Skills acquisition training and coach Ross Cooper joins Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast for an in-depth conversation on how to make sense of the training videos, what goes into effective training, and examples of NFL players who are executing as problem solvers at the highest level.
This might have been the fastest hour of conversation I’ve had to date on an RSP Cast. Ross Cooper (@GorillaMyscles) is a skills acquisition trainer, coach, and recruiter in Texas.
I first heard about Ross from listening to Matt Caraccio’s Saturday2Sunday Skills Acquisition Series that he’s hosted for the past two summers. I immediately connected with what he was saying and over the years, we’ve had occasional conversations that only reinforced that working bond.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about the number of videos I see on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter where trainers are showing how they are working with clients—high school players, college stars, and even seasoned NFL veterans known as elite producers at the pinnacle of the sport.
Watching these videos, I often see elements of training that are rooted in concepts that will be directly impactful on the player’s performance. I also frequently see videos where an answer is coached in a manner where it’s spoon-fed to the player but it’s not truly teaching things that are translatable to the field.
For example, using the arms or sounds as visual and audio cues for a running back to pick one hole over another isn’t realistic and teaches the player the incorrect cues to associate with the movement. They are now puppets to cues that don’t exist rather than learning to identify the realistic scenarios unfolding in front of them. They need drills that force them to read what cues that are translatable to the field of play.
Ross and I discuss several examples of helpful and less helpful methods of training and offer examples of how it translates or doesn’t translate on the field with examples of plays involving NFL players, including references to these RSP articles with video:
- Xavier Rhodes vs. Dante Pettis
- Marques Valdes-Scantling’s Stick, Dip, and Rip
- DeAndre Hopkins-Jalen Ramsey and Gaining Comfort in the Gray
We also talk about the Baker-Chef analogy that Mark Schofield wrote about and whether Ross believes the Chef mentality can be taught. His answer takes us back to the idea of teaching people to ultimately craft their own voice-style.
At times, our conversation found parallels to music, boxing, Bruce Lee, and cooking. If you’re interested in scouting football players, this is the deeper plain that is important to grasp about top performers, where it begins, and how it is formed.
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