Ben Goessling of ESPN posted an interesting story yesterday about a couple of Minnesota Vikings that are attempting to improve themselves by making their movements more efficient.
Defensive end Everson Griffen and linebacker Anthony Barr, along with other players from teams that don’t matter quite as much, are working with 37-year old Shawn Myzska. A self-styled “Movement Miyagi,” Myzska’s methods are pretty unorthodox, but apparently they get results.
“My very first NFL player that came to me back in '08 -- and I won't mention him by name -- I tested him, and his numbers were drastically down from what they were three years earlier at the NFL combine," Myszka said. "We increased his vertical by 7 1/2 inches, we increased his broad [jump] by 14 or 15 inches.”
Myzska places an emphasis on greater flexibility and explosiveness, all while moving more efficiently. His goal is to get the players that are training under him to be more in control of their own movement, so much so that the game “slows down” for them, allowing them to make more plays.
So, as Goessling asks in his piece. . .if Myzska’s methods are so effective, why aren’t more teams using them? Well, Griffen has an opinion on that.
"Because it takes a lot," Griffen said. "It takes a lot of studying, a lot of hard work to be able to diagnose a player and tell them exactly what they're doing wrong. He can break down your film, he can break down movement. If you're running too high, he knows what you've got to do to be able to get the right angles and excel in the right areas."
While Griffen is coming off of another strong season, Barr really needs a bounce-back season after a disappointing 2016. Hopefully both of those players can use Myzska’s methods to either keep themselves at the top of their game (in Griffen’s case) or get back to where they once were (in Barr’s case).
The link to Goessling’s story in the opening paragraph has a video of the players training under Myzska that everyone should check out.