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February 23, 2012

The Human Body is at Least Moderately Complex

UPDATE: Anthony Dasher says apparently Armstrong jumped the gun on this announcement. It isn't a done deal yet. I assume Dash is headed to the airport to find out.

Georgia has apparently hired Sherman Armstrong as the new Speed Coach to support Coach T and the UGA strength program. He's a qualified and proven expert in his field, and the owner of his own training business. He has trained over 40 pro football players and 60+ NCAA athletes including Reggie Bush. Prior to his work as an trainer, he was an All-American track star.

I am THRILLED with this development.

-- More about Sherman Armstrong
-- About VAST Performance
-- Pro Athletes Trained

For the past year or so, I have loudly complained about the lack of expertise in Human Performance Optimization in our Strength program. My basic beef has centered around UGA's painfully slow recognition that the human body is at least moderately complex, and it requires expertise (as well as dedication and effort) to get maximum return from our investment in our athletes.

Basically, we re-staffed the strength function last year with guys who were committed to bringing accountability, hard work and focus to the S&C program at UGA. The result was a harder working, stronger and more in shape Bulldog squad (Note: Groo used the term "tougher" and I prefer that to my description). Their efforts generated meaningful improvement, and it was good enough to get the proverbial ox out of the ditch. Coach T deserves a tremendous amount of credit for that improvement.

However, leap frogging Bama and LSU requires more than just hard work. It requires working smarter.

Last year, we welcomed our athletic department to the late 1990s by hiring an actual nutritionist to address the fuel for our players' bodies. Last year, we also welcomed the athletic department to the mid-2000s by opening a high end rehab facility for our athletes inside the renovated Butts-Mehre building. The facility now includes submersible running pools and other facilities that most of CUSA had installed years earlier.

Better late than never I guess. Regardless of my bitching about the past, I am glad to see the program rebuilding the infrastructure it needs to go forward. We have come a long, long way in the past 18 months.

Anyway...back to the Speed Coach. Do I think he's going to make our players inherently "run faster." Nah. But he can improve their change of direction, flexibility and endurance. Those are factors that will make them PLAY faster.

See Also:
-- The Future of Georgia's Strength Program - DawgsOnline
-- Team Speed Kills - Blutarsky



Anonymous said...

Good post. Yet another area we let become a total garbage fire before we addressed it.

I look forward to the day we address the way we approach special teams. Maybe we're even doing it this offseason?

Anonymous said...

Is Armstrong a guy who could eventually take over S&C completely and make it his own?

He has good education credentials. His resume is not staggering but it is solid. If he is highly motivated, he could use his experience and knowledge to make the program his workshop for molding great athletes through improving techniques. I think that would be better than having a guy like JTII or Van Halanger stick with old methods and coast to retirement.

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