Melvin Anderson, CEO & Coach at Maximum Impact Training, shares expertise on using speed & agility training as a base for young athletes. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Melvin is the founder of MIT and Track Minnesota Elite Club Team and has dedicated the past 20 years coaching and developing hundreds of youth. Also known as the “Doctor of Form”, he is considered one of the best running form teachers in the country. Melvin is also the proud father of three Division I student-athletes.
You can read an overview of the interview with Melvin Anderson or listen to the podcast below for the full interview.
Q: Could you give us some background on Maximum Impact Training and what you're working on at the moment?
A: We are a sports performance training business. Our specialty is around Speed and Agility for any sport that is related to Speed and Agility - soccer, volleyball, tennis, a host of sports. And also our main specialty training is around track and field. We've been coaching and training track and field for the past 20 years. We've got some great developmental types of programs and training to help develop kids track and field skills.
Q: Tell us a story about one of your proudest moments in your coaching career?
A: Our expertise is working with kids age 8 through 18... We had a young lady who, when we talk about outcomes and being outcome-focused and based, who was running the 800m with us and she came in running a 2:25 in the 800 which is okay about average a little above average. In over a year and a half time of working on hips and core strength in running mechanics... she was able to run eventually 2:03. What a 2:03 did, was that got her an opportunity to compete for the country on the USA junior team and she's our first kid who made the USA junior team... And then ultimately what that 2:03 did for her was, it got her a full scholarship to LSU... So not only did developing her skills get her an opportunity to compete internationally but it also enhanced her College opportunities...
Q: Tell us a story about some of the challenges you faced in your coaching/athletic career and how you overcame them, or maybe you still are?
A: The greatest challenge is reaching the students. What I mean is, every year we get a new 30 or 40 clients saying I wish I would have heard about you guys 3 or 4 years ago. And so that's been one of the biggest challenges is how do we reach that population - that what we do is a priority and a need for of them... and when we reach out to high schools that's probably been the secondary challenge because with a lot of high schools, the coaches don't like their kids working with other people versus, we're not competing against the coaches and what they do we are trying to compliment what the schools and programs are doing. And a lot of the time high schools see it the opposite...So there are several schools that we partner with that get it but we're still working on building relationships... so the challeng is how do we reach that population of kids and families who are looking for something that is impactful like our organization is.
Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration in your coaching/sporting career? Could you tell us a story about how they had an impact on your life.
A: I would say the biggest inspiration was definitely Coach Lou Holtz when I played football at the University of Minnesota. What I learned a lot from him was a) how to motivate someone ... and then at the same time... was doing the small things. And that's what are training is built on... we are very detailed in everything that we do and it's all pushing towards a certain outcome. We are not happy if the kid comes in running the same 400m time as when they started with us...
Q: How do you think technology is changing the way you work and coach?
A: It's definitely helping us be more efficient and more precise. When you can look at video apps where you can really slow it down and be able to show techniques, having the ability with these different apps to evaluate a client... is very very important. But at the same time, the technology that we use, we’re able to provide workouts to clients who are maybe a couple hours out, that aren't able to come in all the time... And also being able to track progress. All of our training is a building process and there are modules and there's progression so using technology really helps us to focus in on the progression - that we are leading to a certain point... leading to your peak.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring coaches who are just starting out?
A: ...Focus on you specialty first, and then growing to add other service modules or whatever it is. Some people want to do everything at once...