Two weeks before Auburn’s season-opening bout against sixth-ranked Washington, Auburn strength and conditioning coach Ryan Russell is empowering his players by tapping into the mental aspect of the game.
“Psychology trumps physiology,” Russell said.
On top of his emphasis in the weight room, Russell is also seen by his players as a life coach, teaching them lessons they can use outside the game of football.
“Educating them on the importance of nutrition, lifestyle habits, and that they can’t out-train bad nutrition and bad lifestyle habits,” Russell said.
Sports-related injuries are inevitable. Even then, Russell can work around injuries and still obtain a training effect.
“From a physiological standpoint, the growth hormone released during training, those are good things," Russell said. "It’s going to help the guys recover a little bit faster."
When an injury does take place, Tigers athletic trainers and sports medicine staff have the capability to rehabilitate players using cutting-edge technology.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
“Great athletes aren’t born, they’re developed," Russell said. "At the end of the day it comes back to a lot of hard work and attention to detail.”
About two and a half years ago, Auburn’s football team invested in a Force Plate, via a sponsorship with Sparta Science.
Sparta Science is a Silicon Valley-based company specializing in the reduction of injuries and optimization of performance. Sparta’s software is used worldwide by the military and sports organizations on all levels.
“Our guys jump on a Force Plate and it allows us to identify any deficiencies of the kinetic chain," Russell said. "It helps us address any of those issues from an individual deficiency standpoint."
The Tigers push through eight-plus-hour days in camp, but Russell knows that time has to be put aside for proper rest. Per Russell, eight to nine hours of sleep per night is conducive to the overall nutrition plan laid for these players.
“Sleep is at the forefront of what we’re doing,” Russell said. “Coaches actually made a really big push this summer camp for it.”
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman