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Texas A&M Football

Tommy Moffitt introduces A&M's new strength & conditioning program

January 31, 2024
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With over 30 years of experience in the field, new Texas A&M strength coach Tommy Moffitt joined Wednesday's edition of TexAgs Radio to discuss his path to Aggieland once Mike Elko was hired and the reasoning behind his intense, yet data-driven strength program.



Key notes from Tommy Moffitt interview

  • When we got let go at LSU, one of my assistant coaches went to work to coach Mike Elko and his strength coach, David Feeley, at Duke. After Jeremy Jacobs took the job, he called me and talked about how much he loved working for Elko, how organized he was and how good he was at supporting the strength and conditioning staff.
     
  • I became a fan of Duke and coach Elko. All you had to do was turn the TV on and watch how hard they played and how well they were coached. I knew, when this job first opened, and I found out coach Feeley wasn't coming, then I did everything possible to get him on the phone and talk to Elko.
     
  • I did make the first calls. I went after it. I was telling my friends in Baton Rouge about Duke. Everybody wondered where it came from. Duke started beating people. I was a Mike Elko fan long before this job ever became available.
     
  • Chad Klunder called me back first. I had to convince him that this was a job that I wanted. After that, I spoke to coach Elko.
     
  • I think with every person, inherently, it's a case of fight or flight. Human nature is to run. In college football, you encounter that on every play in the game.
     
  • It has to do with how you build confidence in a young man so that he believes in himself enough that he can stand and fight vs. flight. That is the first thing. Your team has to have confidence in their ability to stand up and face another man in this conference, which is the premier conference in college football.
     
  • Every school recruits. Every school has a strength coach. It's like building calluses on your hand, but you build them in your personality and your ability when you don't think you can take another step, perform another rep or whatever the drill might be. It's a matter of building up calluses over time and stacking those experiences on top of one another until the guy feels like he is invincible. That's as good as I can explain it without going into a 48-hour dissertation about what we do in the weight rooms.
     
  • Starting from scratch on a daily basis and building these guys up on every set and rep that we do until they are invincible. Some people say that mental or physical toughness is inherited, and you cannot develop that. I disagree. A lot doesn't have to do with toughness. A lot of it has to do with confidence.
     
  • The mind gives up mentally, and we do that mentally before we are ever physically challenged. When you develop the mental fortitude to be able to push through something you don't think you are physically capable of accomplishing, the sky is the limit.
     
  • You have to set a baseline. We did that on the first day. We gave them the marching orders that they were supposed to meet every day. It comes with discipline and consistency. Doing the right thing every day until it becomes normal. We established a baseline. You reinforce it with positive feedback when they do it correctly and reminders when they don't that there are consequences.
     
  • The list of guys outside of my window, this story goes way back. When I took the job at Miami, I would hear the players talk about stuff they were going to do. Their actions were opposite.
     
  • When I was a kid, I fell asleep every night with a football in my hand. I wanted to play in the NFL. Everyone that gets to this level has a chance to make an NFL roster. When your actions say one thing, and your words say another, you are never going to make it.
     
  • I put a sign in the window at Miami first, and it had a very positive influence on those guys. When I got to LSU, I started doing it. That particular sign that went viral was something when kept in the house. I would take it down every night. That was for the athletes to see. Not the general public.
     
  • I had a director from another department say, "Hey, I need help with these guys. I am asking them to do something and they won't. Will you help me?" I was reluctant at first because I wanted to send the right message to the team. He talked me into putting those guys' names on a piece of paper. That afternoon, I did not take it down. Unfortunately for those guys, that was not a strength & conditioning list. That was a list from another department within the football program.
     
  • The next day, we were playing Alabama, and we had a weight room tour. A lady took a picture and put it on Facebook. I was embarrassed for those guys. It was my fault. I should have not done it. Someone sent me it, and I apologized publicly to those guys. That list was not a strength & conditioning list, and I got burned.
     
  • When I did put guys' names on a list for strength & conditioning, no one ever said a word to me because they knew why their names went on there. That was the best form of punishment that I have ever used.
     
  • Everyone's goal is to make it to the NFL, and when the scouts come and ask me about a guy, I tell them the truth. If I don't, they are never going to take my word on any other player ever again. I was honest. I only talk to NFL scouts about when guys are in the weight room.
     
  • Long ago, when I started, everything was done on experience, information and knowledge, if available. There was no internet. You had to send a check to buy a book. I remember it took me a month to get it.
     
  • Today, information is immediately available. We were outside running, and one of our data analytics people had a TV screen. I could see what was going on in real time about the distance and velocities that we were hitting. Every time a Texas A&M Aggie comes to the weight room or goes to run or practice, we measure it and analyze it.
     
  • We finish with an hour-long staff meeting immediately following the workout to go over all the data. The things that we do are analytics-based and data-driven. It takes the guesswork out of it.
     
  • I have two former Duke strength coaches on my staff. One worked for me at LSU, and Brandon Stegall came with coach Elko. Those guys know the distances, velocities, accelerations and decelerations that Elko is going to do in his first practice.
     
  • We reverse engineer what the practice will look like, and we prescribe an exact number of decelerations, accelerations and times that are required to make it through the first practice. It is pretty neat.
     
  • This week, we are at 45 percent of the distance required to make it through the first hard practice of 7,200 yards. We do 40 percent on Tuesday. We do 60 percent on Friday. We have sprint bands, and we go all the way up, percentage-wise, on their max velocities. We make sure we hit those data points during practice, and we are good to go.
Discussion from...

Tommy Moffitt introduces A&M's new strength & conditioning program

19,927 Views | 18 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by Dr Lane Trowlan
MagnumLoad
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Excellent. Been needing this. Maybe the best players are really gonna play.
Johnsy3
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AG
"Every time a Texas A&M Aggie comes to the weight room or goes to run or practice, we measure it and analyze it."

"The things that we do are analytics-based and data-driven. It takes the guesswork out of it."


Sounds like TM is a perfect mix of old-school toughness and new school technology
WC94
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AG
Out FKG Standing!
EllisCoAg
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AG
good stuff
I wanna see our defense pissed off, not confused, maybe a little murder in their hearts Reload12, 11/4/11
Flashdiaz
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AG
nice to hear someone that is willing to adapt yet keep the core message the same.
Señor Chang
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AG
Elko has quite a reputation if Moffitt was reaching out to him about the job.
4
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Just win
P.U.T.U
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AG
Between this and the interviews from players sounds like they are being held responsible for their actions
Maroon Flash
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AG
Absolute home run hire!
Dad08
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Love the fight / flight comparison. Can see this on a chalk board… when Flight is there, the "L" is there for Looser. I was a little disappointed he said the "list" picture should not have been known. Why not! Hold them accountable! Other that that, I think this is a great hire.
Randy Rhodes
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I think he meant that specific list shouldnt have been known cause it wasn't for S&C work. I could be wrong though
Max Power
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AG
Quote:


  • When I did put guys' names on a list for strength & conditioning, no one ever said a word to me because they knew why their names went on there. That was the best form of punishment that I have ever used.


  • I wonder if this was related to the sign that said something to the effect of Sam Montgomery doesn't want to work. IIRC there was a sign that got publicized around combine or draft time and his name was on it because he wasn't putting in the effort. He gets drafted by Houston in the third round in 2013 and ultimately doesn't pan out, perhaps because in fact he doesn't want to work. If he's calling guys out for not putting in the work, he's likely correct. Hell they did that at my high school for guys that weren't putting in the effort.
    Detmersdislocatedshoulder
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    what i like about this approach is effort become quantifiable. when your watching players run or lift or whatever it's very difficult to really gauge with your eyes is this guy going 100%. maybe he is only going 95% but still winning in practice.

    this methodology creates baselines of info so they will know who has a great practice and who is loafing even if they are still winning in practice.

    you either push yourself or your get pushed around come game day.
    The Agly Duckling
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    This looks good. Really good.
    Gilligan
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    AG
    Before Jerry Schmidt stepped on the A&M campus Texas A&M football players didn't even look like their SEC opponents physically. There was a significant improvement of player physicality and less injuries with Jerry.

    Additionally, Jerry would spur his players on from the sidelines like crazy.

    When Jerry left A&M took a big step back in both physicality and the increasing number of injuries.

    I hope this guy can fill the gap that Jerry left and hopefully exceed it.
    12Power
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    Was TM the guy who introduced Tai Kwon Do to the LSU team when Joe Burrow was there and they won the natty?
    usmcbrooks
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    Dr Lane Trowlan
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    12Power said:

    Was TM the guy who introduced Tai Kwon Do to the LSU team when Joe Burrow was there and they won the natty?


    He was at LSU from 2000-2021, so he was there with Burrow, so probably…
    Run The Damn Ball
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