SPEED KILLS - Featuring Eugene Robinson
Using Speed Skills to Increase Your Speed
By by Dr. Greg Shepard with special thanks to Dale Ba
Published: Spring 2000
Eugene Robinson, former NFL great, believes, really believes, that speed and running skills are vitally important to an athlete. Eugene says, “These speed and running skills I was taught made my career.”
Eugene Robinson just completed his 15th year as a professional player in the NFL. He entered professional football as an undrafted free agent, out of Colgate, a college not known as a football factory. Eugene also developed himself from a non-scholarship college player to becoming a 15-year veteran in the NFL, 4-time All-Pro, still leads the NFL in career interceptions, two-time NFL Man of the Year recipient, three-time MVP for the Seattle Seahawks, several times All-AFC team and an All-Madden choice. He also holds the Seattle Seahawks all-time career interception record and most career tackles record.
In January of 2000, Eugene Robinson was voted by players and coaches as one of the best two Free Safety’s to play in the decade of the 1990’s. . . . All this from a 5-4 128-pound freshman in high school and a 5-10 148-pound senior who was not offered a football scholarship. However, Eugene had a dream. A dream that was not yet finished. The only way he could attempt to accomplish his dream was to walk on while working at McDonald's to help pay his way through college.
Why is it that some athletes become very good without great natural talent? Let Eugene tell you what it takes! “Work, desire and most of all, a belief in yourself. Last but certainly not least, you must identify your strengths and weaknesses and strive to improve your athletic ability whether this be through weights, flexibility, plyos or speed work.
“I came into the NFL as a 5-11 180-pound player running 4.66 in the 40. The weight room was one area I certainly needed to visit frequently to expand my size and strength level but what was I to do about my speed?
Upon completion of my first season in the NFL, it was apparent that speed was a key as to whether I would have a future in pro football. That’s when I was introduced to a man named Dale Baskett, who was the founder of Speed Tec 2000. Coach Baskett had a program and system that specialized in speed, running and athletic body control development. He showed me the value of developing what he termed ‘Athletic Speed Skills’. I always believed that the weight room and running hard was the way to develop speed. It didn’t take Coach Baskett long to convince me that speed was a skill. No different than any other skill you train to perfect in sports. I was fascinated by the way he taught and his methods were like nothing I had ever been exposed to before.
“Coach Baskett analyzed my strengths and weaknesses athletically and helped me understand where I could improve. The next step was to put me on a systematic series of running speed drills which were designed to maximize my potential.
“What the system of skill development did was amazing! My time dropped to a 4.46 and at the same time I was gaining weight with my lifting. My career took off shortly after that and I became very confident as time began to march along.
“After training all these years, I think about what it would have been like to have had the knowledge about training earlier in my high school years. Who knows? Maybe a scholarship but for sure my performance would have been greatly advanced.
“If you want to be good, you can never stop improving your skills as a player and I found out that you must never stop working on developing your speed and running skills as an athlete. That goes for in-season as well as off-season.
“I have trained with Coach Baskett for 14 of my 15 years as a player and his program has been the determining factor for my success in the NFL. Every young athlete should be striving to develop the most important asset in sports today . . . SPEED! SPEED KILLS by using SPEED SKILLS.”
Editor’s Note: Many BFS readers may remember Eugene Robinson from the Atlanta Falcons. The evening before the Super Bowl Eugene got involved in something stupid. He was accused of soliciting a prostitute. Teammates, coaches and fans all exclaimed, “Not Eugene Robinson.” He was considered a role model. The last person to do something stupid. So why is Eugene in the BFS Journal?
In our Be An Eleven Student/Athlete Guidebook For Success, we devote a whole segment entitled “Even Elevens Make Mistakes.” Eugene was extremely remorseful. He admitted he made a mistake. Eugene never tried to dodge responsibility for his actions. He stood and took the full wrath of the media. The charges were dropped. He did speak to a woman decoy but then drove off. Eugene paid a heavy price for a few moments of conversation. It was wrong. But, there is really nothing left to do but move on. Learn from a mistake, admit it, take the heat like a man and then move on. Eugene did this. He handled his mistake like an eleven.
Eugene is now entertaining offers from major TV networks to be a football commentator. BFS believes Eugene’s story can be an inspiration to those who want to develop greater athletic speed as well as learning a lesson in real life.
DALE BASKETT AND BFS
I first met Coach Baskett at the NSCA Convention in Los Angeles last January of 2000. He was a featured speaker who really wowed all that heard him. We talked at length. It was like a light bulb being turned on for me. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck when it comes to speed and I have always been unsure of the total effectiveness of a track coach with a football player or athletes in different sports where change of direction was a key element of success. In other words, I have always felt that straight ahead speed does not always get the job done. I had always just shrugged my shoulders and said of a great player, “Well, he’s just got football speed.”
Coach Baskett has narrowed down his athletic speed program into three easy-to-learn components with a variety of drills to develop the kinesthetic feel for his system. What does a wide receiver do when he makes his cut? What does he do with his shoulders? His arms? His body lean? What does a corner back do? What does a baseball player do to steal second in the fastest possible way? It is different than what is being taught by today’s coaches. Dale Baskett’s system is a difference maker. I mean, how important is getting from point A to point B a half a step quicker by any athlete just through correct mechanics. And this improvement can be measured. It is not pie in the sky!
Dale Baskett and BFS have formed an alliance. Coach Baskett has trained over 100 NFL players including 18 that were All-Pro players. If you would like to have an speed clinic by the world’s best athletic speed mechanics coach, call Dale Baskett at 858-451-9665.