Monday, January 16, 2017

Alabama Strength and Conditioning

Scott usually has his mouth open.

A few days after the NCAA Football Championship game, I came across this article. We've done some posts on Scott Cochran on our site in the past and basically I have to say that I am not a fan of him or his methods. Of course my opinion doesn't have any impact on the fact that Alabama has won multiple titles and Scott has been listed as the highest paid S&C coach in the country making something like a half a million a year. His methods are apparently appreciated in Alabama. In my opinion, this is illustrative of the fact that many collegiate Strength and Conditioning coaches, especially those working with football, really have no clue on how to develop athletes. They are basically teaching fish to swim. Major college football in 2017 is highly specialized and players are recruited who have the specific abilities needed for their respective positions and programs. As long as the S&C coach doesn't injure them in training, almost anything they do will allow them to play at a high level. Collegiate football S&C coach is an extension of the head coach. As long as the head coach's philosophy is followed and the team is winning, the S&C coach looks great, regardless of how effective his program really is in developing athletes.

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday January 09, 2017

Scott Cochran has been Alabama’s head strength coach since Nick Saban arrived in 2007. It was after the second year that Cochran saw the culture change into what the Tide are today.

Alabama’s won four national titles under Saban, but Cochran said it didn’t start until the players set the expectations. Don't forget that Saban went 7-6 in his first year. Yeah, the players got better through recruiting, but Cochran saw the culture start from them in the summer workouts.

“We run in the summer, we do some thing that, if you look scientifically, it makes no sense. It’s just really difficult,” Cochran said on SiriusXM College Sports Nation. “For this month of June, I’m going to find out what your heart is. We’d do stadium runs early in the morning and then come back in the weight room when you can’t even walk down the stadium because your legs are sinking like a salt-shaker, and you walk in the door and we’re heavy back-squatting.

“I feel like the program changed when it went from me telling a player, ‘This is what we do,’ to where I saw Rolando McClain and Julio Jones slap a player and say, ‘No, no, no. This is what we do, and this is why we win. We’re going to do really heavy legs after a whole week of work and right after stadiums, too. So take that 315 off the bar and put another Cadillac on, because we’re going to go 405 for the second set.’ Just the mentality changed.”

The Tide go for No. 5 under Saban tonight at 8 p.m. ET against Clemson. Cochran also worked under Saban at LSU. Head coaches often say the strength coach is their most important hire. They set the tone and set the culture, working with players more than any of the other coaches.

Asked what message he’ll give the Tide, Cochran gave a little peek.

“I kind of had to go back and think about the mentality we used at LSU,” Cochran said. “Coach Saban used Muhammad Ali against Sonny Liston, fighting him a second time. My mentality is there, so you can take that and figure out what I’m going to do with it. That’s how I’m going to turn up the volume.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.

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