Athlete Age: 18 years old
Body Height: 6’6″
Body Weight: 296
One look at Braden Smith, 6’6″ and 296 pounds, and you know he is a football player. What you won’t realize is what a phenomenal athlete he is at his size. Since his freshman year at Olathe High School in Olathe, Kansas, Braden has owned a starting position at both Offensive and Defensive line. Throughout his football career he has achieved All-Conference, All-City, and All-State 3 years in a row. He finished his senior season on USA Today’s 2013 1st Team All-American, one of the best 22 football players in the entire country. What cannot go overlooked is his success in multiple sporting arenas. As he finishes up his senior year, Braden is currently defending his state championship titles in the shot and discuss, not to mention his Male Track Athlete of the Year Award he received from the Kansas City Star last year.
Braden comes from a family with a history of athletic success. His father played football at the University of Kansas, and his sister recently reached the Big XII Track Championships for her performance throwing for Texas Christian University. Braden has always had the potential, and when he met coach Dennis Dolan he was able to reach new heights in learning how to harness is natural power and see a lot of that potential full filled.
Braden began working with Dennis Dolan after his sophomore year football season. Dennis is an Athletic Trainer for Olathe High School and works sports medicine for the football and other teams. He began to dabble in strength and conditioning with some of the student athletes, combining his knowledge of the human body with principles he learned when he attended Power Athlete’s CrossFit Football Coach’s Seminar in June of 2012. Dennis says getting Braden to try some of the dynamic movement prep and CrossFit Football training was, “as easy as asking if he wanted to work out with me.”
Braden and Dennis have been training together for just over two years. Braden’s numbers have climbed incredible heights and most importantly, his performance has continued to improve. Braden is a 3.8 GPA student who will be graduating in the spring of 2014. He has received Division 1 scholarship offers from over 25 schools! On Tuesday, February 4th, national signing day, Braden made his decision to continue his football career with Auburn University. But only after he defends his state titles in the shot and discuss!
System: CrossFit Football Collegiate strength template
Days per Week: 5 days during the Off-Season
From coach Dennis Dolan:
The gains that were seen were from his Freshman year to his Senior year. He started Power Athlete programming along with a home weight program for the past two and a half years. Implementing Power Athlete with Braden was as easy as asking if he wanted to work out with me. The kid is a fantastic specimen of natural ability, hard work, and relentless drive to excel. This is a young man who would work out with me then go home and do the workout that his father had laid out as well. He has taken his formative years seriously and was blessed with the genetics and level head to do all he could to become the amazing athlete that he is.The only challenges faced were challenging him and trying to harness some of his power. I remember doing a 3rm Power-Clean with him and when he was in the 300’s he was having the bar just slam down on him when catching the bar in the front rack position. The bar was a good 4″ above where he was catching it and it was forcing him to bail out the front after taking a 300lb+ blast to the upper chest. It didn’t hurt him at all, just threw off his mechanics. How do you tell an athlete to not be so powerful, dial it down a bit on the full pull from the floor. It was tough, I had to shorten his descent to the quarter squat to keep him from getting pounded.His parents were supportive of everything I did, they were excited to challenge him. This trickled over to other parents of athletes, their kids would come home worked over and complaining of how hard it was. When they went and out performed the opponent, it was looked at as a badge of honor, a struggle that paid off.
Training Cycle: Spring 2011 – Summer 2013
Squat: 325 – 700lb, +375 lbs
Bench: 295 – 560lb, +265 lbs
Hang Power-Clean: 225 – 335, +110 lbs
- All Sunflower League 3 yrs
- All Metro Kansas City 3yrs
- All State Kansas 3 yrs
- Simone Award Finalist
- USA Today 1st Team All American
- Max Reps 4x All American
- 247 Sports All American
- Under Armour All American
- Under Armour All American Team Nitro Starting LG
- 2 time Kansas State Champion Shot Put 2013, 2014
- 2 time Kansas State Champion Discus 2013, 2014
- Male Track Athlete of the Year KC Star 2013
- Scholarships to: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, Vanderbuilt, South Carolina, TCU, Texas A&M, Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Clemson, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Baylor, Harvard.
The Power Athlete programming and teachings from Dennis has allowed me to harness not only my strength, but translate it to power. The workouts enhanced my endurance and quickness, and helped me gain “good weight” and strength throughout the season. My technique in my clean and snatch were sharpened, my body weight movements were enhanced, I had better balance through foundational movements, the stabilization with secondary muscles helped my body stay healthy and injury free.
When did you first find success using Power Athlete methodology?
Implementation of Power Ahtlete first started with myself and the son of my head football coach. I was seeing fantastic results incorporating CrossFit workouts into rehabilitation protocols to develop the whole athlete while they were injured. My athletes came back quicker and in better shape than they were before injury. The one thing that was lacking was the strength/power component. I saw the “Football” tab on the side of the main page and as soon as I clicked, so did all of the pieces that I was missing and I have not gone back since.
How do you apply what you have learned coaching Braden to other High School level athletes?
Having my underclassmen do the Amateur programming and my Varsity athletes start with Amateur and move to Collegiate as skills progressed was exactly what they needed to return to participation not only faster than expected, but more explosive, stronger and more fit than their previous levels before injury. I began my head football coaches’ son on a hybrid Amateur/Collegiate program in preparation for his departure from HS to Prep School football before the Air Force Academy. We did the workouts together and loved it, while also having our asses handed to us. Even on days we thought were going to be manageable, we learned the valuable lesson that it was always horrible/wonderful. We continued through the spring and I went to my Cert that June. Best experience ever!! Luke and Ben were funny, sharp, kind and most of all KNOWLEDGEABLE. I left with a completely new foundation of movements and an enthusiasm that encompassed everyone I talked to about it. I immediately got the Summer Weights program on board, pre season Girls Basketball, pre season Baseball, and I keep pushing to get all my athletes on board.
What modifications do you have to make for your athletes in High School setting?
Modifications occur daily depending on the athlete’s injury. This is the part I find most fulfilling, it lets me “reset their default” (thanks for that guys) and begin again with proper biomechanics for not only their injury but the rest of the athlete as well. Modifications on a grander scale occur by sport and team. Lighter weights or more reps, accessory movements to complement or enhance the exercises prescribed, etc.
About the Coach
Dennis Dolan, LAT, ATC, MSE
I am a Certified Athletic Trainer for Olathe South High School and Olathe Medical Center. I provide Sports Medicine coverage for all sports at the High School. I also dabble in Strength and Conditioning of the athletic teams as well. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science/Athletic Training and a Master’s degree in Sport Science and Biomechanics, all from the University of Kansas.
Dennis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.
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