The Path to Pro-Day
By: Maxx Forde
This part of my journey has been an unforgettable ride. Being able to train in sunny Phoenix, Arizona at EXOS with some of the best performance coaches in the world alongside some of the best and most driven athletes has been a unique opportunity. I came in ready to work and learn, and as the time left until my pro day at the University of Idaho winds down, I can say I’ve done both.
The working part is pretty self-evident. I’ve been working out two times a day, four times a week, for the last eight weeks, working on movement (acceleration, straight-line speed, agility, etc.) with coach Jair Lee in the morning and working on strength in the weight room with coach Jon Barlow in the afternoon. On top of that, two of those days each week, I would add a third workout and meet with defensive line coach Thurman Moore, known more affectionately by players as “T-Money”, for some position work. On two of my other three days, I would still make the drive to the facility for “regen”, which is an active recovery session. In other words, another workout, but it’s much lighter and meant to let you move and sweat a bit to aid your body in recovery. Sunday was the lone day during the week that I didn’t have anything scheduled.
Learning came through a number of avenues and about a variety of things. Of course, I’ve learned more about the body and the positions and movements I will have to put it through in order to perform my best. But I’ve also learned about many other things as well just by talking to people. I’ve learned more about the league and what it takes from some of the NFL athletes here. I’ve gotten an introduction to and learned about the business side of sports. And I’ve learned about finance, politics, and a myriad of other topics from my host here. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Mom always used to tell me to “learn something new every day” and I feel I’ve succeeded in doing that in my time here so far.
However, it wasn’t all work and no play. While work certainly came first, second, and third, and I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that, I was able to get out a bit too. I had a night out at Dave and Busters, another night out at the Top Golf driving range, a couple of nights a piece at Arizona Coyotes (NHL) and Phoenix Suns (NBA) games, and spent a day at the NFL Experience during Super Bowl week. If nothing else, I knew I could always count on wrestling with and being used as a jungle gym by the two boys (8 and 10 years old) at the house I was staying at!
Overall, my experience has been awesome! I loved training with people who all had the same goal of working and getting better and I met some new friends along the way. I don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of this process, nobody does, but I do know I’ve prepared myself well for this opportunity. All there is left to do is to perform and let that shine through.