lot of things.

Um, beforehand I was a huge repeat sprint ability guy. Uh, now I really favored the high, low structure. I used to kind of be high almost every day. Really the split that we had, um, versus getting more into the Charlie Francis side of things. And that will always kind of govern our weekly layout. Um, that’d be the major philosophy type change that I don’t see myself drifting from.

Um, unilateral bilateral, you know, five years ago, I’d be like, Oh, what is Michael thinking? Like the back squats, the number one exercise, just cause I like back squatting as an athlete versus now I think it’s a complete waste of time. Don’t use it a ton, uh, huge Olympic lift fan. Same thing. I was good at them.

I liked them. Thought they were really helpful. Uh, now I, I don’t use them with any teams. I think they’re a little bit of a waste time. I’ve used them with a few athletes here and there if, depending on the sport, but wholesale probably wouldn’t use it. Um, we’ve gotten into a lot more max velocity work. I think I was scared to do that early on, uh, digital lot of beforehand.

I was probably 90% change direction. Very little true open agility. Now it’s almost the exact opposite. Um,

Aside from that list. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I mean, beforehand, I was definitely a bit too big on, uh, just the, Hey everything’s ground-based multi-joint three-dimensional verse isolating movements, and then integrating them into more of a kind of bond or trucks game of your GP up to your SDE, progressing things.

You know, you say general specific, but I think that gets skipped a lot and. The general just becomes the same things you’re always doing. And it’s always really general versus truly as isolated as you can get of maybe we’re doing a cable abduction cable ad duction, and then we get into a more dynamic things of sled work, uh, overspeed ad duction, crossover, step, whatever it may be.

But I think the truly isolating things that need isolating, whether that be the ankle and the foot complex, the calf complex. Uh, the quad hamstring, hip abductors, abductors, posterior, your shoulder, um, torso, every area. Um, those are gonna be some of the key areas that we’re doing a lot more isolated things.

I think in the past I used pick off your squat and you’re checking off all those boxes. First in reality, you’re just doing an average job at a lot of things. Yeah. And you kind of touched on, I mean, the next thing I wanted to ask you is, you know, what are. What are the things that you don’t do that may be popular in the industry.

But so now the second part of that would be, you kind of touched on, like, you’re not doing a ton of heavy bilateral, lower body work or not doing a lot of Olympic lifting. You’re not doing, you know, you’re not trying to develop, repeat sprint stability by doing repeated sprints. So what was the impetus for the change in those areas?

Like what made you decide like, okay, there’s, there’s a, at least in your mind a better way to do this stuff. Yeah. Um, I’d say the start is your, your most important experiment, right? And if you’re not testing things on yourself, you’re probably missing the boat because if the first time you test is on athletes, you don’t really know what you’re getting into.

So we’re always going to test some stuff ourselves. And that started for me, uh, at the end of my assistant role at Iowa with a back squat. I’d come off squat. Squattin 50 days in a row. Me and one of my friends. Yeah. Wiseman had made a challenge. We were going to swap 550 days in a row, which did that. No injuries, uh, felt perfectly fine.

Like wouldn’t advise it to anyone. Um, but it was, and then we got done and we’re like, Hey, let’s just quit back squatting. Was we, uh, Scott Salwasser back then had a podcast on, just fly about these heavy chain sprints. I’d been digging into JV, Morin stuff. I was like, Oh, this is interesting me. So. We were doing heavy chain sprints.

Uh, we had started implementing a little bit of max philosophy work in our own training and we completely ditched bilateral stuff. Just went unilateral because we just thought they’d be interesting rabbit holes to test out. And I’ve just absolutely never felt better after like a six month block of that.

Uh, I think a lot of the areas of the back squat, you know, a few fail on a back squat is probably cause your torso. Stability just direct spine strength, especially in like female athletes or taller athletes where they get in poor positions versus soon as you switch over to a single leg, the only reason you’re going to fail is cause lower body strength.

And if we say, Hey, what’s the goal of our heavy, lower body work. You’re typically gonna say to gain lower body strength yet the rate limiting factor isn’t lower body strength. So it’s probably not the best choice. Um, just the specificity with, on the field. If that’s a principle that you follow said, principal overload, specificity, all the things that people have been talking about forever single leg, you’re going to get a lot more carry over to the actual sport.

I’ve seen a huge impact on speed. Um, even bilateral, just counting room and jump I’ve seen greater impacts. Um, so it was just testing ourself at first. And then the further I went, the more research I dove into. Trying to pick holes in my own arguments of, well, I think there’s still a huge hormone response benefits to just picking up the heavy load, uh, whether it’s a back squat trap bar, whatever it may be.

And may the double leg is superior in that way, but there’s actually, I forget the name, the article, but there’s in fact, no difference. Um, it wasn’t, one was superior is just, there’s a no difference in which one was more beneficial. So I was like, okay, that was kind of the one thing I was hanging onto as an argument.

Um, and that’s not to say we don’t do bilateral stuff. We still have bilateral, um, strength work. We just use trap bar deadlift. Our incoming freshmen will use the front squat for a block when they first start clean grip deadlift when they first start. Um, but the unilateral is definitely our emphasis. Uh, it’s gonna take up a bigger majority of our time.

Um, the Olympic lifts, that was a little bit later in my career. Here at Ilan. Uh, Jake Needleman was the first guy that had hired Andy when I got here and he was a huge Olympic lifter himself. He came from a school right down the road. We were friends in college and, uh, competed against each other and Olympic lifting.

Both loved him. Cause we were good at them. I don’t think we ever questioned them for those reasons versus cam ring stead and Jordan newsman. Our staff were like, I think the Olympic lifts are a waste time and after some conversations. I was like, uh, sounds like you’re actually on the right track. And so we tested it, tested it myself and I had been doing a lot of different things just cause it, I will, uh, I had handled some of our injured athlete training and return to play stuff.

And so we had a torso card that was geared towards guys who had had low back issues in the past or, um, just torso issues. They didn’t favor bilateral loading. Didn’t like the Olympic lifts. And so for their cards, I’d been excited. Experimenting anyway, with a bunch of loaded jumps, things like that and saw good success with them.

First, before I took over that card, I used to think off you’re on that torso card. You’re probably just going to not get better because you’re missing the big movements. Why are these guys even trying to play football versus now it’s like, they’re actually probably on a little bit better training program than the rest of the group.

Um, so a lot of it was really just experimentation. I don’t think any of my philosophy are really principles of change. It’s just. Most people who are strong on one side of the argument, haven’t actually tried both sides. And I think when you do both and you gain some perspective, you’ve had athletes, who’ve done both.

You get their perspective on it. Um, not enough people get athletes feedback in a truly open way. Um, I think it goes a long way and just kind of developing your ideas. So those two things we’ve gone completely away from which are. Definitely not popular in the college football realm, um, changing directions, a huge thing in the college football realm.

The biggest thing that got me off of that is just agility is something that has to be trained. The OODA loop perception, action, whatever you want to call it. Is a skill, just like anything else. And especially in football, where you’re only playing for the fall season, then you got a full week, five week block of spring ball.

If you’re not training that quality the entire off season, I think you’re missing a big component. One from a skill perspective and two from an injury prevention standpoint, because of the movements, the kinematics of it, that genetics are going to change. When there’s feedback involved verse in a closed drill where I run five yards, touched with my right hand, run, 10 touch with the left and finished through one that doesn’t look like football.

And two is not training the athlete in a chaotic environment, which is what they have to go and do. So I think it helps a ton from that aspect. I think a lot of non-contact injuries and things like that. Could be at least limited, just through a little bit more open environment work. Um, and the biggest tipping point for me was one of the athletes who I still train him was a fantastic football player.

When he was at the university of Iowa verse, another athlete there and they both played linebacker. One has the pro record at the university of Iowa. The other one is still playing in the NFL. And he was okay in the pro agility, but wasn’t the best. But when he played football, he was absolutely fantastic because he could react when he saw it.

He could burst. The other guy has a pro GLD record, but on the field was almost a liability just because he could change direction. Well, but when I finally got to the point where I understood the change of direction and agility are two separate things, even though they look similar, It definitely shifted our percentage of what we’re going to do and how we’re going to implement it.

Um, and then repeat sprint ability again, that came from, I think, here, when flat talked about that a lot with his tempo stuff, I’ve, uh, watched his tempo webinar a long time ago on strength coach network, Jordan Newsland. Our staff was a huge fan of it, cam Ringsted who he had worked with Jayda Mayo and another tempo guy.

Um, extensive flyers, extensive tempo. The more I saw it more. I started experimenting with myself and then we started experimented the athletes, the more rewards I saw and that area. And I think when you’re thinking only through the lens of said, principal, Hey, we want to get better at repeat sprint ability.

Let’s do repeat sprint ability first. Sometimes it’s is it actually a trainable skill or is it just a skill that you can see and you can test? And I think repeats for an ability is, is less trainable through the actual means and more so just a skill can the skill itself is how fast can you run? How fast can you recover?

So let’s get faster on our high days, let’s learn to recover. Cool more quickly on our low days through extensive tempo. And it makes the week a lot better from just a stress management standpoint. It isolates the qualities that you’re trying to develop and are repeats for an ability. We did the same test one, uh, in 2019 that we did in 2021 session in 2019, that whole six week block was repeat sprint ability dominant.

Are blocked in the winter of 2020 was zero repeats for an ability. And we are exponentially better at repeats burn building without doing any repeat spreadability. So that was kind of icing on the cake for me of, I think this is the route to go. Um, and we still use repeat. Spreadability just more as a special prep of the last week or two, we’re going to implement it because it is a stressor that they see.

Um, but that’s not, uh, increased reviews friend abilities just to increase repeats. Printability exposure that they’re going to see in practice. Yeah, that makes sense. And I mean, from a programming standpoint, like you said, if you’re doing repeat sprints and training, you’re not really, it’s not really a high enough intensity stimulus to really raise the ceiling, but it’s, you have to treat it like a high day and your programming and now it’s not, you’re not recovering from it.

It’s kind of where do you, where do you put it? And you basically have to almost take out a high day to do it. And does it justify that. Kind of, uh, you know, that kind of sacrifice. Yeah. Everything you’re saying. I kind of agree with only because I’m 40 now and having tried the meds and experiments on myself, it makes sense.

But it’s also, it could be a recency bias because I am older and I don’t want to make it like you and I are the arbiters of what good training is. I mean, I’ve had other people on here who swear by Olympic lifts and bilateral maximal strength movements. And I think it’s more about. How you put the program together in totality, then what you do as far as the individual pieces.

But I think one of the, one of the, the laws of, you know, heavy bilateral lifts like squat, deadlift and Olympic lifts is that in college sports, we have a lot of norms for what constitutes strong. Right. So for you, do you guys have norms as to what you consider kind of strong enough where if your athletes.

Stay in football, like meet, meet those benchmarks. You don’t necessarily have to prioritize strength anymore and you go into more of a maintenance mode. Yeah. Um, that’s a great point. And going back to, I think there’s a lot programs that lift really well, and I don’t think there’s no value in them. I just think.

Every movement, you select, you have to look at the return on investment. Is it the best investment for the lowest cost? That’s what we’re looking for. And I think a lot of people implement back squats, wealth, front squats, wall, et cetera. Um, so not a knock on them, just kind of what we favored. Um, but going into that point, From a testing standpoint, I really get the fact that everyone has this data.

And especially if you’re at a place for 10 years and you have all this data to change exercises. And I’ve actually had this conversation with a few coaches who are on the fence wanting to move on to like, well, I have all this data and this is what I show the coaches. And, you know, we backed squatted. We have the record board with these things.

And if you’re evaluating your program, I think the biggest things that you’re evaluating or. Are they jumping higher or are they running faster? Your strength standards while have importance. You can just change them. And in a couple of years you’ll have normalized data. Um, and so for us, it was like, well, if the split squat and trap bar deadlift are gonna be our two primary exercises, we’ll just come up with our own strength standards based off the athletes that we have here.

And we might not have those standards right away, but that’s how we’re going to do it. And we’ll get some normalized data. So. Uh, Jordan and myself and the rest of the staff came up with, uh, a strong enough kind of equation based off the data that we had data that he had from Concordia St. Paul and some data from other coaches, and just came up with like a strong enough rating for those movements.

And exactly like you said, if to get into our advanced, in our advanced plus to your programs, you have to at least be in that strong enough category. Um, And I think you can have standards and then clear testing metrics with anything you implement. It’s just the fear of all of your old data kind of being wiped out when you do to take that step.

And it was the same thing for our tenure dash. The first year I was here, we were doing a hand time electronic finish, like almost everyone does because you have to have like the special sensors and whatnot to do a electronic start. So for us, Uh, two years ago, we changed it to, we put the timing Gates at one yard.

And as long as the athlete’s starts out of a static stance and they hit the timer, essentially, as soon as they compare us, right, it’s going to give us the most reliable data. But it is not going to give us the best for, Hey, an NFL scout comes what’s this guy’s tenure dash. It’s not true. Tad don’t necessarily know.

Um, but for us it gives us the best apples to apples comparison. Um, and I think the things that guys worry about and all the coaches aren’t going to see it, they can see progress in split-squat the same way they can see progress in a back squat. Right. They can see progress in a nine yard dash times versus 10.

It’s just, they have to deal with the fact that it’s not the same as the. Older data that they might’ve had. Um, but I think you can still sell exactly how much progress guys are making in your program and all the other metrics that people like to see from, you know, scout standpoint, this and that we haven’t had issues with it.

We’ve still had guys go to the NFL from Ilan who said, Hey, we don’t back squat and don’t have those numbers on them. It’s not going to ruin a guy’s career. Cause you don’t back squat. Yeah, they just don’t get, like, why would you really care? Even? I mean, it’s like, there’s really, isn’t really going to influence whether or not Oh, well, you know, he squats five 50 instead of 600.

Like we’re not going to take them now. You know, I just, I don’t see when that actually comes up as being a determining factor in picking the player, but I think it’s more of a habit than anything else. Right. Yeah. And I think that’s the biggest thing that stems most of the program design and a lot of places is.

Just habits and Oh, the basics work. And I truly believe that, but I think we attached that phrase to just, I have the same experience, 30 times over a new experience, 30 years in a row. I think here’s talking about that a lot. And people are just scared to change and take that leap because then it’s on you if it fails.

But that’s what you should want is to be on you first on somebody else. Yeah. The interesting part is, I mean, now there’s not. Even a ton of consensus on what the basics are. Right? Cause I mean, if you come from like a heavy Olympic lifting background, which is not good or bad, but like those are different basics.

Then if you prioritize single leg strength in the weight room, right. And that’s what makes this. Whole thing. Interesting. And multiple experiments are being run. And the problem is, you know, because what goes on in the field, everyone talks about like, why train for the field? There’s so many variables that we’re never going to know what the best thing is.

That’s why we keep having these conversations, even though they seem like they’re pointless, because it’s really hard to prove what’s better. Um, on the field because there’s so many confounding variables, but from like an implementation standpoint, what is your kind of like, let’s take the football off season.

How are you, how does your weekly training template, um, reflect some of these priorities in terms of like what you’re doing on, you know, Monday through Friday or Saturday and however many days it’s not like the entire workout, but right, right. Yeah. Just the idea. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, the biggest difference, like I said would be that.

Just Charlie Francis idea of a high, low model. So we’re definitely gonna operate off that understanding the nervous system and how to manage it throughout the week, putting clear emphasis on each day. And so we in the winter have typically gone a too high model and then built into the summer more of a three high model and getting a little bit more specific, just that general specific concept.

Um, but our typical model would be high, low structure of. Mondays are high day being some acceleration work and a little bit more dynamic effort in the weight room just to get moving. Uh, because coming off the weekend, a lot of people do max velocity on Monday. I think the weekends, even though they rested is not necessarily the best time to run fast, knowing that activities that take place.

So a little bit of a primer potentiation type day. Tuesday is a upper body and tempo excess of tempo day. Wednesday is going to be a max velocity day with a little bit more high intensity work in the weight room Thursday, we hit a like upper body, um, high volume energy system development kind of combo day.

So we’d gone to like EDT, Cal Dietz type stuff, or our own time sets where it’s, you know, general specific gov that might be 10 seconds on the clock. You’re hitting dumbbell bench for the 10 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds down to your hidden dumbbell bench for five seconds, rest for 10 to 15 seconds and working off our same kind of principles we used for our tempo over runs, but keeping it in the weight room.

And it allows us to get a lot of volume, which I think you miss out sometimes with the football athletes of just packing on some size, a aerobic effect is kind of a second order effect from it. And then the second upper body day, I’ve always just kind of struggled like, well, what else do I want to hit? I hit everything the first, upper body day.

Um, so it just checks off a lot of boxes and guys just have an absolute blast with it too. Um, and then our Friday is our like game day, quote unquote, where we go out on the field and that’s gonna be our change direction. Like eight vector cut progression. Some more plyometrics and go into our open agility.

And those will be based off a mere Dodge category, a chaser category score category, and we’ll get them in all of those scenarios for X number of time. If we have, you know, hour and a half, we might take 10, 15 minutes at each station kind of rotate through drills will change based off the position. And then at the end we’ll hit some sort of energy system development, whether that is.

Our low extensive work at the beginning of the off season or into our repeat sprint ability to end of the year being on a high day, we can make it either one kind of, depending on what we want. And that’s why I appreciate this kind of clarification, because I mean, I’ve heard you talk about how you prioritize speed over the weight room.

And if, if people didn’t ask the question that I just asked, they would assume that like, You’re you don’t like guys lifting, but they’re lifting four days a week. It’s not like you guys aren’t lifting. It’s just that it’s, it’s, it’s supplementing the speed work. Yeah. And I think people get, get that misinterpreted for sure.

Like, uh, Mike Tucker, the sprint timber guy, you know, everyone’s like, Oh, well he does just he’s on the field running max velocity fly tens. Like no, those dudes are really strong as well. Um, and. If you want to get stronger, the easiest way to do it is high stress, nervous system work, sprinting, jumping, throwing med balls.

Like those things are going to facilitate strength cause right. Coding is always going to be important in the weight room. And I think people miss that when they think, Oh, this guy’s a field-based guy or. Something like that. Like, no, we absolutely love the weight room. Use it a ton. We just want to use it to facilitate on field performance versus using it as a means of getting back squat numbers higher than not seeing it translate to the field.

Right. And so this is obviously. A fun topic, you know, what, what should football conditioning look like? So if you wouldn’t mind diving a little bit deeper into what kind of, um, you know, more of those, like what you’re calling it like an aerobic type day or a tempo day, what that looks like in terms of volumes and what you’re doing, because there’s like a couple of camps.

Right. And I think like, as with anything else, you don’t want to fall into a camp, you want to kind of see the value in kind of all these different philosophies. So with football conditioning, what I see is you’ve got like the. The 300 yard shuttle people. And you’ve got the crowd that I think is almost overly specific and says, well, like every single, you know, the average plan football lasts, let’s say like, Three to five seconds and they’re this many in a game.

And like that’s all they ever do is three to five seconds stuff. And to me, that’s the equivalent of saying I train an 800 meter runner. All we’re going to do is just run eight hundreds, like in practice. People don’t do that. Right. So how are you, how are you respecting specificity while also kind of, you know, working on the ceiling and working on the floor with your aerobic work?

And your speed work. How does it all kind of fit in? Yeah. Great question. So I do think, you know, you don’t want to be a part of one camp exclusively, but you certainly don’t want to be a part of the mat drills 300 groups. In my opinion, there’s certain groups that you shouldn’t take shots at, but that one they deserve it.

Cause I mean, it’s just so unspecific and makes absolutely no sense to me. Um, I think a lot of football gravitate towards like the mental toughness side of it, and they don’t define mental toughness and don’t really know what it is. They just think hardened and stupid work is tough for some reason. Um, but for us, it’s going to be like I talked on earlier general to specific.

So we’re going to start with our extensive tempo work and almost exclusively linear for our skill guys and outside the box of the eyes. And then build into some multi-directional extensive one day a week, keep one day linear and continue to go general to specific from our work to rest ratio standpoint.

And then we’ll get into our actual repeat sprint ability type stuff. Those last few weeks. And our last couple of weeks, extensive will be in those windows. You talked about, we want to be three to five seconds, you know, 15 to 30 seconds, the average length of play, the average rest. And we want to build in some movement within the rest and try and check off boxes too.

From a stress inoculation standpoint, they’re not just standing there not having to comprehend what’s going on. There’s some stress elements to it. Um, but so a typical progression. Would go from say, our Tuesday is our higher volume day and we’ll start out with a hundred yard tempos and you know, probably 18 ish seconds.

Let’s say 15 to 18 seconds. We pick a time and it could be, everyone is going a hundred yards. Or what we’ve gone to now is since we have flied 10 times on everyone, just take that extrapolated out and we have a fast lane, a. Middle lane and then a slow lane. And they’re all going to go 15 seconds and we can chart it towards exactly.

Say 70% of their max speed. They’re going to get to a hundred yards. The next group is going to be at 96 yards. The last group is going to be at 92 and say, we have a couple really slow guys are at 88 or whatever it may be. And you set up those cones and they all run to their distance. They all finish at the same time.

They all start at the same time. So it’s really easy to manage and it’s actually individualized. Based off of them. So the yardage is, will change a little bit, but in the grand scheme of things, the total volume is going to be close to what you see and the same thing. They’re not all going to have perfect volume when they go out to practice faster.

Guys, typically going to get a little bit more volume because they cover a little bit more yardage. Potentially your skill guys are going to get more than your line does. Um, and on that day, our linemen will do grappling work. And that will start out early in the off season is like crawling, um, Just some random movements like that, where we’re getting the shoulder girdle involved.

It’s, they’re getting tired from moving. Other objects are moving themselves and it’s not just linear running. And then we get into one-on-one grappling scenarios, whether it’s some Andy Reiland stuff with like a hip to hip battle. Um, we, our primary one is one arm lock the other guy’s one arm locked and you’re tight fighting for top hand position and you’re fighting for leverage.

Because Wyman get tired from pushing other even beings now from running 20, 30, 50, a hundred yards and that kind of volumes just not necessary for them. But we’ll keep our work to rest ratios the same. So at first, when women are grappling phase, it still is going to be 15 seconds of work with 45 seconds rest verse.

At the end, it’s going to be really short battles that become, you know, three to six seconds of a little bit more intense grappling with shorter rest of 15 to 30 seconds and we’ll vary it. And so that Monday we’ll follow that and it’s kind of a bell curve of volume. We hit our highest volume. In the middle of our phases and we’ve gone upwards of 5,000 yards of tempo, which is really aggressive, but a typical practice for a while, your CBRE is going to be 4,000 plus yards are volume.

So we wanted to try and create a reserve in those areas. And if you just go on the minute, a hundred yards, you can do it. Um, And just make them as resilient as we could. I don’t know if we would ever go that high again. I don’t know if you need to, but there’s just kind of something that we were playing with.

Um, but then the volume goes back down, but our exposures and our reps go up and that’s where we kind of lean towards is it’s not really the volume that does guys in. It’s just the number of exposures and accelerations, decelerations this a little bit more taxing on them. And so the end of it we’ve ended with.

You know, 80 to a hundred exposures of accelerations decelerations, but you’re three to five seconds of work and shorter rest. And then we’ll have bigger breaks in between to where to say, take a three minute rest, grab water, rest, come back. Do the same thing towards a little bit more specific to what football actually looks like.

And then we’ll go into our actual repeat sprint ability where we’ll have some cone patterns for guys and we’ll have, um, based off their position. So DBS might be doing a five-year backpedal flip their hips open up, like they’re covering a post route, whatever it may be. The D linemen might just be running a five-year-old curve.

They might be pushing a Prowler. But they’ll have sets and this is more of the stress inoculation side. We call them like quarters, just cause that’s a cool thing to do in football, I guess, maybe as specific as you can, but it will be, um, Six plays. It could be three plays. It could be 12 plays, quote unquote, where you’re running a specific pattern.

All of you are going to be different. We’ll let them know what it is that way they have to think about it after hit it. And we could run 60 plays. Upwards of, I think the most we were done is like 70 stretched out over an hour on that last Friday, like games and, and the stress inoculation side it’s as specific as you can possibly get without playing the sport of football.

And it’s just going to get them some exposure to what practices will look like and what games look like before they go into it. That’s interesting. And again, I’m glad I clarified because I’ve looked, I’ve looked at your work enough in depth to know that this is what you were going to say, but I think if people just like read a tweet where you say like, look, the average play in football lasts this long are not going to respect the fact that you are doing aerobic work to support that you’re just not doing 300 yard shuttles.

And so. To clarify that. So my, did you say that you’re having your S you’ve had your skill, people do 5,000 meters of extensive tempo where they’re going 15 seconds on 45 off for like 50 minutes. Because if you’ve got guys that are doing 15, second hundreds, you know, they’re doing 50 on the minute. That’s like, incredible.

Well, so when we were at the 5,000, I think we were going 18 seconds, but still not good. Cut the rest down little. Like 42 seconds, but it keeps us in an extensive mode. And if you want to talk about, Hey, we gotta get better repeat sprint. When we ran, we ran 50 on the minute. So 42 seconds rest about 18 seconds of work, extensive pace.

And really guys were just like annoyed with the fact that we were out there, like on the minute and the monotony of it. Yeah. First they looked great when we got to that point and they didn’t have any issues from it. And you want to talk about getting better at repeats for an ability you can do that for that long, you are fully equipped to go practice that’s for sure.

Like it’s not specific by any means, but just from an aerobic system standpoint, you’re really robust in that area. Now, when we go into our specific stuff and we ran 120 yard, extensive tempo reps, and we’re doing it on a 15 and 22nd rolling clock and we had it broken up into sets. But same thing guys had absolutely no issue with it.

It was almost significantly easier. Um, just because of all the work they’d done before. And same thing when we went into our repeat sprint ability test and saw better results is because those guys were able to recover so well from all the volume and all the work they had done that really, really basic aerobic work at the beginning.

And then once we did our tests, we had our repeat sprint work on the back end, just cause I wanted to test it before we did any, just to. Test a hypothesis. Um, and you know, like you said, I think people definitely go too far where it’s, everything’s three to five seconds, you know, 15 to 30 seconds rest, and we’re going to do bunch of sets and this is all doing football and same thing.

You just miss that development of the aerobic system. And even some like Eric Horn talked about it on the mic and broker podcast, a while back, like on an off day, having a guy come in and do a cardiac output session on a bike or. Some other method is very valuable for a football athlete. And I think you can go too far in the, uh, like I love Tony holler, but too far on the feed, the cast concept where it’s like, Oh, we do zero aerobic work.

All we want to do is get faster. Like combine the two, when you have something really powerful, you only do one of either and you’re probably missing the boat. Um, so I think those things, you know, the fear of getting slower, it’s all about how you prescribe it, what the dose is. The dose of anything can either be very positive or very negative.

And so Tuesday was the high volume, extensive tempo day. And you found that even running those kinds of volumes, because the intensity was relatively low, that your athletes could come back on Wednesday and then run at max velocity and be totally, yeah, we didn’t have any issues. Um, just cause the intensity was low enough.

And when. Our typical like winter model we’ll go Monday is actually our low day where we don’t do a ton of volume. Tuesday is max velocity day from the same concept of if we just want a little primer before they run max lossy and then come back, Thursday is our bigger tempo day. Friday’s acceleration.

So it doesn’t have as much of impact. But when we get into the three high days, it really just worked out the best, but we actually had no kind of negative side effects from it. And I think it. Poured over into the mechanics being a lot smoother, just cause you got so much technical rehearsal the day before.

Yeah. I mean, the irony is as much as you and I could both joke about 300 yard shuttles between all the high end speed work you’re doing and that tempo work you’re probably, if they had to run a 300 yard shuttle once or twice, they’re better prepared for it than if they had run. The 300 yard shuttles, you know, most likely full circles, the 300 yard shuttles.

Yeah. Yeah. And like you said, that’s where the repeats friend ability in itself is either going to take away from a high day where you’re trying to accomplish getting faster, or it’s going to be on a low day where it’s going to take away from you recovering for the next session verse. Like we just talked about even on our very, very high volume work days.

From extensive standpoint, guys didn’t come in with any residual soreness or feeling rough. They came in and were hitting PRS on Wednesday. Versus if you do a repeat sprint ability session on Tuesday, come in and try and hit Mack Flossy the next day, you’re probably going to have some issues. Um, so it’s just, uh, what bounces the week and where can you accomplish the most throughout the week versus trying to accomplish as much as you can every single day.

Yeah. I mean, not to deviate too much, but I’m curious, you’ve got kind of the wheels turning here, but if you’re doing, you know, in certain cases that kind of volume of extensive temporal work with football players, what’s kind of your higher end volume of extensive temporal work for like a soccer player, lacrosse player, some of the, the field sports where there is a little bit more running.

Yeah, actually, we haven’t had a huge difference by any means, just because I think those athletes get exposed to it so much more and they’re going to practice a lot more year round. So their overall volume gets a lot higher. The, and I probably wouldn’t go back to 5,000. I think that was a little aggressive, but my big thing was when I looked back the year before, every time someone gets one soft tissue injury and can’t be like, Oh shit, I messed something up.

And you’re trying to think, but when I went and looked back at 18 and 19, trying to improve for what we could do in 2020 winter, it was looking at the full morpho cycle. Cause I had gotten really big into the tactical periodization side that past year and my reading and whatnot. I was like, if I look at the full week, what was our volume of total volume?

Uh, high-speed volume on a day and a week. And then what their max velocities looked like throughout. And I think beforehand I was doing a good enough job of trying to create a reserve in our high speed distance. Like, Hey, we’re going to hit more in our training than they will on practice that way. We’re going to have less hamstring injuries and, you know, hopefully, and I thought that worked pretty well.

And. But then it’s like, okay, we’re hitting higher max speeds than we’ll ever hit in practice. Cause we’re not in full pads. There’s no other stimulus that we have to react to. We’re in shorts and shirts off and there’s lasers out. Like you’re going to run the fastest you can possibly run. What is the area we’re missing is just the overall volume standpoint.

Cause I’m definitely a less, is more essential ism, Tony holler type person, if I’m leaning towards the side. And so our speed work is always very low volume. And our conditioning, we doing more repeats for an ability stuff is close to what we’re doing. If you look at the total volumes, everything we did was so low throughout a week, we were really only getting a total volume of everything included less than like, you know, I forget the exact number, but say it’s 8,000 yards on two days of practice.

You’re already over 8,000 yards. If you’re a wide receiver and DB. Yeah. So it was okay on our tempo sessions. It wasn’t that that one session had to be more than a practice. That one day where we ran 5,000 yards, it was just as, I don’t know why necessarily it was. I wanted to create a serve on one day.

Like, Hey, if we can run 5,000 yards in 50 minutes, we can definitely go practice and handle the volume. And then we tailored back down. But the typical average volume on those tempo days was probably in the two. To 3000 range and even a little bit lower as we got more intensity to it. But over the week with two tempo volume days, with our high speed exposures, we were now getting like 14,000 yards of work, but we actually did it in a much safer way.

And so we’re accomplishing more work, but it was a lot higher quality and we only made it six days into spring ball, sadly. So I couldn’t see the full. No details of did it work or did it out, but it was the lowest injury totals that we had had to date within the first couple of days of practice. And usually that’s your highest injury rates is the first couple of days.

And then you kind of stabilizing and injury rates fall off. So I think to some extent it was helpful. Um, and just trying to create a reserve in the volume standpoint, the high speed distance and the max velocity through a full week was kind of the grand scheme of what we were trying to accomplish. Yeah, that’s interesting.

Um, and then, and I think that’s thought provoking people should come to their own conclusions, but I want to shift gears a little bit because we talked offline about kind of like staff development and obviously you have a relatively unique approach with your program that I’m sure requires. You know, people to kind of maybe change chains and preexisting views that they had.

So there’s an educational component to developing your staff. They’re obviously on the floor coaching. And I know that you’ve kind of been outspoken about also like leaving time for family and not falling into that kind of martyr syndrome that a lot of people in our field have about like, just bragging about how much you work.

And I think that you’re, you know, you’re trying to prioritize your, your family and your quality of life. So what do you do at Elan to kind of strike that balance between. Developing a staff, holding people to high standards, making sure they’re available to their athletes while also kind of maintaining a high quality of life.

I think the most important thing is hiring the right people one. Um, and then. Not having that fear as a director of like, Oh, what if a sport coach comes down and Alex isn’t here. Like, well, I can have a conversation with the sport coach or Jordan can, or we all have a cell phone like that. You don’t have to be 24 seven access.

And I think people get so out of whack about like, Oh, we’re here for the athletes 24 seven, if they need anything, like, that’s just not the case. Like you have a family have other things. That doesn’t take away from your commitment to the athletes. It actually makes you better for the athletes in my opinion, because when you’re trying to give all day and you’re turned on 24 seven, you’re working 12 hours.

You’re not sleeping. You’re not dedicating time to your family. You’re really not accomplishing anything at a high quality. Like you have to high, low your life, the same way, high, low your training throughout a week. And if I’m working, there’s no substitute for, you have to put in high quality effort. To accomplish things, but I can have two hours where I sit down and I have really good intent to what I’m doing and get a lot done and probably accomplish more than the same person who like me if I sit there for eight hours and, um, um, pop it over to my phone, I answer an email I’m in and out talking to people like I really don’t get a whole lot accomplished.

So it’s block it off your day and having a clear plan to what you want to do. And. From the quality of life standpoint for coaches it’s as a director of a department, you have to go into the right situation where you have enough staff to do it. If you have two people and you have 42 sports, you’re not going to have a good quality of life, no matter how you spin it.

So looking at the total number of teams, looking at the staff, looking at the staff growth, potential, looking at the salary, potential your staff. You have to know those things going into a job and decide if it’s the right job for you, because there’s a lot of bad jobs out there. And when you do get the right situation is pushing for more and trying to get as far as you can.

I think athletic trainers have done a lot better job of that than a strength coaches have too, where there’s almost an ADT for every single sport, yet strength coaches at some schools, there’s two guys or one guy for 15 plus sports, and you can’t have a good quality of life. So I think you have to find the right job.

You have to hire the right people. And then you, as a director, it’s up to you. How many hours they work like to me, our staff knows that if they’re not in here, I’m not gonna be like, Oh, Hey, where’s Brandon at? Why isn’t he guarding his desk midday when he doesn’t have groups until five in the afternoon.

Like you have a group at five in the afternoon, come in at five in the afternoon and train that group. Like we have enough hours to where, and we’ve tried to set up like a. Have a really good setup now where one person in this weight room works am almost exclusively. The other person works PM. Same thing in our other weight room.

One person am one person’s PM. And then myself and Cameron said to the head guy in that way room are usually typically in the middle of the day. And then we can just be around for a little bit more time on the front end or back end of either group. But if you have four hours on the. For coaching and you have another four hours to go learn, uh, relax, do stuff you want.

I think you’re going to actually be a lot better coach in those hours that you’re on the floor. So first the coach that he does 13 groups and every group has the exact same lift card. Cause he doesn’t have time to program. Well, he doesn’t have time to really develop relationships with those athletes that you’re so much better served and small isolated bouts of work at a higher intensity.

And so I think it’s done wonders for our staff and it’s helped us retain staff a lot easier. We’ve had three people leave at this point or four people now, uh, Chula Lumas Jake Needleman, John Waters on profile have all left for better jobs, but they didn’t leave. Solely because they hated their experience here.

They left. Cause it was a lot more money. It was, it was a better progression in their career. And like Kira was talking about the four P’s of your pay, your personal life, your progression, and then, um, having a purpose to it. Like you’re always going to have a purpose of your inner strength conditioning, most likely like you’re hopefully in it for the right reasons.

You can hopefully derive some meaning from it, your personal life, your career progression and your pay. Are a little bit more dependent on the job that you take, obviously. And, you know, progression wise, you just have to work at a higher level to get director job. Sadly, a lot of T3 guys, don’t just magically become FDS directors.

If that’s their goal. Um, even though I don’t think it’s necessarily the right way, it’s just the game that you have to play. But the personal life is the one that you as a director have the most control over. Cause you can set their hours, you can set the standards that you have for them. And as long as they get good quality work done, they’re really attendant when they’re here, they have good relationships.

Like what else do you want from them? And if they can go out and golf every morning or they can go have time with their family, their wife, kids, whatever it may be. They’re going to be a lot happier when they show up to work and probably get better work done and probably stick around a lot longer versus trying to find the first job that they can because they’re tired of working for you.

So I think it’s a little bit counterintuitive to most people, but it’s actually produces a little bit better results. Um, and I think essential ism is one of the best books I’ve read and that kind of shifted my mindset. And I do think there is a place early on in your career where you just have to spend a little bit more time, obviously learning things.

But once you get to a certain level of just requisite knowledge and. You know, kind of the path that you want to go, you don’t have to spend every single day reading the next book that’s out or this and that. Like, you’re still spending time to read it. You’re still coaching athletes, but you have to have some time to think reflect, and then you definitely have to have time for your family best priority for you.

Yeah. I’m just thinking of like the next. Social media phenomenon or challenge where like, instead of taking a picture of people’s watch, like, look how early I got up. It was people taking a picture on the golf course before work. Like let’s, you know, let’s do do that where it’s like, actually I get to have fun and I’m like a normal person.

Um, and, and, you know, to your point with the 24 hour thing, Like the jobs that truly require someone to be on duty for 24 hours, like a, an emergency room physician, a paramedic, a firefighter police officer. They work in shifts anyway. So no one like the jobs that really require like 24 hour coverage, people that break the partitioning the day into shifts, because it’s not possible for a human being to do those jobs at a high level and always be, be on call, so to speak.

So, but as far as like ambition goes and, and, and. Filling up time. Like I did notice on your, um, on your bio, if I’m not mistaken, are you currently going through a, a PhD program now? So I was curious, you know, like as a, as a coach, if that’s true, what are you looking to get out of that academic experience?

Yeah. Um, so I’ve, I’m a little slow at this point. I was on the accelerated track. I was taking extra classes each semester and I finished all my coursework and. Two and a half, three years past my comprehensive exams. So PhD SI candidate, I guess at this point and the dissertation process, I’ll be honest.

It’s been a pain just cause I haven’t prioritized it. I don’t know why. It just hasn’t really been interesting to me. Um, I’m writing about something I don’t want to write about. It’s a really rigorous process. Like I’ve definitely taken my time too much to this point, but I should be done this year finally.

Um, and then COVID actually. Really interrupted. I had my outline of what I want to do have my study ready. And then I no longer had division one football athletes to study, which was everything I had written up. Um, so if we can get back to normal training at some point this year, I can finally run it and then write up my results and be done with it.

Um, but really it was not so much the education side. I’ve always kind of hated school. Like the Tony holler podcast. That you had, where he went into some education pieces is like one of my favorite podcasts I’ve ever listened to because I think my thoughts align a lot with it. It was a little bit of a confirmation bias, but I was a terrible student and the Mark Twain quote of I’ve never let my schooling interfere with my education is definitely me.

Like, I think school’s a waste of time and a lot of ways, but for me, it just helped from that progression standpoint of. No, if you want a true, like high-performance director role, almost everyone that I’ve seen who has those roles is a PhD. Um, if at 40 you’re coaching on the floor for four hours a day and you decide this isn’t what I want to do.

And there’s not a true director role to go into. Well, I can teach people to be strength coaches and be a college professor. I think it’s just afforded a lot more options and price wise. It made sense. So. Really, I haven’t necessarily enjoyed the work, which is sad to say, um, there’s been a few classes where I’ve enjoyed, but a lot of it’s just been work, um, busy work things I didn’t necessarily want to do or invest a ton of time in.

So I’d, I’d do the minimum to get through it. Um, but it is something that’ll allow me a little bit more freedom, which I think what we all want later in our careers. Yeah, I appreciate your transparency. I mean, it’s very pragmatic more than anything, and that’s just, that’s, that’s the nature. That’s the re that’s the reality.

It’s like, if there are certain expectations for a position, you don’t want to be the exception to the rule while you’re going to have the least amount of formal credentials, you know, it would be great if people could look into your soul and see, like, this person is really deserving, but like that’s not the world we live in.

So no, and honestly, part of it was just, you know, I thought it’d be cool to have a PhD. Um, Part of me wants to like overcome the association of, Oh, he’s a football guy who you had a chance to play with the NFL level. He’s big, he’s bald. He has a beard. He made it there because he was a good football player.

Like, no, I made it here because I’m educated and I can bring value. Um, so trying to. Make yourself a little bit more balanced. Um, but it’s definitely been a rewarding process. It, it teaches you a lot of things along the way. Um, but I don’t think it’s the greatest learning experience I had. I think the things I’ve learned outside of that throughout that three year, um, journey four years at this point have been far, far better than what I learned in it.

Um, but I do still think it’s had some, some good value. Cool. And then where can people learn more about, you know, your yourself and your program and you guys have a ton of great educational, free resources out there, and I’ll put them in the, in the show notes, but just for people who are just don’t even look at that stuff, where can they learn more about you and the program at Elon?

Yeah. So best places are Ilan performance, Instagram, Twitter. Uh, we put more on Instagram just because 140 characters. It’s hard to provide any context versus if we post something we’re trying to. Make sure people know why we’re doing it, what the kind of underpinning principles are and what we think it can do to add value.

So Postmortal Instagram at Ulan performance and then our YouTube page has virtually every movement that we use. It doesn’t have as detailed of, Hey, here’s why we do it. It’s just videos. If you want to look at our data vector cut progression, um, go to the change of direction. It’s all broken into playlist has a ton of content there.

Um, and then my personal. Instagram and Twitter at Nick DeMarco, bald guy with a beard should be easy to spot. Um, I put out some information on there, not as much as a Yuan, um, but follow either of those. And then any of our staff that I mentioned, they all have their own social medias as well. Yeah, I’ll say that.

I mean, I was looking over that, uh, YouTube site where the last couple of days, and that in itself is like, uh, an internship. So how they recommend that. And I’m looking for like a rainy snowy day when, uh, my son sleeps really well to kind of get through all those, all those videos, but, um, even really generous with your time, you know, thanks a lot and look forward to just continuing to follow your work and see all the good stuff that you continue to put out.

No, I appreciate that. Thanks so much for having me on, I really love the podcast. Like I said, Tony’s was one of the best ones I’ve ever listened to a key or had a phenomenal one. I’ve I’ve listened to your shows for a while. So thanks for having me on. Cool. Thank you.