Today, we continue our series on some of our combine prep partners, and our focus turns to Geoff Pastrick of Prime Athlete Development in Kennesaw, Ga. Geoff’s service is interesting because it represents the next logical step in training for NFL athletes in that it’s position-specific. Geoff’s passion is training offensive linemen, and he’s put his years of experience to work doing just that for players hoping to block for NFL running backs and passers some day.
Here are some questions and Geoff’s answers on his service.
You’ve chosen to specialize in offensive line. Why offensive line?
“The position of offensive line is the greatest position in all of sports. I’ve spent numerous hours game-planning and practicing schemes and never had the same level of excitement about that aspect of coaching as I did about teaching the fundamentals and techniques of offensive line play. The game of football, and the athletes that play it, have evolved. Unfortunately, the position of offensive line, for the most part, is still being taught the same way it was decades ago. In order to play at a high level, one must be trained as such. Prime is a place where offensive line athletes are given the respect, the undivided attention, and the dedication to their specific skillset that they deserve.”
You’ve chosen to specialize. Do you see this as becoming more common?
“When you decide to specialize, your target market greatly decreases. However, that is what makes it that much more special for those athletes. When an offensive line athlete comes to Prime, they know that . . . not only are they getting position-specific skill work, but they are also getting position-specific strength and agility training. They know that each lift or movement that they are performing is directly related to improving their on-the-field skills as well as improving their on-the-field performance.”
How do you impress on young players that they can trust you, and that you can help them?
“Part of building trust is proving to the athlete that you know their weaknesses, have a plan in place to help them improve those areas, and have their best interest in mind. The first thing we do is speak to the athlete to gauge their interest in our program and to find out what, specifically, they are looking for in a training facility. If we feel like the athlete will be a good fit, we then start an evaluation process of the athlete as an offensive lineman. There are certain criteria that we evaluate and certain characteristics that we look for. Once we have all the necessary information we generate a report and then go over that report with the athlete. We discuss what improvements need to be made and the plan we will put in place to address those areas.”
You’ve chosen to go to a longer training cycle (12 weeks v. 8 weeks). How does that benefit your clients?
“To have success as an offensive line athlete you must continually work on your craft. We believe in a 12-week program to get as much work on their specific craft as possible, which includes strength training and movement patterns, to give the athlete the best chance to make an impression during rookie mini-camp. Our goal is that the athlete is a better offensive lineman on the first day of rookie mini-camp than he was the last time scouts saw him play. Furthermore, our plan is to train through March and then break for the month of April when the athletes will be visiting with teams before the draft. If an athlete wants to continue to train at Prime they are more than welcome. We also stress to the athlete to come back in as much as they can before training camp starts to continue to build on what they have learned.”
Obviously, most of the bigger combine prep facilities are based in the Sun Belt, especially Florida and California. What went into your decision to launch your service in Atlanta?
“We have good weather as well, but if an athlete is more interested in sitting under an umbrella on the beach sipping on iced-tea than he is interested in improving his performance then Prime is not the place for him! The truth is that I have lived in this area for over 12 years. Prime is in the football-crazed Southeastern US, right in the middle of SEC country. We are located in Kennesaw, GA, which is a great area just 25 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. There are numerous things athletes can enjoy on their downtime just a short drive from the facility.”