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“Speed, Perception and On-Field Dominance” Just Fly Performance Podcast #84: Michael Zweifel

Today’s episode features Michael Zweifel, owner of “Buiding Better Athletes” performance center in Dubuque, Iowa.  

Michael was a key contributor on the incredibly popular agility, perception and sport movement roundtable with himself, Shawn Myzska, and Scott Salwasser.  Michael is a CSCS, IYCA certified practitioner, and was the all time NCAA leading receiver with 463 receptions in his playing days at University of Dubuque.  

Michael is not only one of the most well studied individuals on methods of improving athletic speed, jumping and overall power (you may have read his contributions to Just Fly Sports in this regard over the last few years), but he is also a field-leader in transferable training methods to on-field reactive ability.  As we’ve discussed in past episodes, great speed and strength doesn’t win games if athletes can’t react properly to their opponents.

Michael is continually pushing the envelope in this area, particularly in the target of the private sector and scholastic athletes.  He is continually finding new methods to give athletes chances to improve their reactive power through a variety of creative methods, many of which you can catch on his Twitter and Instagram profiles.  

Michael’s talks on our last roundtable were really intriguing and brought up a number of new questions that I was excited to follow up with for this solo episode.  Topics today will be the relation of linear speed to on field success, transitional speed, quantifying training for sport speed, agility, learning enviornments, building reactive warmups, and more.  

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.  

Michael Zweifel Podcast


Key Points:

  • Michael’s background in the field as an athlete and coach
  • Michael’s usage of long isometric holds
  • What aspects of linear speed filter into team sport success
  • Ideas on transitional speed in team sport, and how to train it
  • Quantifying team sport speed
  • Is there a “technique” for agility
  • How to create learning and teaching environments to help athletes perform better under pressure and fatigue
  • Building a reactive warmup


“I implemented long duration as a cool-down, because I believe it is superior to static stretching”

“In team sports, transitional speed is huge”

“Team sports should prioritize speed and agility and have the weightroom as an accessory”

“You get guys who run a 4.3 who don’t stand out on the field… they don’t have the ability to take perceptual ability and apply it to sport”

“I think one of the worst things you can do if you have a short window is to try and change everything about an athlete”

“There are a lot more areas of transitions into linear speed that occur in a game, than speed from a static start”

“The easiest way to screw up a golfer or a guy shooting a basketball is to make them aware of an internal technique they are using”

“It is really unwise to de-couple a technique from a stimulus”

“The process of learning a technique cannot interfere with the perception… here we do it backwards”

“Every athlete is going to approach the same problem or stimulus, and react to it differently, based on their strengths, movement tendencies, etc.”

“We can’t say there is a correct movement for every athlete (as far as agility and COD is concerned)”

“I’m trying to find ways to continually add pressure and anxiety to training, and when you do that, you can find movement disfunction”

Show Notes

Reactive Warm Up

Transitional Speed Work

About Michael Zweifel

Michael ZweifelMichael Zweifel is the owner and head of sports performance for “Building Better Athletes” performance center in Dubuque, Iowa.

Michael is a CSCS, IYCA certified practitioner, and was the all time NCAA leading receiver with 463 receptions in his playing days at University of Dubuque.

Building Better Athletes (BBA) is committed to an evidence based practice towards sports performance, and attaching physical preparation from every angle possible – physical, mental, nutritional, soft-tissue, mobility.  Our focus is building the athlete from the ground up by mastering the fundamentals of movement mastery, strength/power training, recovery modalities, and giving athletes ownership of the Other 23.

Using these methods and principles, BBA has been fortunate to help athletes to:

  • 5 NFL Players
  • 1 CFL Player
  • 1 Gatorade State Player of the Year (Basketball)
  • 7 Collegiate All-Americans
  • 12 Conference Player of the Year
  • 11 Division I Athletes
  • 52 All-Conference Athletes

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