Winter workout programs for college football teams around the country are coming to an end. For those programs who have not already begun practicing, spring practice is right around the corner.
We caught up with one of the coaches who is wrapping up their winter strength and conditioning program. Alex Derenthal is an Assistant Strength Coach for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. We talk what high school athletes should be doing, goals for his off-season training program, his favorite speed training exercise and Alex’s favorite motivational quote and/or song. Enjoy.
Nick Cipkus: From your experience, what should HS athletes do less of during their training? What should they do more?
Alex Derenthal: High school athletes should worry less about chasing big numbers on their lifts and more about performing them properly. Another thing I would concentrate less on, are “quick feet” drills like speed ladders for agility training. I would instead concentrate on learning proper deceleration mechanics, learning to stop and start with efficiency.
Nick Cipkus: What is your favorite speed training exercise?
Alex Derenthal: My favorite speed training exercise is sprinting. Nothing can replace sprinting at full speed. If you want to run fast, you need to run fast. As far as improving efficiency and developing sprinting skill, one of my favorite drills is called the “Pose Chop.” The “pose chop”is a wall drill but without the wall. Stand tall through one leg, have the other knee up at 90° and, on command or in rhythm, switch legs. You can work one, two, or three steps at a time, eventually adding light resistance. I can’t take credit for inventing it, but I value what it teaches through posture, knee drive, balance, etc.
Nick Cipkus: What were the goals for this off-season training program?
Alex Derenthal: Our winter off-season is used as a time to accomplish four things:
A. Recover from the season and try to fix any imbalances that were developed
B. Get bigger
C. Get stronger
D. Prepare our athletes for Spring Practice
This past off-season we also had the goal of bringing the team together and develop leadership amongst our athletes. We incorporated drills and exercises that required teamwork, communication, and relying on each other.
Nick Cipkus: What is your favorite Motivational quote and/or Song to play in weight room?
Alex Derenthal: This is a tough one. A lot of our athletes get into Meek Mill’s Dreams & Nightmares and Lucci’s Unstoppable. Eminem’s Lose Yourself is a song that doesn’t get old. Personally, if you put on any song from the first four Rocky movies, I get fired up.
As far as motivational quotes go, there are too many great ones to choose just one, but this is one I have come back to many times.
“I was not delivered into this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.”
It is a paragraph from The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. It was introduced to me as a college athlete and has stuck with me since.
Liberty Performance Training works with many high school athletes from all over Phoenix. In an ongoing effort to provide educational resources, we interview some of the top strength and conditioning coaches from around the country and industry.