Today’s guest is Scott Salwasser, director of speed and power development at Texas Tech University. Scott was the first guest on the podcast over a year ago, and has written some fantastic pieces on linear-lateral training, as well as force-velocity profiling in the preparation of NFL pro-day athletes.
Scott is one of the most driven, dedicated, and genuine guys I know in the industry, and I’m thrilled to have him back on the show. He has been getting athletes fast as a private and NCAA strength coach for well over a decade. His knowledge of speed training, both in general and in context of football is second to none, and his network includes some of the best in the field in arenas of motor learning, biomechanics, data-screening, and practical program design.
Scott has worked with a number of force testing applications over the years, and the most recent is his work with the MySprint app, along with the associated heavy sled training. Scott put together some great results out of his NFL pro-day group last year, and talks about the how and why of this type of work in today’s episode.
For today’s podcast, we are going to talk about Scott’s reflections on speed training in college football over the past few years, as well as his utilization of heavy sled training, force-velocity profiling as well as creating training that yields better transfer to the field of play versus canned drills. You could say that the theme of this episode is really “force”, what it means to football athletes, and how we best train it. This is an excellent episode for football, S&C, and track enthusiasts alike.
Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.
- What Scott Salwasser has been learning in the last few years in regards to speed performance
- Strength in the weightroom versus being strong and fast on the field of play
- Ideas on training strengths and weaknesses based on need without compromising an athlete’s movement patterns
- When in an athlete’s career to focus on force-velocity profiling
- Utilizing the weightroom in context of force-velocity profiles
- Optimizing heavy sled loads for in-session potentiation without coordination loss when switching to free sprinting
- The impact of utilizing the MySprint in terms of both specific results, and general application to the non-data utilizing athlete
- The impact of specificity and positional demands in collegiate football training
- Creating open-chain paradigms for football players in enhancing game specific movement
- A case study on Scott’s top improving athlete in his heavy sled training group and force-velocity profiling
“I’ve always been a big fan of top-speed work for football players, especially for skill work. I’d put an even bigger emphasis on it in the future than I have before”
“Being strong and being forceful on the field doesn’t necessarily equate to being a good weightlifter” “There is a difference between being a great force producer on the field, and a great weightlifter”
“Profiling doesn’t replace a good, balanced well-thought out program based off of traditional principles that we know work, it just enhances that last 5-10% that we know a developmental athlete may not need, but some of your best athletes, that’s what is going to take them to the next level, or top off their performance”
“On the MySprint, everyone tested as needing force (for sprinting)… on general parameters, they are 500lb squatters and 300lb cleaners, but you gotta remember, we’re talking about horizontal force here”
“If you go straight from heavily loaded sprints to (free sprinting), in theory you are going to get great potentiation, but if any of you have tried it, you know guys stumble (because of the proprioception discrepancy).”
“Why would the first time you have your running back run 60 yards be with 11 angry men chasing you and you holding a football?
“Does the environment transfer to the competitive exercise…. can athletes perform drills responding to something also moving?”
“How did he get faster? (athlete with .3+ second drop in 40-yard time) More force relative to bodyweight, directed more horizontally, and directed that way over a greater period of time. Bodyweight stayed relatively the same.”
“Coaches want everything to look perfect, and that should be our goal, but an athlete struggling through something to learn is the best way for them to get better”
About Scott Salwasser
Scott Salwasser is currently the Director of Speed and Power Development at Texas Tech University, where he works exclusively with the Football program. He served previously on the strength and conditioning staffs at UC Berkeley, Sparta Performance Science, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Sacramento State and the Oakland Raiders. He competed nationally in Weightlifting as a graduate student at Sacramento State, and played intercollegiate Football as an undergraduate at UC Davis. He has a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology and is CSCS certified, among other distinctions. He and his wife Katie have two daughters, Stella and Charlotte.