Tom Shaw does not operate within the belief that you should “run until you throw up”. He says he could spend “15 straight days running the dog out of football players” and they would just get well conditioned, but not faster. Tom’s logic on this is spot-on: on the football field, the longest play is six or seven seconds, so training for an extended duration is a waste. Instead, Coach Shaw challenges his athletes with drills that will actually enhance their performance.
As far as raw, linear speed is concerned, his method is simple: You must increase two measurables, the vertical jump and the standing long jump. “If we can increase these two movements, you’ll be faster in the 40-yard dash.” Speed is about having explosive power, both vertically and linear.
Along with speed training, Coach Shaw also strongly believes in athletes working to enhance their performance within each individual position. “You don’t train a wide receiver to run like an offensive lineman,” he says. It seems like an obvious point, but you would be suprised how little athletes actually know about the way they are supposed to train. While we want our athletes to be able to move well in any direction, the focus is to make the athlete better within their respective position—like drills to make a quarterback more efficient in his drop, or a defensive end more explosive off the ball in a pass-rush situation, or an offensive lineman quicker with his feet coming out of his stance. The game of football is constantly evolving, and the players are evolving along with it. As a trainer, Coach Shaw believes in staying ahead of the game so that his athletes are in the forefront of such a competitive and dynamic sport.
The only thing you will not find in Tom Shaw’s training program is a coach that yells down your throat until the veins in his forehead are about to burst. “I’m not a screamer,” he says. “I’m more the guy to give players an idea how to do something the right way rather than scream at them because they don’t know how to do it.” Coach Shaw’s approach to training is complex, yet refined. Intense, yet methodical. You won’t run till you puke, but you better keep up with the pace. Can you handle that?