It's impossible to talk about some of the top strength coaches in the profession without bringing up Stanford's Shannon Turley. His integral role in the resurgence of the Stanford program speaks for itself.
After the 2006 season, Turley was brought in to help turn around the Stanford program. In the years that followed, The Cardinal win totals have improved to 4, 5, 8, 12, 11, 12, 11, and 8 this past season. The Cardinal have also transformed into one of the most physically dominant programs on both sides of the ball under his watch during his time in Palo Alto, particularly in the trenches.
Turley, the 2011 winner of the FootballScoop Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year award, is highly regarded for his ability to flat out get results with a rather old-school and holistic approach to his craft.
Stanford recently released this video detailing part of that approach, specifically on the topic of goal setting and how it has helped the Cardinal on and off the field.
"The first mental discipline skill that they're going to learn is goal setting, and that starts now. We're going to send them information on goal setting, and how to set goals - smart goals, specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, tim constrained goals." Turley explains.
"More importantly, what kind of goals are you setting? Performance goals or outcome goals? They're all really good at setting outcome goals, talking about what they want and what they hope to achieve in their career, what their dreams are. But what they don't realize is how little control they have over all of that, so we try to take them back to the basics by concentrating on what they can control, and investing in the process."
"That's what it's really about for us. That gives you the ability to concentrate in a critical situation of a game, and to respond to adversity, because in football, it's coming...it's inevitable. There are so many factors that you cannot control that you're just going to have to deal with. So what are you going to do when adversity strikes and how are you going to respond and deal with that, and how are you going to approach the pressure of a big moment, a big game and how that's going to affect you in competition?"
"These are all things that we can teach in the off season, whether it's in the weight room, or out on the practice field conditioning, we can put them in these competitive situations, and really help them learn how to be their best and be the most disciplined mentally so that they can execute when it counts on Saturdays." he explains.
Take a look at the full clip below and it's easy to see how Turley's approach goes hand in hand with what David Shaw and his staff are trying to accomplish on the field, which is what every coach wants in the man running their strength program.