9TABLE OF CONTENTS
APRIL , 2007
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Keepin’ It Real
Kruger, Camarena Repeat
Big weights in Fayetteville & Boston
Koji Murofushi is one of throwing’s most
STEPPING OUT OF THE SHADOWS
World records are becoming routine in Carbondale
Dan Taylor has made the U.S. elite forces into a quintet.
A little Q&A with the Olympic champ
APPROACH TO WEIGHT TRAINING
Plan for effective workouts
IN A FISHBOWL
Brian Robison is under a different spotlight now
On his health, desert life, and more
SPEED AND VERTICAL JUMP
Explosive concepts for throwers
Freemans, Midles’, and now meet this SoCal brood
THE NEEDS OF DISCUS THROWERS
The ‘First Principles’ Approach
ABC’S OF THROWING: JUMPS
Plyos for power
LIFE IN A FISHBOWL
University of Texas senior Brian Robison, known as
“B-Rob” to his friends, knows a little about pressure.
He’s played in a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) championship game
with a national title on the line late in the contest
with the entire nation watching.
As a senior shot putter he shouldered that load alone each time he
entered the circle, eventually nabbing a silver medal at D1’s behind
Florida State’s Garrett Johnson.
And now Robison is facing a different type of
pressure as he prepares for the NFL draft.
He has foregone his
senior track campaign in favor of pursuing his gridiron dream, and the
prying eyes of the NFL are upon him.
This is a new kind of pressure for the Texas native, but as he’s
shown before on the athletic field, he’s more than up for the challenge.
Tell us about your high school athletic career.
BR: I went to
Splendora High school in Splendora, TX. My first two years in High School
I did five sports (football, basketball, baseball, powerlifting and
track). I made varsity in all five as a freshman. I was best in
football and track in my first two years, but I was a very good pitcher in
baseball. I earned All-District honors in football, basketball, and baseball
as a sophomore. I also earned All-County and All-Area honors in
football. I won district in both shot put and discus as a sophomore
in a meet in which I also did triple jump and long jump. I ended up
winning Regionals and strained my pectoral muscle at State and still
finished second. After my second year. I narrowed the sports down to
football, basketball and track. My junior year in football I earned
All-District, All-Area, All-County and All-State honors. In basketball I
earned all district honors, and in track I won District and Regionals in
both shot put and discus and at State I won the discus and got fourth in
the shot. My senior year in
football I ended up earning All-District honors as well as all state.
I was the Defensive Player of the Year in my area and earned All-American
awards as well. In track I was a two-time All-American and my senior
year I had the full sweep of winning District, Regionals and State in both
shot and disc. I had the number one
throw in the country in the discus and threw the state’s farthest
throw ever. My high school years were built around a lot of hard
work but it all paid off.
were you introduced to track and field?
BR: I actually decided
to do shot and disc my 8th grade year.
A guy named Danny Roberts happened to be at the meet and taught me
how to throw. He worked with
me throughout high school so I owe everything to him.
was the recruiting process like for you?
Why did you pick UT?
BR: It was very short
because I committed very early, and I chose UT because it just seemed like
the best fit for me.
you tell us about life in a ‘football factory?’ How demanding
is the commitment to play football at the highest levels of Division
BR: Most people know
that football in Texas is a way of life so for me it was a dream to play
the game at the level in which I did. In order to be great at the
level of D1 football, you have to be committed and have a great work
serious football players, including those who intend to participate
in track, eventually give in to pressure to participate in Spring
ball. What was your
experience like at UT?
BR: I competed in both
so really for me it was like there really were two separate track seasons
because I had to practice football so sometimes I had to pull double duty
and practice football and then go across the street and compete in a track
meet, but I was never really all track until after spring ball was over.
That’s when I began to make big strides in becoming a great
do you relish the most about beating USC and winning the National
BR: I think the
play on 4th and 2 knowing that I was the first guy to hit the running back
to make the stop and get the ball back to our offense to win the game and
see the clock click down to zero.
confess to being a Tennessee Titans fan. What was it like playing
with Vince Young?
BR: It was great.
He keeps everyone relaxed and is so confident that it spreads to
all the members of the team. He
is just a great guy to be around.
was a three-year starter who began his college career at middle
your feelings for football versus track. Imagine that a career
in track presented an equal financial reward. What would be your
pick then, and why?
BR: Regardless of
pay, football has always been a dream of mine and I will do anything to
make it come true. I would love to do both, but I have been playing
football for so long that it has become part of my life and I hope to
continue that. Sometimes you just have to go after what you want.
the emotional rush of playing in front of up to 100,000 fans in pads
and helmet versus having the spotlight yourself when you step into
the circle, albeit in front of a much more intimate audience.
BR: Personally I
think that after having the spotlight on you in the ring, it makes the
nerves in football games and other sports so much less. The best way
I can explain is what happened my junior year at Conference: You have been
leading the meet all day long and the two throwers in front of you have
just passed you; now you are in third place; everybody is watching you as
you step in the ring; you know that you have to throw 2 feet farther than
you have ever thrown in order to win.
You step in and you see hundreds of fans looking at you.
Your heart is pounding and adrenaline is pumping, you calm yourself
down and do the technique you know and you win the meet.
If you can go through that then, all other sports moments are a
piece of cake.
Robison showed great promise in the ring in
'06, looking like another future American 70-footer.
is your major and how far away from graduation are you?
BR: My major is
kinesiology and I have 9 hours left which I will go back and get done.
You left school for the spring semester to prepare for the NFL
combine and draft. Where are you training? How does that
training differ from what you’ve undergone for football and track?
BR: I am currently
training in Houston, TX, at a place called PLEX with a guy named Danny
Arnold. The training is more
like the training for track as far as the explosive movements, but it also
does a lot of football stuff like footwork and hips things that are very
important in football. Danny and his staff have done a tremendous
job with me for my football this spring.
you walk us through the Combine experience?
Were you pleased with your performance in Indianapolis?
I saw your numbers and they are very impressive.
BR: I got into
Indianapolis for the Combine on Friday.
The first thing we had to do was get checked in and everything, put
our bags down and put on our numbered sweatshirts and shorts. I came back
downstairs and got in the Cybex machine, which tests the ratio between
your quad and hamstring. As soon as we got done with that, we went to the
hospital, and I was there for about 4.5 hours, taking X-rays and all sorts
On the second day, Saturday, I woke up at 4:45 a.m., and we went
downstairs to take a drug test at 5 a.m.
After that, I had breakfast and everything, with maybe a little
downtime afterward (30 minutes or so). Then we had to do interviews
immediately with teams and do our weigh-ins. I weighed in at 259 pounds
and was measured at 6-foot-3. Then as soon as we did that, we went
straight over to the machine that measures body fat, which I never got the
results of. They took us to the RCA Dome, where we got poked and prodded
for all our physicals. It was about 12 different doctors all looking for
any little thing wrong. They even had people take CT scans, which I did
because they thought something was wrong with my lower back, but nothing
came of it. I think they just wanted to send me over; everything was fine
after I did that. Then I talked to some teams and of course later that
night, we had our interviews.
All in all, I met with four teams for formal interviews: Philadelphia, New
England, Dallas and San Francisco. For informal interviews, I met with the
other 28 teams. They went great—they asked a lot of questions, to draw
up defenses and stuff like that and they tried to get in your head and
mentally wear you down. I didn’t really get back into bed until about 11
p.m., and then I had to wake up at about 5 a.m. Sunday.
On Sunday morning, all we did was more interviews with teams. Then, I did
the bench press at about 2 p.m. In the bench press, I did really badly for
what I usually do in the bench. I expected to get at least 30 reps, but
truthfully I didn’t work a whole lot on the bench because I’ve always
been strong. In the vertical jump, I expected to go higher; I was a little
unlucky on the second try. I expected to go higher than that, but I
expected some of the other guys to go a little higher, too. As soon as we
were done with the vertical, we ran over to do the broad jump. I was
trying to make sure that I did the things I wanted to do and make sure I
was happy with what I did.
For the 40-yard dash, I was glad to get the vertical and broad jumps over
with first because it kind of calmed my nerves a little bit. Having that
track background kind of helped, too. I really wanted to hit a 4.5 or at
least a low 4.6, but I gave it my best shot and that’s all I can ask
Once I got through with all my workouts, I went back to the hotel and got
to bed late that night, right around 10:45 p.m. or so. I had to get up at
6 a.m. the next morning, so I went to do workouts and that was really
about it. My flight out of Indy was at 3 p.m. on Monday.
NFL Draft is a major annual event on the national sports agenda with
months on end of speculation. There are lots of eyes out there, and
seemingly even more opinions. Do you read what so-called draft
experts write about you? Do you need to have a bit of a thick skin
to deal with it all?
BR: You have
to have very thick skin. I
think people are finally starting to realize I am the athlete that I
always knew I was. The big thing is people don’t realize I played
literally my whole senior season banged up. I didn’t really play one
game fully healthy. I started off with pneumonia, and then I had a bone
bruise until about three or four weeks into the season. As soon as I
started to feel healthy again, I sprained my ankle. I didn’t play one
healthy game this whole season, which hurt me a lot because I wasn’t
able to truly show the type of football player I am, but I try to stay out
of the media and the only way I listen to it is for motivation.
read that you may be considered a bit small to play DE on Sundays and
that you’re willing to move to linebacker if necessary. What are
your preferences regarding position?
BR: I think that I
really can play either because I have the strength, speed and
explosiveness to play both positions. If you look around the league,
there are much smaller DE’s than myself.
round are you hearing you will be drafted in? Any favorite
BR: I hear many
different theories, but none of it matters until they call my name.
I have always been a Dallas fan, but I think my favorite destination will
be the team that drafts me. (laughs)
LSTJ: Do you
see yourself returning to throwing someday? Are you leaving
behind any unfinished business in track and field?
BR: I do see
myself throwing again, but when I do not know.
Hopefully a team will allow me to do it, but if not, I will come
back when my business is finished in football. As of right now, I
think I am leaving behind some unfinished business. *LSTJ*
Read more about Brian Robison in the print
issue of LSTJ.