Bigger, faster and stronger.
That's the goal of the strength staff at Southern Methodist University. According to second year strength coach and former Mustang football player Vic Viloria, that's exactly the situation this summer for this upcoming football team.
"There is a new attitude around here," Viloria told PonyStampede.com Thursday morning. "The guys have a little swagger in their step. They are so much more confident in themselves, the program and what we are doing as a team."
Viloria is quick to point out that everything begins at the top, and he sees a major change in attitude from the players since the arrival of June Jones and his new coaching staff.
"I sat down with the new coaching staff and with Coach Jones to see what he expects from his team," Viloria said. "He likes quicker, more agile athletes who have good lateral movement. We have adjusted a lot of our drills to fit that philosophy."
From changing the way they do squats to doing little things different, Viloria and his staff has seen major improvements since this spring.
"Our players have better vertical leaps, faster forty times and overall are more explosive," Viloria said. "The guys are really buying into everything we are doing from what Coach Jones is doing on the field to what we are doing in the weight room."
Its Viloria's job to make the football coaches lives easier.
"We teach discipline, we teach how important it is to listen and to take responsibility for their actions," Viloria said. "I was very impressed with the player's attitude coming out of spring practice. Last year they were mentally drained and it carried over to summer workouts. After spring ball this year the kids were so refreshed and were beating down the door to get into the weight room to work that much harder. It was an amazing change."
Viloria gives credit to Jones and his staff change of style out on the field and how they approach and teach their players.
"It's totally different and the players love this coaching staff," Viloria said. "They realize the opportunity that lies before them. They have a proven coaching staff that has won a lot of ballgames. They now realize it's up to them to put in the hard work, they feel that they will see dividends out on the field for their efforts. That's a first here for a long time."
Having the entire freshmen class participating in the second summer session is also a major improvement over last year.
"We only had two or three freshmen here last year during the summer," Viloria said. "It's going to make a major difference. The talent level of this group of freshmen is so much higher than we have had here in a long time. They will make me look like a much better strength coach in a couple of years. This coaching staff is doing an amazing job upgrading the athletic talent level."
According to the head strength coach there is a new excitement in the SMU football program.
"There is a new excited energy that I have never seen here at SMU," Viloria "It starts with the head man, everyone feels that we have the right man for the job."
Publisher Note: This is the first of a two part series. Part Two will focus on certain players improvements and what the strength staff is doing different than this time last year.