The hiring of a strength and conditioning Coach can be easily overlooked, which is understandable, most do not really understand what is going on in a true strength and conditioning program. I have personally gained an interest in strength and conditioning through my own college football program, so things regarding this field always get my attention.
Now when my very own team gets a new strength and conditioning coach, I really get excited and try to research what kind of guy we are getting
Jason Loscalzo comes to Chicago after being the strength and conditioning coach for Washington State since 2012. Before that, he was the head of strength and conditioning at Boston College. I have actually heard about Loscalzo previously, as many have credited him as being a key part of the turnaround for the Washington State Football program.
A strength coach being given that kind of attention from the media proves that he must be special, right?
When a team hires a strength and conditioning coach, they’re getting the guy that is building and healing the 2018 Chicago Bears players. A strength coach will, of course, attempt to make players bigger, faster, and stronger, but they do more than just that. The strength and conditioning coach will help players get muscles ready for the heavy hits of the NFL.
The Bears have had a tough time the last couple of seasons staying healthy and that is a major reason why our former strength and conditioning coach Jason George has been relieved of his duties. No amount of training will prevent all injuries, but with the help of new trainer Andre Tucker, some injuries can be prevented.
While attempting to get these guys stronger and help them avoid muscle tears, a strength and conditioning coach must come in and set a mentality. This mentality will start at the beginning of offseason workouts, and continue through the season. At Washington State, he seems to be very tough on his guys but cares a lot about them personally. Some college strength coaches struggle with that, and being overly tough on the guys can cause major problems when the season starts.
In the NFL, the players have a different mentality than college at Washington State, he was paid a lot of money to coach college kids on scholarships. In the NFL, he will be dealing with players that will be making more money than him. This is a balancing act that he will have to learn when he joins the NFL.
You can’t treat these guys the same, which brings me to my next point, which is that a coach needs to be adaptable. The ability to adapt to new situations is a big deal for a strength and conditioning coach. Sometimes a strength program isn’t working, and they may need to try different exercises to try and make them better during the off-season. Another situation is when a player is injured, their program would need to change drastically, and the strength and conditioning coach has to make sure that this gets healed as quickly as possible without re-injuring that or causing another.
It’s hard for me to go into detail of what the specifics of the program will be because strength and conditioning coaches aren’t usually posting their entire workout program for the world to see, just as the head coach would not post the playbook. Still, from what we have seen from his program, we should not worry too much about performance. Washington State players have been looking bigger and better than ever, so it seems as though his program works.
When speaking about Loscalzo specifically, I am a big fan of the hire. Like I previously mentioned, he came in with Leach six years ago and helped turn around the program. Washington State is starting to turn into a more nationally recognized program, and Loscalzo deserves a lot of respect for what he did to help that. His former players have been vocal about how much he meant to them and the entire program. The fans are coming out and saying the same things, so he clearly has earned the respect of the Cougar community.
I believe that Chicago made a great hire. With his track record of improved performance and players raving about him, I really think we hit a home run. Some are worried about him moving to the NFL, but I am not worried about it. He will actually have more freedom to do what he wants in the NFL, and not be held back by NCAA rules. Some say that it is an easier job in the NFL because of the strict NCAA guidelines and that they can’t do as much. Washington State and Chicago both have fantastic workout facilities, so there should be no problem adjusting. I think that Chicago got a great one in Loscalzo, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do for this team!