Mike Srock, winning speed and strength coach at James F. Byrnes High School in Greenville, South Carolina, chatted with us about challenges that today’s coaches face and how athletes have changed over the course of his decorated 45-year career.

“I think about the old days of just blowing my whistle and telling the team to run. Nowadays we have to be a little bit more adaptable and have a really solid foundation and explanation for why and how things are done. The team needs to know we run drills and strength train to improve, and how it will make them better, stronger, faster. There is more purpose behind it than just saying ‘do this now’. It’s more collaborative that way.” Srock says this is what pushes him to stay sharp and on top of the latest research, always looking for an edge. He’s always seeking out new ways to train and improve his coaching.. He noted the importance of listening and seeking guidance and wisdom from others who have had success. “I am the biggest thief in the world. When I speak at a conference, I sit in the front row with a notepad because my goal is to learn one new thing from every other speaker there that I can then take back to Byrnes to make our program better.” 

For athletes who love the game but have yet to unlock their skills, Mike says, “Just keep working hard. Hard work overcomes a lot of talent, when talent doesn't work hard. Everybody's heard that. But that's the truth. You can develop with the training. You can make yourself an athlete. You may not be an Olympic medalist but every athlete can build on skill and technique to become faster. Every athlete can push themselves to jump higher, and get stronger. If you’re consistent, and implement a year round training program, you will be absolutely amazed at what you can accomplish.”

Coach Srock shared the success of who was a shining example of how hard work can pay off. “At Byrnes, we start working with athletes at our school district beginning in the seventh grade. I had one young man in particular–he was a great kid and had a great sense of humor. He was really just kind of a goofball as a seventh grader. And I’m looking at him early on thinking, ‘Boy, if this kid’s ever playing in our stadium, we are either going to be ahead by a hundred points or behind by a hundred points.’ But he kept showing up every year, and each year he’d get a little better, a little better. And then by the summer between his junior and senior year, he blossomed into a young man. He ended up earning a partial football scholarship. He is a testament to the value of putting in the work.”

Colleagues and athletes who work with Mike Stock are infused with energy and motivation, to which he credits his love for what he does. “What keeps me going is just passion, and I'm just going to keep on going.” 

When it comes to legacy, Srock referenced his favorite rugby team, the All Blacks of New Zealand. “They have a mantra: ‘Leave the Jersey in better shape than when you put it on.’ So that's been my guideline for creating my program and hope my legacy at Byrnes will be that I left the Jersey in better shape than when I got here.” 

Coach Srock has designed a dynamic speed drill plan for his athletes this summer, and Sport Fuels Life members get exclusive access. Be among the first to know when this workout drops next week and sign up for your free Sport Fuels Life membership today!