NSCA’s Coaching Podcast – Special Episode – Team Builder, Leadership Developer, and Master Motivator with Jeff “Maddog” Madden

by Eric McMahon, MEd, CSCS, TSAC-F, RSCC*D, Jon Jost, CSCS, RSCC*E, and Jeff Madden
Coaching Podcast August 2023


Legendary strength and conditioning coach Jeff “Maddog” Madden sits down with NSCA Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager, Eric McMahon, and Gatorade Team Sports Manager, Jon Jost, to share stories and lessons from an over four-decade collegiate coaching career. This Gatorade Performance Partner collaboration episode of the NSCA Coaching Podcast emphasizes the vital role of the strength and conditioning coach as a team builder, leadership developer, and master motivator for student-athletes. Coach Madden takes us on his journey from the early days of being a strength and conditioning coach to today, discussing some major influencers in the profession and training principles that support long-term career success in college athletics. Listen in and be better equipped to face the challenges we experience in our jobs as coaches.

You can reach Coach Madden by email at jmaddog59@gmail.com| Email Jon at: jonathan.jost@pepsico.com | Find Eric on Instagram: @ericmcmahoncscs or Twitter: @ericmcmahoncscs 

To learn more and join the Gatorade Performance Partner Community, visit GatoradePerformancePartner.com.

Show Notes

“I know you’re the strength and conditioning coach. But you want to work to become an assistant athletic director, or an associate athletic director. You want to be of value to the whole department, not just the football staff. That was money in the bank.” 3:17

“That’s a pretty intense amount of time. That’s several months of training that the coaches don’t even get a chance to see them.” 10:45

“When you have communication, you can work things out. I had communication with our doctors, because I wanted to understand what the doctors were doing and how they did what they did, so I could better do my job.” 14:39

“I had a whole semester where I could go and travel and meet people; go to different clinics, go to the Gatorade clinics or whatever was out there at the given time, and spend time with people. And those people helped build my career, because they gave me solid, sound advice.” 20:20

“You see, because I wanted to let them understand it takes a lot to be a champion, but you got to do the work to be a champion. You don’t just walk out there and become a champion. You know? It’s not easy. Anybody can wear the uniform, but can you perform in that uniform? And will you defend the honor of the name on the front and the name on the back of that uniform?” 31:54


[00:00:00.00] [ROCK MUSIC]

[00:00:04.34] Welcome to the NSCA Coaching Podcast Season 7 Special Episode.

[00:00:10.43] You see, because I want to let them understand it takes a lot to be a champion, but you got to do the work to be a champion. You don't just walk out there and become a champion. You know? It's not easy. Anybody can wear the daggone uniform, you know? But can you perform in that uniform? And will you defend the honor of the name on the front and the name on the back of that uniform?

[00:00:34.65] This is the NSCA's Coaching Podcast, where we talk to strength and conditioning coaches about what you really need to know, but probably didn't learn in school. There's strength and conditioning, and then there's everything else.

[00:00:45.66] This is the NSCA Coaching Podcast, and I'm Eric McMahon. Today, we have a special episode in partnership with Gatorade. Gatorade Performance Partner helps to fuel and support important conversations across the strength and conditioning profession. Our guest today is veteran strength and conditioning coach and long-time coach and assistant AD from the University of Texas, Jeff Madden. Coach, it's great having you with us.

[00:01:12.31] Great to be on your program, guys. Thanks for having me.

[00:01:16.12] So, being a collaboration episode with Gatorade, Coach Jon Jost, Gatorade's Team Sports Manager is back with us as a guest co-host on the podcast. Coach Jost, thanks for being my wingman, today.

[00:01:30.49] Oh, it's great to be here, Eric. This is always a fun time, and extra special today to have to have a legend with us, in Mad Dog. And an amazing career-- obviously, has had an enormous amount of success as a strength and conditioning coach, and is even a better man. Coach, I think the first time that I met you-- and you may not remember this-- I was an assistant under Boyd at the University of Nebraska, and you were at Colorado, at the time.

[00:02:06.87] I remember.

[00:02:07.50] We had some great games. I can remember coming to Boulder and getting snow balls thrown at us, and the whole thing. But it was always a lot of fun. And I've enjoyed getting to know you through the years, and really appreciate all that you have done for the profession, and have done for me. So it is great to be with you here today. It's my honor.

[00:02:35.47] Well, I thank you, Jon. And you know, I can remember that day like it was yesterday, because that's the first time I had Boyd Epley in my office, and he brought you guys in as his staff. And he says-- you know, the great Boyd Epley, the godfather of strength and conditioning-- he goes, well, you know, Coach Madden, these are my guys. And one day, you have a guy that teaches power clean. You'll have a guy that teaches the bench press. You'll have a guy that teaches the squats. You got a guy like Mike Arthur over here that can do all the programming.

[00:03:07.99] You know, da, da, da, and all this. And I'm, like, this guy here, now, he's pretty special. He's got an army of guys, you know? But he gave me valuable information. Because he said, you know, Coach, I know you're the strength and conditioning coach. But you want to work to become an assistant athletic director, or an associate athletic director.

[00:03:29.20] You want to be of value to the whole department, not just the football staff. That was money in the bank. And it was a tremendous honor that he told me that the very first day he met me, you know? And we'll have more Boyd Epley stories as we go, because everybody was-- oh, that guy's this, that guy's that.

[00:03:53.38] I said, no, that guy's a great coach. He's a great mentor. And he's somebody that we all should sit and learn from, instead of looking at him and his powerful tower, as guys used to say across the country, you know? And he showed me that tower. And I built one of those towers.

[00:04:10.81] So I mean, to me, everything that he taught me in general conversations-- and we became friends because we were great competitors, you know? Everything that he taught me on those days-- he didn't even realize what he was teaching me. But it was so valuable to myself that when we won that Big Eight title that first year-- the first time that Colorado had beaten Nebraska, and we won that title-- the first person I called was Boyd Epley.

[00:04:43.93] Wow.

[00:04:44.23] You know? And he was, like, Coach, why are you calling me? I said, look, dude. You've done it. You've played for national championships. You know exactly what to do. You know? And I'm humbly calling you because I've got so much respect for you.

[00:04:56.74] Do you realize that Boyd told me everything to do every single day you're training? You know? I mean, as far as bringing your own equipment to the place, what to expect at the Orange Bowl, and-- I mean, all that stuff. That's invaluable information. You know, how the guys go out at night. You need to control those things.

[00:05:19.00] So everything he said, we did. And we had success. So I applaud him, and always have.

[00:05:27.23] Wow. That's great. And it's one of those where-- that was pretty forward-thinking, at the time, to think about athletic director roles in strength and conditioning in the early days, and where our field's at today. I want to ask you about college sports. A lot of discussions, conversations going on in that area, around the field. What do you feel the college athletic experience is about? And what is the value for student athletes to be a part of a team?

[00:05:59.84] Well, you know, college athletics in the beginning and the early days-- 'cause I started in the '80s-- you know, it was all about guys coming to get an education and getting the opportunity to further their sports career after high school. You know? Now, it's a different thing. Now, there's a whole lot more involved in it.

[00:06:20.91] We've always wanted our guys to be able to get paid legally and to have a good time. But what they're doing now with the NIL-- you know, you've got guys that are coming in, and you've got running backs that are making $2 million, and driving Mercedes, Lamborghinis, and all that kind of stuff, you know? And how are you going to tell him, look here, man. If you don't work out hard today, you won't play on Saturday. You know?

[00:06:49.26] How can a football coach say, hey, if you don't come to practice and give your all in practice to get ready to get better, you won't play on Saturday? You can't do that. It's a different way of training guys now. It's more of a negotiation-- like a pro team would be, more so. You know?

[00:07:10.26] And you have to curtail some of the things that you're doing. Because if you have a real tough workout one day, you know, a guy get pissed off, and jump in the portal and get the heck out of the school. So there's a whole lot more options now that strength and conditioning coaches have to go through to try to make their teams better. But the pressures are the same.

[00:07:35.63] Yeah. That's a really good perspective. One question that I have for you-- and this is kind of grassroots level-- is, you know, strength and conditioning coaches have-- I think, in general, have developed a reputation of being really good motivators, helping to bring the best out of individuals, and helping to get the team to focus on one common goal, all pulling in the same direction towards the collective team goals.

[00:08:12.42] And so how did you do that? What was your strategies? And how do you feel strength and conditioning coaches can have the best impact on, I guess, three different things. One, individual student athletes; two, collectively, for a team; and then third-- and you mentioned it in your story with Boyd, you know-- the institution that you're working for. And I think, you know, you have had a very positive impact, as I've read through some of the stories about you, on individuals, on motivating a team. And obviously, you had an amazing impact on the University of Texas as an institution.

[00:09:07.26] Well, Jon, was blessed. And first and foremost, I would be remiss to say that it was all me, you know? What it is is, you know, I ask God every single day to make sure he gives me something to tell these guys and girls to help them be the best they can be that day. You know? That plan is the same plan as your sets and reps, and what you're going to run today, what they're going to eat today-- how are you going to fuel them, whether you're putting Gatorade in their system, or you got straight water.

[00:09:38.28] I mean, all that stuff is what we do. Motivation is what I feel a strength and conditioning coach does. I mean, the bottom line is you've got those guys and girls way more than a position coach, you know? I know that if they don't like me, or they don't get along with me, they got a hard road to go, because the bottom line is we have to find a happy medium and a happy ground, because you're going to be with me, probably, two or three times more than you're going to be with your coach. You know?

[00:10:11.15] Because the coaches-- when we were coaching, you and I, they could only have them during the season and in the spring. You know? We had them from the time the ball game was over-- speaking of ball games, we went to a bunch of them, so I can speak on that, just like you did-- we went all the way through till the spring. Then we gave them back to the coaches, but we still trained them. And then once the last snap of spring ball was over, we give them that weekend off. Then, we had them for the rest of the summer. You know?

[00:10:44.64] So, I mean, that's a pretty intense amount of time. That's several months of training that the coaches don't even get a chance to see them. Now I'm understanding that you're there on an eight-hour rule, where you have eight hours that you can spend time with them, working them out. But if the defensive coordinator wants the defense, you've got to give him to the defensive coordinator. It the offense coordinator wants the offense, got to give him to the offensive coach. You know? If the position coach wants him, you got to give some of your time up for that.

[00:11:16.18] And that all has to equal back to eight hours a week, which makes it a little tough, you know? You can figure it out. You can find a way. If you got a great staff, and you've worked with the staff, and those guys trust and believe in you, they're just going to watch you, anyway, work them. You know?

[00:11:34.87] And you get a suggestion every now and then. Well, Coach, are you going to run this today? Going to run that? And I'm, like, no. We're going to do that next week. This week, this is what we're doing.

[00:11:44.23] You got to let them understand what your plan is, because it's got to go step-by-step. We can't throw them totally into the pool. You got to put your toe in first. You know? So when we got this 4-to-1 rest ratio thing, when we're training athletes when they first come back for the summer, so we can give them enough time to recover and recuperate, you know, we can cut down our rest ratios and work ratios as the time goes, because we got a whole summer. You know?

[00:12:17.62] And that part of conditioning, I have a total understanding-- and you do, too-- of what it takes to get those guys going, to get them to their ultimate goal. You know? And that's to make sure they're in great shape for camp. If they're in great shape for camp, you know, camp coach is supposed to get them ready to play the game. We're already doing all the stuff the coaches are doing. We're mimicking everything that they're doing anyway. You know?

[00:12:41.98] There's nothing that I did in the weight room that we could not transfer to the field. I think that's a big key, you know? A lot of the guys-- young guys-- they get so caught up in this internet stuff, and all the internet gurus on coaching and strength coaching. You need to learn from somebody that's done it, you know? If you don't learn from people that have done it firsthand, that haven't run teams-- that's like yourself.

[00:13:08.36] I remember you at SMU, or I remember you at Florida State, you know? Those guys knew what they were doing because you taught them what to do. You taught your staff what to do to make sure those guys and girls were ready to do whatever they need to do come game time. So that that's what it is when you talk about motivation,

[00:13:29.71] You have to motivate your athletic director, you know? And a lot of guys and girls don't have any relationship with their athletic director. They don't have any relationship with their trainer. The trainer's one of the most important people on the staff!

[00:13:42.82] I mean, the bottom line is, you have to get along with your trainer. You have to spend time with your trainer. You have to let them understand what you're trying to accomplish, you know? Because they're the ones that are going to say, OK, when it gets as hot as it is, like it is today-- it's 106 degrees outside, you know? And it said the feels-like temperature today is 118. It was 119 yesterday.

[00:14:06.44] So if you're taking that group out, you know, he's the one the ultimate one with the wet bulb, and he's going to push the button. You know? And if it's too hot, he's going to tell you stop training. You know? If he sees a guy having any kind of problem, he's going to say, stop the session.

[00:14:22.54] But what I was fortunate enough to do is-- I had Kenny Boyd, who's at Baylor now, you know? And before that, I had guys at North Carolina, guys at Colorado. All of them were great men and women that I worked with, because we had communication. And when you have communication, you can work things out.

[00:14:42.50] I had communication with our doctors, you know? Because I wanted to understand what the doctors were doing and how they did what they did, so I could better do my job. You know? Because you never want to do something that's going to hurt an individual. So we did prehab work. You know? So we did all the pre stuff that they would do in the training room. We did it in the weight room. You know?

[00:15:04.85] So we incorporated that into our warm-ups, and that kind of stuff. So when those guys got injured, we had a whole protocol with our training staff. We'd give them to the training staff. They would have to get, I think, 82% or something like that before they ever let them come back to the field. You know? So I mean, those are some key things I think these young coaches should understand.

[00:15:28.17] So what I'm telling you guys is the pride is not only in the winning of the games, and that kind of stuff. It's in having a great staff, getting along-- and you know, you're going to have arguments about certain things. But when it's done, it's done. You know? Because the main thing is the athlete. We want to make the athlete better and give them every opportunity they can to be the best they can be, you know? And not waste their time.

[00:15:56.46] Some great advice in there for young coaches listening. And seek out someone in the field who does the job, who's done the job. And seek out a mentor in this profession. That is huge advice that comes up often on this podcast. But I think the more we hear it, the more we realize that's really the pathway into this profession and knowing how to do this job for a long time, and have the type of career that you've had.

[00:16:21.06] Take us back to the beginning. You've had coaching stops at Rice, Colorado, North Carolina, and Texas over more than a 30-year career in the field. What initially inspired you to become a strength and conditioning coach?

[00:16:36.36] Yeah. I'm at 40 now, Eric. 40 years now. I'll tell you. I'll tell you exactly what I did, Eric.

[00:16:45.63] I had a guy-- I went to Vanderbilt University. And I had two guys, two strength coaches. And one of them, I only had for maybe a semester. But he did a phenomenal job with us to help get us stronger and make us tougher.

[00:17:05.27] Then I got a guy by the name of Doc Kreis. And Doc came in from the Georgia State Prison. And he started training us. And he had ex-prisoners and all that kind of stuff that were living in Nashville, that come over and lift. And those guys will take your max and do reps with it, so we get kind of fired up, trying to work a little harder so we wouldn't get embarrassed, you know?

[00:17:31.03] And one thing about Doc is he had a great personality. I watched him, and I saw how he brought everybody into the facility. So we had the chief of police. We had the fire chief. We had the chief of the university police. I mean, we had all the bigwig kind of people in the area.

[00:17:54.39] And we had a guy-- McConnell's Catering, which owned McConnell's. That's who fed us, you know? And all those folks came in, and he trained them all. And he made a great environment for them all to get along and learn each other. You know? And I was right there with him, because I was a player coach. You know how guys are. They get in there, and they kind of like it. And you know, I saw how much improvement he was making with our team.

[00:18:22.96] And the bottom line is, you know, Doc's personality got all these people involved in our program, because Vanderbilt hadn't been a winning program. You know? It was an academic school. It's in the SEC. You know? And we came in, and he showed us.

[00:18:39.04] I mean, I came from a team where we only lost one game. So I knew how to win, but I was excited about having somebody else that could teach us how to win, and teach the masses of us. So I watched how he coached us and how he did things.

[00:18:51.98] And Doc was a big guy. He wore shorts every day. He wore a t-shirt every day. They gave him a brand new Jeep to drive, and they gave him an apartment right outside of campus. He went to every place in the city, and he ate for free.

[00:19:08.29] So I said, hey, that's a great job. I want that job. So when you ask me how and why, that's what it was. I mean, when you're in college, you're thinking about all kinds of different things you can do. We all think we're going to go the NFL and play pro for a long time.

[00:19:26.11] But I knew I might get a shot. But I didn't think I was going to play forever. So when I saw that, I started learning.

[00:19:34.02] And what he told me to do, which was great valuable information-- he said, go see Daniel LaDule at Texas. Because Daniel was the strength coach at Texas, and Texas was a powerhouse back then, you know? Go see Meg Ritchie out at Arizona. Meg was the first female strength coach. Go see Bruno Pauletto at Tennessee, you know? And I did all those things. You know?

[00:20:00.36] And the people that he knew that were powerful in the profession-- Bob Ward, the Dallas Cowboys-- those guys and girls gave me carte blanche to come in and watch, to see what they were doing. Because I was young. I finished school early, you know? So I had a whole semester where I could go and travel and meet people-- go to different clinics, go to the Gatorade clinics or whatever was out there at the given time, and spend time with people. And those people help build my career, because they gave me solid, sound advice.

[00:20:43.16] That's incredible advice, right there, for any young strength coaches that are listening. What you did, Coach-- if people will do that today, that is an incredible platform, the network that they can build that will serve them their whole entire career.

[00:21:10.18] Correct.

[00:21:10.69] I love that advice. One question that I have has to do with-- well, I guess, let me back up here just a minute. So, you know, it's amazing how much is changing in athletics right now, especially in college athletics when you talk about transfer portal, and NIL, and how much technology is part of athletics, and training, and what is being monitored and evaluated on a daily basis. It's unbelievable.

[00:21:46.10] And so my question to you is, what are some core principles, I guess, specific to strength and conditioning that haven't changed through the years? Is there anything that you would kind of hang your hat on, and was a staple of the program when you and I were in it, were just getting started, and still hold true and are very important in a successful program today?

[00:22:19.67] Well, Jon, I'll tell you, I'm pretty basic. OK? And people say, you're old school. But I was way ahead of a whole lot of people when I was coaching. And the bottom line is, from meeting with those guys and meeting with Dr. Squat, and making him like my mentor, and other guys, like Michael Yessis, and-- I mean, dudes that are always still phenomenal, that people pick up their books and read them now-- and have the opportunity to talk to those guys, from-- Al Mueller and his brother-- those guys have so much knowledge that you don't get in a book.

[00:23:00.14] And I used to sit up with those guys at these different conferences, and take them to breakfast at, what, 11 or 12 o'clock in the morning, you know? After all the sessions was over and everybody did their beer drinking, I was the daggone designated driver. So those guys would jump in the car with me, and we'd go to Waffle House and stuff, and sit there, and pull the salt shakers out.

[00:23:22.56] And you know, they'd go over stuff. And you know I learned compensatory acceleration in one night with Dr. Squat. You know? Because he was so impressive, he-- when I have my first child in 1987, when Brandon was born, the first present I got was from Fred Hatfield. I opened up a gift, and he and his wife had sent me all kind of baby lifting stuff. It was so cool.

[00:23:53.02] I mean, those are folks that-- we all think we do it ourselves. You don't do it yourself, you know? They made the effort, they made the difference, and I was just wise enough to soak up as much knowledge as I could, just like a sponge, out there, trying to put it all together and then reframe it and put it in the situation to where it would be profitable for what we were doing, for whatever team I had. Because every team is different, you know?

[00:24:21.90] And you have to be willing enough, Jon, to change what you're doing. If you're doing something and it's not what's going to be conducive to the particular team you have, just by the bodies and the size of the guys you have, or if you get a new offensive coordinator, or you get a new defensive coordinator, and they've got different things and drills they're doing, you have to change as a strength and conditioning coach, because you got to mimic the stuff that they're doing to make your players good at that. You know?

[00:24:51.00] Like, when you take a guy like-- you got Greg Ellis, you know? The first-round pick for the Cowboys. You know, he's a big, 6'6" dude. You put his hand on the ground, he's a beast. Now all of a sudden, he's got to play standing up, because he's a hybrid. You know?

[00:25:04.96] So you got to train guys as hybrids in all seasons. So all those big dudes will have to move the same way your linebackers move. You know? They'll just be giant linebackers. I mean, you got guys like Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers-- those guys are both first-rounders.

[00:25:21.01] You know, D tackle. I'll watch what you did with those daggone defensive ends that you had that broke our quarterback's legs at damn North Carolina every year. I mean, those guys were beasts. You know? And I got an opportunity to work with a couple of them when their agents came through in the off-season, when I was in different cities.

[00:25:42.62] You know, guys come train with you. We used to do it where we'd just pick up the phone and call one another, and say, hey, I got a guy that's going to be in town. Can he come by? Nowadays, these guys just go, you know? So, I mean, having guys like that, where you can see how phenomenal their athleticism is-- I mean, some of them just stand out, where you could just put the ball out there, and they go play. You know?

[00:26:13.11] But I never get away from push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and dips. That's all my basic stuff. All right? I never get away from core training, doing all the abs, and rotational movements, and that kind of stuff. Never get away from that.

[00:26:27.30] Never get away from my bench press, squat, clean. And it can be any variation of the three, you know? And from those, it could be your one-legged movements, it can be your step-ups, it can be your step-downs. It could be lateral lunges, backward lunges, 90-degree lunges. It can be any single leg movement, you know? It can be dumbbells, kettlebells.

[00:26:51.75] Whatever it's going to take to get the particular athletes ready is what I do. You know? So I'll get away from what my foundation and base is. That is always going to be the same. They are all going to do those exercises.

[00:27:07.69] But what happens when you start getting guys and girls in that have scoliosis, or have back problems, or injuries, or necks, or they've had lower body injuries, and they can't do certain things? Then you got your leg press. You got your single-leg leg presses. You got different variable machines that-- when guys come out with machines, and they come out with different pieces of equipment, I was fortunate enough, just like you-- you know, it's a little different when you're at SMU than when you're at Florida State.

[00:27:37.78] When you're at Florida State, and you're at Texas, all those people want to bring you their great equipment, OK? So you get a chance to check them out, see whether you can break them or not, or whether they're going to be good enough for your team. You know? Because they know you have the ability to buy multiples. You have the ability to set the bar. You know? And that's what I did for a long time-- for 17 years at Texas, so.

[00:28:03.41] Yeah. Coaches have to be dynamic, and that's based in foundational principles, I think. You mentioned online gurus and things before, but we look at that, sometimes, and think of all these new or innovative ideas. But when we don't have the knowledge to think of the educational foundations that these principles are based on-- they really create a program. there's a lot of wisdom in that-- keeping things simple, having a strong foundation for your programming, and taking it from there.

[00:28:38.00] We've talked a lot about mentorship. And you've mentioned some legendary mentors in the field. And probably as a young coach, you saw these as the leaders in the profession. What advice do you have for coaches today who are looking to improve in their leadership? They want to lead a department one day, they want to become an assistant AD. You know, what's the pathway towards leadership?

[00:29:03.23] I think the best thing they can do is, one, get off the internet, searching jobs all the time, and calling around to their buddies. And the first question they ask-- when you have guys that have job opportunities and you're looking for younger guys, first thing they say, well, Coach, how much does it pay? You know? And that's-- I didn't get in this profession to make money. That's not what I did. You know?

[00:29:29.11] Now it's a little different, because you got guys making $1 million. I was the first one to 100. i was the first one to 200. I was the first one to 300. So I mean, I made my money. You know?

[00:29:38.53] And people hated on you, because you-- and Jon can tell you that-- because you were making more than they were making. But I was negotiating, and I had people that wanted to negotiate with me, because I had other opportunities.

[00:29:48.13] Now, I didn't take those jobs for those particular reasons. I negotiated more so at the job I was already at. You know? So do the best job you can do there.

[00:30:01.08] What I would tell young guys and girls is, you know, to replace me, it's going to take four or five people? You understand what that means? Because I have my hands in so many different things. I'm dealing with so many different folks. I'm dealing with so many things.

[00:30:15.60] I mean, at Texas, I had every single sport. I hired guys and girls to run those particular sports. They reported back all the time with what was going on. Their coaches still could come to me any single any time they wanted to. So that was delegating responsibility, as you say.

[00:30:35.82] But also, I had to answer when anything went wrong, with any sport, to an administrator. So I was fortunate enough to have great administration that understood that I was doing everything I could to try to make all the sports win at all the schools I've been at. You know, for me, even at Carolina-- Carolina, I used to take our football team out, because they were a decent team.

[00:31:02.38] I mean, when I took the job with Mack Brown, he had his first winning season, and he went to the Peach Bowl. I think he had seven wins, or something like that. So I took that team out and watched our field hockey team practice.

[00:31:19.79] And the whole athletic department went, why the heck is football out there? You know, the coach was running over, like, we got the field now! We got the field. You can't have this field. We got to finish. We got another hour.

[00:31:30.81] I'm, like, man, I got these guys over here sitting down because I want them to see how champions work. And they're, like, oh, OK. Did the same thing with our women's soccer team, because those ladies had won several national championships. We went and watched them work out. And when they finished, we worked out.

[00:31:54.02] You see, because I wanted to let them understand it takes a lot to be a champion, but you got to do the work to be a champion. You don't just walk out there and become a champion. You know? It's not easy.

[00:32:06.19] Anybody can wear the daggone uniform, you know? But can you perform in that uniform? And will you defend the honor of the name on the front and the name on the back of that uniform? You see, some guys just go to the uniform. That ain't what it's all about.

[00:32:23.30] What you did right there is brilliant. I wish that I would have learned that from you when I was at Florida State, because that does so many things. One, it teaches-- it shows your team, like you just said, how a championship team practices and prepares. Another thing that it does is it develops an enormous amount of goodwill throughout the entire athletic department-- specifically, in this case, with the soccer team--

[00:32:55.27] Respect them, yeah.

[00:32:56.24] --with your women's soccer team. And that's the first time I heard that story. And man, that was really a smart move, for a lot of different reasons. That's impressive.

[00:33:11.84] Just like yourself, Jon, when you deal with all the sports at Texas-- DeLoss Dodds, he was our athletic director. He went out and hired the best at every particular sport that he could find. In his mind, these guys and ladies were the best coaches he could find. If that's the case, if that man has done his homework and his research-- which I knew he had, and I knew he put committees together to do that on each and every sport-- why would I not respect his decision, you know?

[00:33:48.95] So first of all, I watched them at a distance, where I-- because my presence sometimes causes commotion. You know? So I could watch from behind the fence, or across the road. But I would watch it. And I saw how they worked. Then, I said, OK. I'll bring them in.

[00:34:07.55] And it's interesting. You know, Jon, you fit in. You know what I'm saying? You have good look. You're a clean guy, look like a business guy.

[00:34:20.35] I come in looking like a daggone hawk, and they think, oh, he's trying to take over. I'm not trying to take over. I'm trying to learn. Do you see what I'm trying to say?

[00:34:29.11] And once they understand that you're trying to learn-- I'll tell you what. Our women's soccer coach at Carolina, who we won-- we had Mia Hamm and her crew, and all those Olympians for USA teas. He taught me some things just in a conversation.

[00:34:51.25] We ran a run, and he liked the run that we ran, because he came out and watched the guys. And he adopted that run to his women's soccer team. And so we became friends quick.

[00:35:07.18] But he would come in periodically. He and Bill Paladino, both of those guys, would come in my office and talk, because I trained those girls, too. You know? And he said, Coach, I want you to understand something. As long as you have a mortgage on your home, you should always work to make extra money.

[00:35:30.72] And I'm, like, OK. Because I was wondering why he had camps and clinics all over the country. He said, we go to camps and clinics all over the country because we get great talent from different cities, and they get to see exposure, so they get an opportunity to see Carolina athletics. They get to see these girls up close and personal.

[00:35:51.44] So that's why we travel and do the different things we do. You know? And that way, I get to see all the best talent that's in the nation. And I take that check I get from those camps, and I put it on my mortgage. So I'm, like, wow. Wow. That's some great advice.

[00:36:09.75] So that's what I started doing. I started having camps. Big sums of money came in. I started putting it on my mortgage. That way, you can live in your house a lot longer.

[00:36:22.94] And that's important for coaches.

[00:36:24.86] Yes, it is.

[00:36:26.00] So much great advice in there about bringing athletic departments together. And you're not just talking about showing up at practice, but actually talking to other coaches in the department, and--

[00:36:38.08] Right.

[00:36:38.63] --it's not just, I work with football, and all these other sports don't know what I know. They all have a lot of wisdom to provide, and a lot to build on there. I think that's huge advice, and really something we don't talk about enough in college sports.

[00:36:56.45] Eric, leave your ego at the door. That sign was on my door. Leave your ego at the door. So just like what you said, I see all these young coaches that beat their chest, and jump up and down, and wave the towels on the sideline, and have all these shows on the sideline. The game's on the field, OK? But they're on the sideline, trying to get themselves more pumped.

[00:37:24.11] And I said, well, you know, Mad Dog was always out front. You know, da, da, da, da. He did this, he did that. I said, no. I was out front because Mack Brown told me-- he said, hey, this is your team. You need to lead them.

[00:37:35.54] I said, no, Coach, this is your team. He said, I ain't getting out in front of them. The way you trained them, I'm not getting in front of them. I'll get on the side.

[00:37:41.63] And why? Because when he tried to get on the front one time, he ran out of the tunnel with us, and those guys-- you know, he had came out, and he had to get some stitches on his forehead, because those guys get so excited from getting hyped to go play that they don't realize that everybody around them don't have pads on, too. You know?

[00:38:01.25] So from that day forward, I was in front, and always was in front. You know? Now, as the years went on, those guys got a little faster than me. So I mean, I could just run those first 25, 30 steps to be in front, and then they passed me up, which I didn't care. You know? It's their game. I wasn't playing the game. You know?

[00:38:20.18] It's all about getting a good head start.

[00:38:22.22] Right. Well, you got to get your lean. Get that forward lean going downhill.

[00:38:27.50] That's our game instincts, right there, as coaches. Get a good head start so we don't get trampled.

[00:38:32.69] Right.

[00:38:33.23] This has been awesome, Coach. Really appreciate you sharing with us today. I want to give you an opportunity for any one of our listeners who wants to reach out and contact you. What's the best way for them to do that?

[00:38:44.94] Well, they can email me, and I can give you the email that they email me at-- the jmaddog59@gmail.com.

[00:38:56.97] Perfect.

[00:38:57.42] Jmaddog59@gmail.com.

[00:39:02.70] We will add that to the show notes.

[00:39:05.70] OK.

[00:39:06.13] Appreciate you being with us. And everyone, that was Coach Jeff Madden on his extensive experience in the profession. We appreciate you all for listening in.

[00:39:17.73] We'd also like to Thank Coach Jon Jost and Gatorade Performance Partner for joining us on this episode. If you'd like to learn more and join the Gatorade Performance Partner community, visit gatoradeperformancepartner.com. And one more thing-- a special thanks to Sorinex Exercise Equipment, a regular sponsor on the NSCA Coaching Podcast.

[00:39:40.26] I'm Coach Boyd Epley. I'm known as the founder of the NSCA, and you just listened to an episode of The NSCA Coaching Podcast. To learn more about all the NSCA offers, check out nsca.com, and join us at an upcoming event this year. I hope to see you there.

[00:40:00.77] This was the NSCA's Coaching Podcast. The National Strength and Conditioning Association was founded in 1978 by strength and conditioning coaches to share information, resources, and help advance the profession. Serving coaches for over 40 years, the NSCA is the trusted source for strength and conditioning professionals. Be sure to join us next time.

[00:40:19.79] [ROCK MUSIC]

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Eric L. McMahon, MEd, CSCS,*D, TSAC-F,*D, RSCC*E

NSCA Headquarters

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Eric McMahon is the Coaching and Sport Science Program Manager at the NSCA Headquarters in Colorado Springs. He joined the NSCA Staff in 2020 with ove ...

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Jon Jost has had a successful 27 year career as a college strength and conditioning coach at Nebraska, Holy Cross, SMU, and Florida State. He formerly ...

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Jeff Madden

University Of Texas

Jeff Madden, who has been honored by his peers as one of the nations leading authorities on physical development, is a former longtime strength and co ...

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