First-year Miami director of strength and conditioning Gus Felder had quite the shoes to fill when he joined Mark Richt in Miami. His predecessor, Andreu Swasey, spent over a decade and a half in the head strength role for the Hurricanes, so Felder had to get the current 'Canes roster to buy into the new approach that he and Mark Richt had put together for the strength and conditioning program.
While Felder notes in a recent interview that they've made a lot of progress, he adds that the buy-in process starts with guys knowing that putting in serious work in the weight room goes beyond behind drenched in sweat and waking up sore; it's also about training your mind.
"This game is 90% mental and 10% physical, and we understand that. Your body is going to follow your mind, and one thing that we don't want to do, is we don't want to quit anything that we start, in life. The stuff that we do in the weight room is not just for football, it will set you up in life."
""People in general want to quit things instead of fighting through things. You don't have a testimony until you have a test. We want to test them now and find how how they're going to do now before we get out there on Saturdays."
(Before we go on, can we talk about that medallion that Felder is wearing on his gold chain!?!? That's a mini 45 pound plate and has to be the perfect piece of jewelry for a strength coach!)
Then, around the 3:40 mark, Felder talks about the unique bond and relationship that successful strength coaches have with their guys.
"That relationship is big, and it's something that all strength coaches desire. A lot of these young guys get into the profession thinking that they're going to 'train' someone."
"We don't 'train' guys, we coach lives. There are a lot of life lessons being brought into this, and brought out of this," Felder explained before expanding on the respect he has for his former strength coaches at the college and NFL level.
"This is what we do. It's so much more to ask a guy to put 500 pounds on his back multiple times, or to push a heavy sled. You've got to have a relationship, you can't just grind on someone and then have them go do that."
Felder then looked directly at a reporter and said, "You wouldn't want to do what we're doing because you don't know me, but once you get to know me you'll do anything that I ask you to do."
Hear more from Felder below. This is a really good interview for anyone that spends any amount of time in the weight room with kids. Felder gets what it's all about.