Bill Maxwell is the Iowa basketball equivalent of Chris Doyle. That is not just because he is the strength and conditioning coach. Maxwell also uses methods of conditioning that go beyond the normal endurance and strength workouts.
"Basketball is a game of explosion and high intensity so we work to develop both areas", said Maxwell. When Coach Alford first came to Iowa, he led the basketball team on a cross-country run every morning. That practice has ended as Coach Maxwell has revised the conditioning program used for the basketball team.
"We never run or sprint more than 200 yards. Since basketball is a high intensity sport, we no longer run cross-country. Players run brief sprints with decreasing rest periods", noted Maxwell. Welcome to the Maxwell House of Horrors!
"The other area that we concentrate on is jumping. We use the Olympic lifts of clean, jerk and snatch to help each player increase his explosiveness. Free weights are superior to all the machines in developing better jumping ability. Each lift has a purpose of developing speed and power for that part of the body. We also work on developing strength, but that is not as important as the other two areas", the coach added.
When I asked which of the returning players showed the most improvement during the off-season, Maxwell quickly responded "Jared Reiner and Glen Worley". Reiner improved both his strength and endurance while dropping weight. Jared is under 250 pounds now and has been as low as 240. Glen Worley dropped 10 pounds or so to 218. That should help both his quickness and his endurance.
Obviously, with a smaller roster this year, increasing endurance was a very important part of the training sessions. "I did this by enforcing the quality of the work by timing all the sprints and other measures to provide feedback", added Maxwell.
Walk-ons will play an important role this year, so their conditioning is also very important. "They joined in late September so I had to lower my expectations for them because I hadn't prepared them during the summer. However, they all jumped in and performed fairly well. Kurt Spurgeon is very well conditioned and has pretty good speed. His back tightens up at times, but he should be able to provide quality minutes this year".
When I asked if any other walk-on stood out, Maxwell quickly responded, "Greg Dollmeyer is a horse. He has a large frame and is very strong".
Who is the strongest of all the Hawks? That would be Josh Kimm, as he can bench 275 pounds.
Maxwell also wanted to offer advice to all the young players out their about how to lift to increase their performance. "The most important thing is to only use weights where you can achieve the reps desired. If your target reps are 12, for example, don't use so much weight that you can't achieve that number".
After interviewing Coach Maxwell, I became very tired. Perhaps a nap is in order!