Todd Barnes, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach

One of the things we talk about a lot is before you can win a championship, you have to believe you are a champion-level athlete. You’ve got to believe in yourself. Nothing positive ever happens from negative thoughts.  Being a successful student and being a successful athlete isn’t very different. The fact is you go into both situations recognizing you need to be a good student because that will set you up for long-term success and a career.

Everything we do is planned and I don’t think of it as “planned torture.” You know, look, if we want to get better, we have to overreach, we have to break through a threshold or push through that wall. Going to that point of fatigue is only going to improve what we are capable of now. Pushing someone to get through that level is what is going to help them get to that next level. Get to that next step. Begin to see more of their potential.

I think I can appreciate this more as a father now, but being able to see the growth of an athlete from their freshman year to their senior year and being able to see those kids come in as freshmen and graduate as seniors, reach their potential, reach those goals, leave as better students and athletes than when they got here on campus—I think that’s one of the best parts of this job is seeing that.