We all know who Erik Korem is. He’s the magical wizard responsible for getting our boys in the best shape of their lives, while also cutting down on injuries. But the rest of the country has no idea who he is, or what he does. How could they? High-Performance training for other programs is basically just an extra set of up-downs with chin straps buckled. They know not what sort of heart monitor-related black magic Korem is cooking up inside Nutter.
That’s about to change, though.
Korem’s ahead-of-the-curve training methods were the subject of a segment on CBS Sports Network’s ‘Fast Football,’ as well as this article by CBS’s Bruce Feldman. Korem talks a lot in the ‘Fast Football’ segment about where he first learned the basis for his High-Performance program (Australia) and how managed to implement the system first at FSU, and now at UK. It was all good stuff, and basically a 7-minute-long marketing pitch for Stoops and Co.
The Feldman article is worth a read as well, and features tidbits such as this one:
There many intriguing methods Korem, a former Texas A&M football player, has brought to UK. Among them, the reasoning behind not letting players wearing headsets while training.
“When we first started, that was a shock,” Korem said. “But we showed them through some research that there’s something called, ‘Fight or Flight,’ the sympathetic nervous system. When you’re about to get into a game or a fight, your nervous system is excited. When you’re constantly plugged into music, we found the body didn’t have that natural response.
“So when we first started training, we wanted to teach these guys how to naturally control their arousal levels. It wasn’t fun at the beginning, but then we explained to em, ‘You’ve got to learn how to create your own music.’ It started to click with them that you can control your level of excitement. You don’t want to be hooked on stimulus. Aside from that, we try to work with our guys on not wearing their headphones all the time on campus, because you miss out on the life. Music is great, but it shouldn’t be used as the primary stimulus to get you ready to go all the time.”
No headphones? That’s cold, Coach. Korem’s thinking even further outside the box than I thought.
You can watch the whole segment on the Cats High-Performance Training program right here, if that’s your thing.