The right strength coach can go beyond transforming the physical makeup of your players, he can also transform their hearts and minds and how they approach putting in hard work in the weight room.
That's the type of impact that Lewis Caralla seems to be having on the Ragin' Cajuns in his first few months on the job as Mark Hudspeth's new head strength coach.
Caralla spent last season leading the strength program at North Texas before Dan McCarney was let go, and he's had previous stops at Michigan, South Florida, Georgia Tech, and Mississippi State. It was in Starkville that Caralla got to know Mark Hudspeth, who was coaching the wide receivers at the time, so when Hud found himself in search of a new strength coach, Caralla was a natural fit.
A number of players weigh in on their new strength coach in a video that the program released last night, and all of them touch on the same things; energy and enthusiasm.
"We all saw the energy that he brought, and we loved it," Karmichael Dunbar, a ULL defensive lineman explained.
Energy from the guy leading your weight room can go a long way. Now, at ULL, players no longer dread off season workouts and it's in large part because of Caralla's approach in the weight room everyday.
"It's crazy, because a lot of times you don't really want to work out, you know? But with coach Lew, he makes you want to work out. He brings enthusiasm and he makes it fun." Ragin' Cajuns defensive back Vince Thomas notes in the clip.
Later on in the clip, one player says, "You're not really viewing a workout as a workout anymore...you're wanting to do it. You want to get better, and he puts it in your mind that it's a different situation and you're not just out there working, you're out there bettering yourself for an upcoming event, an upcoming situation."
Take a look at the video for some more examples of the changes and energy that Caralla and his staff have brought to ULL.