Trent Greener Q&A, Part Three

SEATTLE - Here's the final part of our three-part Q&A session, with Trent Greener, Director of Sports Performance at the University of Washington. In this segment, Greener talks about some of the players that he's been impressed with during off-season workouts. You talked earlier about having to reign in those 'weightroom warriors' in the sense that you don't want them to overtrain and to be able to handle the ramp-up in activity during the off-season. Has it really been an issue?

Trent Greener: They have to understand where they are in the process. You have a group of young men that are driven to be successful. You see it in them academically - they are never going to miss a class. They are never going to miss a workout. They are going to try and go above and beyond the call for their individual workout for that day. And they need to understand that it can't be fight or flight every time. The body does need to go in and do work, but sometimes that work has to be submaximal in terms of developing a good base. So if they are supposed to do four sets of five, that's great - but if they go really heavy that first set they can't reproduce it for the other three sets. And that's not what we're looking for. So we have to constantly educate and teach them about where we are. We might be in week four and we have three more weeks to go. If you hit a plateau because you burnt your candle at both ends, you may not do as well as you wanted to when you test. And we don't want that either because you're working too hard. We have to channel that energy in the right direction.

DM.C: It sounds like the classic sprint versus marathon...

Greener: You got it. That's it, exactly right. There's a fine balance there. And sometimes horses need to be horses and they can go out and play big and hard and fast, and we can work with that - believe me. Those guys are fun to have. And we've got a lot of those guys.

DM.C: Based on what we've seen on the football field, it's pretty easy to figure out who has taken that work they've put in with you and moved it to the field. Could you name some of the younger guys off the top of your head that have recently 'gotten it' and not only are working hard, but are working the way you want them to work?

Greener: That's a loaded question! Cameron Elisara comes in and goes about as hard as you can possibly go in here. He really does. He's a bigger guy, so running is not always fun for him. But he runs. He gets it.

DM.C: I remember talking to Cameron after his junior year at Ferris and he told me that the day after he broke his fibula he was in the weight room doing bench presses.

Greener: I don't doubt it for a second. He's one of those guys that absolutely gets it. And speaking of guys coming back after injury - Ryan Tolar is another guy that battled and came back and was diligent with (Assistant Athletic Trainer) Rob Scheidegger and was an absolute worker. He never missed a day and went above and beyond everything they asked him to do.

Chris Polk is a guy with great physical ability and is a great worker and is so coachable. He was so consistent in everything. He was another guy that was great to be around. He's so gifted, and he know what he has and he pushes the envelope. He doesn't have a comfort zone. He's always going.

Vonzell McDowell was a guy that worked hard. Matt Mosley had a good winter. Those are some of the younger guys that come to mind. They really seemed to push and do some things really well.

DM.C: In general, have you seen more guys as you've been here longer 'getting it'? Are they moving in that direction?

Greener: Absolutely. And so much can happen from a continuity standpoint. And you hear that 'C' word and you think that it might be a cop-out, but when you're on the inside and you get to see guys on their fourth position coach or on their third of fourth strength coach...but a year after and a year after I think it makes things a lot easier because guys ask why we do this, and it sinks in. I had multiple coaches in college and it definitely makes it tough sometimes.

The guys that we have right now - we see a lot of unity, we see respect for each other and we see guys challenging each other in a positive way - young men being young men. They want to work because they want to win and they have so much vested in it. So we've got a neat group of guys that want to push each other.

Academically, the way we do things in the classroom, the way we do things in here, the way we do things out on the field and the way they practice - those things are always a work in progres. Or else they'd just come in and do it on their own. We know that we have to show some guidance and provide some leadership, but these guys have really invested themselves in the program and they've shown a lot of leadership on their own.

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