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Corn Flakes: Boyd Epley Speaks About Strength And Conditioning

How much stronger will they be this season with Epley back in charge?
How much stronger will they be this season with Epley back in charge?
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Monday I attended the MN4NE (Minnesotans for Nebraska) Annual Golf Outing. I did not (and do not) golf, but the guest speaker this year was the legendary Boyd Epley, so I went for dinner to see some MN4NE friends and to hear Epley speak.

About 35-40 people were in attendance.

Epley started by talking about how his career began. He was hired by Devaney as the first athletic strength coach in history, and Devaney game him one proviso; "If anyone gets slower, you're fired." Obviously that didn't happen.

Epley took us through a history of the strength and conditioning program. He also talked about what it took for an athlete to be successful, and pointed out that these characteristics extended to any vocation. A person has to have talent, opportunity, and drive.

He profiled several Cornhusker athletes, pointing out how they had improved their performance. Players such as Eric Crouch, Neil Smith, Irving Fryar, and Russell Gary were used as examples.

He pointed out that Maurtice Ivy was the first woman to begin using the strength and conditioning program, and that by doing that forever changed the character of the women's basketball program.

I found his talk about the past interesting, but not nearly as interesting as what is going on now.

First, Epley is back in charge of the strength and conditioning program. He talked about the structure of his program, a four-point process, the details of which I'm going to leave out.

A big part of his program is the Performance Lab in East stadium. The Performance Lab is used for testing and evaluation of athletes; all athletes, not just the football program. He made a point of saying that prior to his arrival the Performance Lab was not being used, not just by football, but by any sport.

One example of measurement. They have an athlete jump straight up while standing on a force board. They measure how he uses his legs to jump, then they measure how he lands. It's a matter of balance and posture; if he's constantly using one leg more than the other for either or both, he's not getting as much power as he could and he's more prone to injury.

Take that concept and extrapolate it into all the other possible tests and measurements you can do and you have an idea of what's going on.

Epley ended his talk, then took questions.

My question; over the years athletes have become bigger, stronger, faster. How much more do you think we can get out of a human body?

His answer surprised me. "I don't think we're anywhere near what we can do. People are getting bigger, people are getting stronger, nutrition is getting better, training methods are getting better. We're just going to just see that continue."

Holy crap. What does the future hold?

Overall, a very interesting talk from Epley.


If you are in Minnesota and interested in joining the Minnesotans for Nebraska, head off to their web site, like them on Facebook and connect with those of us up here in the frozen tundra!

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