Jordan Johnson Interview

Jordan Johnson, Director of Strength and Conditioning at Jenks High School, NHSSCA State of Oklahoma Director (CPR, USAW, CSCCA)

Jordan is an Oklahoma native from Texhoma in the Oklahoma panhandle.  He graduated from Texas Tech in 2007 with a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and a Minor in Health.  Jordan’s professional certifications include Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA), USA Weight Lifting Sports Performance Certified (USAW) and CPR.

Jordan has been a strength and conditioning professional for the past 10 years. * 2004: Texas Tech University: Strength & Conditioning Assistant, Olympic sports, under the guidance of strength coach Tory Stephens.  * 2005 & 2006: Texas Tech University: Intern Strength & Conditioning, football, under Head Strength Coach Bennie Wylie. * 2007: University of Arkansas: Graduate Assistant Strength & Conditioning, football, basketball & baseball, under Head Strength Coach Don Decker.  * 2008: University of Mississippi: Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, football wide receivers, baseball, basketball and track, under Head Strength Coach Don Decker. * 2009: University of Texas El Paso: Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, football, women’s soccer and softball, under Head Strength Coach Kirk Davis. * 2009: University of Texas El Paso: Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, men’s and women’s basketball. * 2011: University of Tulsa: Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, football, men’s soccer and women’s volleyball under Head Strength Coach Rohrk Cutchlow. * 2012: Jenks High School: Director of Strength and Conditioning, football and all varsity sports.

I have known Jordan since 2011 during our time at Tulsa University. We were able to really work together starting in 2012 when we were back at Jenks HS, and his influence on that program led to state titles in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. In my humble opinion, Jordan is the best strength coach in the nation. His foundational knowledge of training is impressive and evolving each time I talk to him. What separates Jordan from many strength coaches is his character and his ability to establish relationships and develop leadership and maturity within the players he works with. Athletes and coaches alike respect and value his opinion because he truly cares about every individual within a program. Jordan gets the most out of his athletes, and I am forever grateful for his friendship and expertise because he is a true BALL COACH.

I had the opportunity to ask Jordan a few questions to help your off season program this winter and beyond.

What are your goals for football athletes during this phase?

We have two blocks that run from January through Spring Break (early March) and testing in April. This is a great opportunity for our kids to gain size and strength, as we are not trying to be in football shape this time of year. Our ultimate goal at Jenks for the winter/spring offseason is discipline and accountability and creating a constant environment of competition. We only get 6-7 weeks in the summer, and much of that is focused on conditioning, as well as all the other aspects of speed, power, and strength. Our spring phase is crucial for establishing our Jenks culture with current and incoming freshman football players.

What are some strategies you use to train your multi-sport athletes who are playing basketball or wrestling?

Obviously the multi-sport kids require some adjustments as far as their training goes, especially with basketball and wrestling being in-season. As far as the exercises go, we still do full power clean and squat, back and front, with both groups. The volume will be low, but the intensity will be high for both sports staying around 80% and up for most of their in-season, allowing those athletes to still get stronger. I am not a huge fan of “sport-specific” training in the weight room. All sports need to triple extend, push, and pull, so we will look very similar across all our sports in the weight room. As far as conditioning, speed, and COD drills, those will closely mirror their sport.

How often does your program run and condition during the week in this phase?

Our football offseason has two blocks: one 6 week block with a deload during week 7, and the second block is 8 weeks with testing during the 8th week. The first block we will not be conditioning very much, usually once a week, but most of that conditioning will be of a competitive nature. The 2nd block we will condition twice a week. One of those will involve competition and one will be normal conditioning. I like our kids to be in great shape by the end of the 2nd block because after testing we will be very close to spring ball and summer team camps.

We always have Speed Technique 1x per week and Agility/COD 1x per week, so we are running 3x or 4x per week depending on the block.

What is one improvement you feel any program can make during the off-season that may often be overlooked?

One of the most underrated football improvements that I feel can be made in the offseason is creating a T.E.A.M. Environment. For us at Jenks that acronym means Together Everyone Achieves More.
Everyone is going to get bigger stronger and faster in the offseason. To me, the difference can be finding your leaders through competition and responsibility. Find out who is bought in and who just is along for the ride. Find out how your players respond to adversity, and, most importantly, find out who will fight and work for their teammates. To me if all you learn about your team in the offseason is who is the biggest and strongest, then you really aren’t learning anything about your team.

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