Recently, ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Missouri's strength and conditioning coach, Pat Ivey, and Coach Ivey shared some insight into the quality of the athletes in the Missouri football program.
"We've got criteria set," Coach Ivey. "Coach Pinkel and I sit down together. He has his expectations, from a conditioning standpoint. And the team did a great job of meeting those expectations. For the most part, the majority of the team far exceeded those expectations, just as they have the last five or six years around here. We've got great leadership. These guys are committed to working hard. We've got a lot of great leaders on this team. So, I expect nothing but continued success."
About two years ago, I had spoken to Coach Ivey, regarding his work with the football program. At that time, Coach Ivey had told us that the group of athletes that he turned over to Coach Pinkel and his staff to begin the 2009 season was the "fastest and most athletic" they'd had at Missouri during Coach Pinkel's tenure as head coach. I asked him how this year's team compares to that group from two years ago.
"I think every team is trying to improve on what's been done in the previous years," explained Coach Ivey. "Each group of seniors, it's kind of a tradition that's been built here, is to do a little bit better than your predecessors. Honor them. Honor the history. Honor what you've been given. And, they do that through their hard work. And, it shows through their effort and their attitude, and the results."
"As better athletes come into the program," continued Coach Ivey. "Obviously, the outcome is going to be better, as well............................ As long as Coach Pinkel and his coaches keep bringing in better recruits, we're going to keep getting better outcomes........................... The results just keep getting better."
I asked Coach Ivey if in each of the last three years, the team has been faster than the one before?
"Yes," replied Coach Ivey.
Coach Ivey went on to report that Austin Wuebbels broke the previous record, with 45 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press.
He also confirmed that Tristen Holt broke Danario Alexander's vertical jump record, with a vertical jump of 47".
"It was a whole lot of weight," admitted Coach Ivey, who doesn't seem to like to make this type of information public. "It was way over 600 pounds."
I asked Coach Ivey to identify which players made the greatest improvement in the strength and conditioning program this past off-season?
"The way we try to train our guys, and the way that Coach Pinkel expects us to train them, is that you see it on the field," explained Coach Ivey. "So, if you see someone that is performing better on the field, more than likely, they had a really good training session all summer."