ASHLAND -- Speed kills on the gridiron and after training with John "JB" Barnes of Pro Baller Fitness, the SOU football team could be lethal this coming season.
Barnes is the father of John Barnes III a sophomore wide receiver for the Raiders and is a former professional football player, who received an invite to training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2005. He decided to use his training to try and help his son's team get even faster.
“I feel like the guys needed some extra work, some things they’re not used to," Barnes said, "So, I brought down some of my swag.”
That "swag" included belts and weights for weight-resistant running, box jumps, ladder drills, workouts in the bleachers, and much more. It wasn't the normal workout the team would go through, but it kept the Raiders busy.
“It’s a different burn. It’s a burn early, it burns throughout the workout, so by the first drill, it’s burning," senior defensive back A.J. Cooper said after the workout.
For a team that predicates itself on its speed on both sides of the ball, the drills, which taught proper running mechanics, were a huge step in the right direction. Now, offensive assistant coach, Jack Singler, said they need to apply the newfound mechanics to in-game situations.
“I think it’s important for guys to get that and progress to move it down the field now," Singler said, "Now, can you run 40 yards and beat a safety over the top or can you beat a corner, can you beat a linebacker?”
Barnes stresses confidence being one of the most important factors in building up your speed. Especially bigger guys, like offensive lineman, may not come into drills with much confidence, even though they have the skills to be fast.
You have a lot of kids who don’t have some of the best confidence, being they didn’t get it at home or from some of their coaches," Barnes said, "That’s my biggest thing with Pro Baller Fitness, I try to make sure I motivate every kid.”
It also was nice for the team to simply have anothe voice in their ear, giving them a unique perspective, while building skills important on the football field.
“I think they get tired of hearing Coach Sander, or myself, or Coach Chin, whoever it is, Coach Hall," Singler said, "I think they just get sick and tired of hearing our voices, so it’s good to get something new and something fresh they can get excited about.”
According to Barnes, this won't be the last time the Raiders go through this type of training this season.