BYU Athletes: The Next Level

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst IJune 21, 2010

PROVO, UT. - SEPTEMBER 19: Harvey Unga #45 of the Brigham Young Cougars runs the football against the Florida State Seminoles at La Vell Edwards Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Provo, Utah.  (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

When former BYU athletes look to take their performance to the next level, many are turning to Dave Stroshine of ASAP Training in Orem.

Fahu Tahi, Manase Tonga, Fui Vakapuna and Harvey Unga are all current clients of Stroshine, who has become a guru of sorts for local athletes looking to increase their athletic performance.

In addition to training elite athletes looking to make it to the professional level, Stroshine also trains junior college athletes, high school athletes and clients just looking to increase their performance in a specific recreational sport, improve their overall fitness or recover from injury.

Stroshine’s success is in the pudding, as they say. Dave says that over 200 of his high school clients have received athletic scholarships from colleges and universities. Two athletes, Tyler Haws in basketball and Anthony Heimuli in football are notable Cougars that recently benefited from Stroshine’s training and philosophy before arriving at BYU. Some of the members of BYU’s incoming class of freshman have also trained at ASAP.

It regards to football athletes, it’s the norm for Stroshine’s clients to shave two-tenths of a second or more off their 40 times, while also drastically lowering their shuttle times and significantly increasing their strength, size, flexibility and overall agility.

On the day Deep Shades of Blue visited the ASAP Training facility, former Cougars Tahi and Unga were joined in a training session by former BYU linebacker Matt Ah You, a handful of junior college athletes hoping to land Division-1 scholarship offers and high school athletes with the hope of catching the eyes of college coaches.

The participants were put through the paces that included several unique resistance band workouts, a weighted sled pull, sprint work, weight training and an unusual drill where the athletes shagged tennis balls, two at a time while at a full sprint.

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Each athlete undergoes an evaluation before a training program is designed. Specific attention is given to areas of weakness in the body of an athlete that may be overlooked in a traditional sports training regimen, but may be hindering an athlete from reaching his or her top performance.

In the case of Harvey Unga, Stroshine has developed a program to help him prepare for his BYU Pro Day on July 8th. Harvey has nimble feet and good top-end speed for a 240 pound running back. His weakness as it pertains to the NFL is his initial burst. A lot of attention is given to the 40-yard dash in football, but actual performance on the field mostly requires short bursts of 10 yards or less. Unga’s specific training regimen is focused on developing that burst that is so coveted by NFL teams.

Stroshine is a certified strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He played high school football at Orem’s Mountain View High School and was an All-Big Sky Conference linebacker at Weber State. After signing as a free agent, his NFL career was cut short by injury in 2000 while playing for the Tennessee Titans.

Stroshine began his athletic training career in Ohio where he was part of a team that trained such athletes as LeBron James, NFL receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith. He opened the Academy for Athletic Performance in the state of Utah in 2006 before launching ASAP Training and its website in 2009.

In this interview with Deep Shades, Dave describes his training philosophy and talks about his work with former Cougar Manase Tonga, who is currently looking to make the roster of the Oakland Raiders.