View Full Version : Coach Tom Shaw sets up athletes (Ike Taylor) for success

07-19-2009, 03:29 AM
Coach Tom Shaw sets up athletes for success
By Preston Kreisler

Sentinel Institute

10:49 PM EDT, July 18, 2009

Before Ike Taylor emerged as a pro football prospect at Louisiana-Lafayette, before he was taken in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL draft, before the defensive back earned two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers, there was Tom Shaw.

The speed and agility coach has trained athletes for more than 15 years and has known Taylor since he was a ninth-grader in New Orleans.

The bond is so strong that Shaw attended Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa in February — as Taylor's guest.

"He was in New Orleans at first, then he came to Orlando after [ Hurricane] Katrina, and he told me he was here so I moved here," Taylor said. "You can't get any better.

"He'll call me sometimes, and I call him sometimes just to get some insight on what he's seeing and how I'm looking. Other than that, he just lets me do my thing. He takes care of me during the offseason as far as conditioning and training.

"In fact, I got him some tickets to the Super Bowl," Taylor said. "He's my dog, and it was right around the corner from Orlando so I had to show him some love."

While not all of Shaw's clients are as close to him as Taylor, it is an impressive list. Shaw trains more than 45 football players from the NFL and NCAA, among them Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes.

Shaw, 48, has earned their confidence. He was a track standout at New Port Richey Gulf High before playing football at Central Michigan. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in physical education and a master's in exercise physiology, he coached for several high school, college and pro teams. He has worked for Florida State, the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots.

"Being at Florida State, we had a lot of really good first-round draft choices, so I had the opportunity to work with a lot of really good football players while I was there," Shaw said. "Then, when I moved to New Orleans in '94, I ended up working on my own while I was training athletes for the [NFL] combine."

Now at Disney's Wide World of Sports, Shaw works with potential draft picks training for the combine and veteran NFL players looking to stay in shape.

The cost: About $950 per week.

"I come here to stay in shape and get a good workout," Taylor said. "We pretty much know what we're going to do. We know our strengths and our weaknesses, and Coach Shaw is there to tell us if we're doing too much or too little. It's also mainly the elements because it's so hot in Florida. You can't beat working in the heat, and going back to Pittsburgh is a smooth transition."

Taylor is one of nine Steelers involved in Shaw's training system. Under Shaw, athletes train to improve their speed by running the 40-yard dash while a resistance band is attached to them or by doing vertical jumps while being pulled down by bungee cords. Other drills and exercises emphasize the SPARQ philosophy: Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness.

"Coach Shaw puts us through some great drills to improve our quickness and speed, and in the weight room, we improve our strength and flexibility," former FSU safety Myron Rolle said. "It's very intense. The competition is very fierce, and you're always working hard and competing every day."

Taylor can attest to that. Two days after the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals to win the Super Bowl, he and Shaw were back together — working out.

"That's the key: You have guys that work hard," Shaw said.

"Everybody that's here is dedicated, and it makes it fun knowing that they're here for one reason: to get better and to be able to play for an entire season without getting injured."

Preston Kreisler, who will be a junior at Lake Brantley High School, is a participant in the Orlando Sentinel High School Sports Reporting Institute. His mentor is Assistant Sports Editor Stephen Ruiz.

Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel

07-19-2009, 03:40 AM
The cost: About $950 per week.
hmmmm ....college kids that can fork out 950 a week ......:huh: ....

07-19-2009, 06:08 AM
WOW!!! Two days after the superbowl Taylor was working out with Shaw! Dude has dedication!:tt02::applaudit:

Galax Steeler
07-19-2009, 07:28 AM
WOW!!! Two days after the superbowl Taylor was working out with Shaw! Dude has dedication!:tt02::applaudit:

Hopefully it will show out on the field this year.

07-19-2009, 01:59 PM
Sentinel Institute reporter Brenttnie Williams gets a taste of training with Tom Shaw

1. Resistance Training
•The drill: Resistance running involves a belt being strapped around the middle of players' waists. A connecting band is hooked onto another athlete with a belt around his waist, as well. One man leads the way by sprinting down the field, with the other man tagging behind him at a slower pace, holding him back. The resistance from the second man pushes the first man hauling the weight to run stronger and take mightier, longer strides. As a result, this increases the player's stride length.

•Player's take: Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Farrior praises Shaw's emphasis on resistance training. "We do a lot of resistance running'" he said, "I think that's underrated, it makes you a lot faster going into the season."

2. Cone Drills/Running Routes
•The drill: Practicing running routes is all about the speed and sharpness a player can put to his footwork. No equipment is required, except maybe an extra man to throw the player a football mid-route. A player starts by being assigned a route, such as running 12 yards and then cutting to the inside of the field, and ends by catching the pass thrown to him. Practicing these routes enables athletes to gain a sense of the field, and when they're defended how sharp their turns and cuts need to be.

•Player's take: Jacksonville Jaguars running back Greg Jones swears by these to improve his game. Jones knows firsthand that the drills translate to the field: "When you have the ball in your hands, anything can happen. So, you have to be able to cut in any situation."

3. Weightlifting/Toning
•The drill: Shaw likes his clients to do an equal balance of lifting and other conditioning drills. His players do squats, bench presses and workouts on cardio machines at least two to three days a week during their training.

•Player's take: Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor admitted to preferring training outdoors, but even he recognized the importance in keeping weightlifting in his routine. "I try to get a good mix; lift good, run good." he said, "I've learned to lift a little bit more."

Brenttnie Williams, who will be a senior at Pine Castle Christian Academy, is a participant in the Orlando Sentinel High School Sports Reporting Institute. Her mentor is reporter Iliana Limón.

With sweat dripping down my face in the sweltering heat, I counted the number of steps I ran straight forward before having to cut inside left to the middle of the football field.

Once I hit the right spot, Tom Shaw tossed a football arching high into the air and on its descent it met perfectly with my hands.

As I jogged back toward him, I thought, "One down, nine more to go." Little did I know, this wasn't even half of the workouts he had in store for me.

This is the life of a football player. The season typically runs between August to February, but some of the most important work toward a championship happens from March through July.

A mix of high school, college and pro athletes flock to Shaw's athletic camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports to do his punishing drills because Shaw gets them results. He has trained the past nine Super Bowl MVPs and 118 first-round NFL draft picks. Here is a sample of Shaw's training techniques to improve athletes:

Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel

07-19-2009, 02:00 PM
Going through the drills at Tom Shaw's Performance Camp

By Lauren Storch

Sentinel Institute

10:49 PM EDT, July 18, 2009

When Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive back Ike Taylor told me he was "just a product of the system," I had no idea what he meant. Little did I know, I was about to find out first-hand.


It happened Monday morning at Disney's Wide World of Sports, where two of my fellow Institute reporters and I trained at Tom Shaw's prestigious camp for NFL athletes.

Shaw's philosophy is unique and some athletes claim he is the best in the business. He wants his players to see what stepping up their game is all about.

"Once you're in shape, you got to work on stuff that's going to make you faster," Shaw said.

After watching NFL players like Taylor, Greg Jones and James Farrior work out in the sweltering heat, it was my turn to try out the "system."

Shaw didn't want to scare us too much, so we started with some simple passing drills. Shaw threw the football and we attempted to catch it.

The key word is attempted.

We only ran one set of these metabolic routes and later learned that the NFL players are trained to run five sets. An onlooker commented, "You guys sound tired." I quickly replied, "No, I always have a shortness of breath."

Following the routes, Shaw took us to the front of the complex to run downhill. As if I wasn't skeptical enough about sprinting on a steep downhill course, the following dialogue didn't help:

"I'm not sure about having them run downhill because it's not too safe," Shaw said.

"We have waivers," one of the assistants replied.

Talk about reassurance. If you're unfamiliar with Disney waivers, a parent signs a form that states if you (the participant) gets injured or dies, it's not Disney's fault.

So on the way to the downhill run, I became nostalgic about all my most fond memories.

As you can tell, I didn't die. None of us fell, either, which was an accomplishment in itself.

Shaw then led us to an outdoor workout area and showed us several types of resistance exercises.

He proceeded to describe a machine designed to exercise the groin. It was so serious that it didn't have a name.

That's when things got interesting.

"Any takers?" Shaw asked.

"Sure," I replied, jumping at the opportunity and thinking to myself, "It can't be that bad."

Boy, was I wrong.

Yeah, I play soccer and I've worked out before. But never in my life had I experienced the pain delivered by this machine, which should be called the "Rack of Death."

This contraption required me to put my feet in restraining bands on opposite sides of each other. Then, the exercise was to straighten my legs in front of me and lift them up. It was a struggle to extend my legs, let alone lift them.

Shaw's groin exercise seemed more like a full-body "use at your own risk" ordeal. I literally feared my body was going to coil up into a tight ball and never unravel.

When asked if I enjoyed it, without hesitation I replied, "No."

There was no point in trying to fool anybody. They could tell by the fear in my face that I wasn't looking to hop back on any time soon.

Note to self: Don't be the first to volunteer on a sketchy-looking groin exercise.

Aside from that trauma, my experience at the Tom Shaw workout was one that I will never forget. It was not only a blessing that I survived, but I also trained with the elite.

I had to learn the hard way, but now like Taylor, I'm just another "product of the system."

Lauren Storch, who will be a senior at Lake Mary High School, is a participant in the Orlando Sentinel High School Sports Reporting Institute. Her mentor is Assistant Sports Editor Matt Humphrey.

Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel

07-19-2009, 02:51 PM
Unfortunately agility training won't help him hold on to those interceptions.

07-19-2009, 02:56 PM
Unfortunately agility training won't help him hold on to those interceptions.

ehhhh.........just break up the play. Holding onto the ball is gravy. :chuckle: