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It’s All About That 405 – John Laub’s Journey

Feb 25, 2013, 3:40 PM EDT


Editor’s Note: Former University of Richmond quarterback John Laub (’12) is currently training for the Spiders’ Pro Day and a shot to play at the next level. Join him on his journey as he shares his thoughts and experiences alongside his coach and three training partners in a series of weekly blog posts. Laub’s fourth post can be found here.

Hey CAA Football fans, John Laub here again to bring you up to date on my training process in hopes of reaching that 405. I’m sure many of you have been watching the combine, which features other individual in this year’s draft class showcasing their talents for the NFL. All of these athletes are going through the most important job interview of their lives and the training they’ve put in to get to this point will no doubt be crucial in determining how they perform on these tests.

I want to take some time with this post to talk about my training group at the Sport and Speed Institute (SSI) and our head trainer, Justin Kavanaugh. I hope to shed some light on his philosophy and his journey training other individuals for the opportunity to make their dream become a reality.

Coach Kav is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, where he played football and wrestled while also training athletes throughout college. He’s originally from the Miami area, which every year produces a lot of talented players both at the collegiate and pro levels. Coach Kavanaugh’s approach to training builds on his experience as both an elite athlete and trainer who has been involved in almost every aspect of the sports performance and fitness industry. As a former high school All-American football player, member of the U.S. Junior National Wrestling team and Junior Olympic decathlete, he knows how to compete at a high level and uses that experience to prepare his athletes for every aspect of their respective pro days.

The Sport and Speed Institute is a premier speed and sports performance training company based right outside of the D.C. area in Northern Virginia. It offers high-quality speed and training programs for youth, high school, college and pro athletes. Coach Kav also runs The All-American Football Camp, which is quickly establishing itself as the best football camp in the region for players who want to play collegiately. SSI is made up of about five or six additional coaches that work with athletes in order to perfect their running ability and overall athletic skills.

SSI has been successful in combining the science of training with the art of coaching in helping individuals who are aspiring to achieve their dream of playing in the NFL. As I’ve mentioned before, I am training with three other individuals at SSI right now: Former Richmond teammate Darryl Hamilton, NC State defensive end Brian Slay and Georgetown linebacker Rob McCabe. The four of us are hoping to join the list of other SSI products that Coach Kav has trained who are now at the professional level. Some of the these individuals include Jabaal Sheard (second round pick – Cleveland), Antrel Rolle (8th overall pick), Demarcus Van Dyke  (third round pick  – Oakland), Antoine Holmes (Washington), Rod Carter (Dallas), Roy Foster (two-time Pro Bowl – San Francisco), Troy Stratford (Miami) and Blair Walsh (Minnesota).

As you can see, there are some very recognizable names on this list. With the proper amount of focus and work that we are putting into our training, hopefully Darryl, Brian, Rob and I will be added to this list as well.

All of our training occurs at the nZone, which is located in Chantilly, Va. The nZone is the perfect setting for Combine training given that it is a state-of-the-art indoor sport and athletics complex with more than 80,000 square feet of space. There is a complete weight room, which allows us to do many different things for workouts, in addition to two 40-yard turf fields and a 70-yard turf field. The three turf fields allow plenty of space for football drills and position speed work and the weight room has all of the latest top-of-the-line advanced training tools needed to get you strong and more explosive.  There are also two full basketball courts and a full performance training area. Basically, anything that we need to complete our training is provided in this top-notch facility.

SSI and Coach Kav have all of the tools that they need within the nZone to create our training program, so complementing that with Coach Kav’s knowledge makes this an impeccable experience. Being able to train with him has given the other three athletes and me the opportunity to have the most success when our turn comes to show the scouts what we can do.

I have about two more weeks until the first of my three opportunities to show NFL scouts what I can do. In that time Coach Kav and the other SSI coaches will be helping me perfect my form in all the drills while also continuing to drill my position work down so that I’m able to put on the best performance possible. They are working to help me get to that goal that everyone in this draft class has of making an NFL roster, and they are helping me go for and reach that 405.

I hope this gave you a better look into my training team and the individuals who are pushing me to excel when I turn it on for the scouts.