September 28, 2010
Freshmen class getting acclimated to S&C
Over the past two years, GBK has taken the fans inside one the important segments of the Black Knights' football program and that is their Strength & Conditioning under the leadership of Army football Strength Coach Brett Gerch.
However, Gerch would be the first to point out that the results that fans are seeing with the Black Knight players are not a solo performance, but a team effort. And the other part of the S&C program is Kevin Schadt who is the team's Assistant Strength Coach.
GoBlackKnights.com had a chance to catch up with Schadt a brief time Q&A as our focus is on the developing freshmen (plebe) class and their transition into the S&C program at Army.
GBK.com: Why the need to separate the plebes from upperclassmen when it comes to S&C
Schadt: During the season we train twice a week. Once on the day after the game which is includes our pool recovery workouts and our heavier day which includes our Olympic Multi-Joint Speed movement (Clean, Snatch, Jerk, Etc), Back Squats, Romanian Deadlifts and our core upper body lifts.
Players typically have Monday's off so we do this to reduce the buildup of lactic acid in the body following a game and also to keep our legs fresh throughout a long season.
The B-Squad will lift similarly to the A-Squad during our Sunday and 1 day during the week sessions as to keep them fresh for practice. This way we give them the best chance to perform well and develop on the field while also giving our starting units a great look on the scout team for Saturdays.
We have an extra lift for the B-Squad and non-travel players on Fridays. During these sessions we emphasis technique work and introduce new movements and exercises they will experience with more intensity during the off season.
Our main goal with the freshman during the season is to build a quality foundation and orient the body with new movement patterns (Olympic Lifts, Speed and Agility drills) that they most likely have not had great experience with. We will not implement extremely high intensity workouts during the week, again in order to keep them fresh and give them a chance to recover from practice.
GBK.com: Speaking of goals ... are there goal breakouts for linemen versus the skilled positions
Schadt: Our goals are pretty straight forward for all of our players. We want to help them develop overall athleticism through a variety of different training methods and get them to the peak of their individual potential (mental and physical) in order for them to reach their goals as individuals and help us reach our goals as a program.
Most of our young linemen need to put on some quality weight as they continue to grow into their bodies and also increase their flexibility. Flexibility will increase their ability to play low coming off the ball and also reduce the chance of injury. We need our line to be able to play fast, aggressive so we focus on plyometric movements to train the SSC (Stretch Shortening Cycle) and help them be more efficient in that area.
Our skill positions, again, need time to fill out their frames a little. Most of our guys can afford and will end up putting on 10-15 lbs of lean muscle which will only increase their chances of succeeded against the larger competition we face weekly. At the same time we are working on footwork and speed drills to help them play faster and again, improve their athleticism. We need to make gains in the speed and agility areas over the next few months.
GBK.com: Can you talk about the overall progression with the younger players?
Schadt: The early stages are always tough coming into a new program. As a strength staff we do our best to implement each movement and exercise in segments to the new incoming players in order to help them progress accordingly. We teach them from the ground up and are very particular on technique. The freshman class has come a long way from August as far as technique is concern and now we are starting to see some of the weights go up. Technique and speed always come first, however, so we make sure each player has a great grasp of the concepts we need them to know with regards to everything we do before we give them the OK to go up in weight.
We are very happy with the development of the class thus far and we are ahead of where we were with our last class this time last year. The effort in each of the sessions has been great and the guys seem to have bought in to what we are selling. Once we get into the off-season we will really see the hard work begin to pay off.
GBK.com: When you look at this class as a group, which players are making great strides?
Schadt: I would say Ripley, Brandon Porter, Crockett, Matt Luetjen, Rainey, Whitaker, Tippett, [db]J.R. Woodward, Jebb, [db]Lyle Beloney, Casey Brewer, Hinkson, Miller, Reggie Nesbit, Shelby Jackson, Szott
all are making great strides.
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