At Eden Prairie (Minn.), where the football team has won seven Class 5A state championships over the last 17 years, players don’t just want to win, they expect to win.
“Our athletes are more afraid to lose,” says coach Mike Grant.
As the Eagles prepare for an important game against rival Edina, their biggest roadblock to an eighth state title, several players spend their Sunday at Explosive Edge, a premier athletic performance training facility in Edina.
Senior defensive tackle Tyson Reinke and linebacker Jack Cottrell say they don’t mind spending their offday taxing their bodies with an all-out grind session. It’s a routine they’ve maintained since their freshman season and one they even upheld on Thanksgiving night last season.
“Those guys are committed to their team,” says Nick Pinkelman, an athletic performance coach at Explosive Edge.
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Pinkelman says Reinke’s focus on force development has helped improve his speed and explosiveness coming off the ball. Likewise, through plyo and deacceleration training, Cottrell has learned how to control his power, absorb force and better transfer it to improve his overall speed.
As for senior defensive back and quarterback Grant Shaeffer, part of his training includes accelerated jumps with bands to improve his quickness.
“Younger guys know we put in extra sessions and lifts,” Reinke says. “And they realize what it takes to become a championship-winning team.”