Our official Cal-Hi Sports speed coach, Chris Asher, has continued to develop as a coach and trainer with clients ranging from a 9-year-old Paralympian to an NFL All-Pro. He’ll also be helping us to provide a speed blog twice per month for the upcoming school year.
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Trips to the Bahamas and the Philippines were just part of a whirlwind year for Gold Medal Excellence founder and speed coach Chris Asher.
Asher, who joined forces with Cal-Hi Sports last year and in fact is the first partner we obtained in our post-ESPN reincarnation, also found great satisfaction at being able to help train a diverse and growing client list.
“The diversity of these people who all want to get faster has been amazing,” said Asher, who began his business after a successful 15-year college coaching career. “We’ve coached everyone from a 5-year-old who already plays youth sports to a nine-year-old youth Paralympic athlete to even an NFL All-Pro.”
The All-Pro Asher is referring to is Antonio Cromartie of the Arizona Cardinals. Cromartie was criticized by some when he was playing last season for the New York Jets that he might be lacking some speed. Asher coached the 210-pound Cromartie on technique and other speed-building drills and by the time he was done Cromartie was clocking 4.32 in the 40-yard dash.
“What I’ve learned most in the past year is that you have to adjust constantly,” he said. “There are different skill levels and age groups for all people. You might have a 14-year-old in one session who doesn’t need as much work as someone in the next session who is just basically learning how to walk straight.”
Working with Ezra Frech, a 9-year-old from Los Angeles who was born without one leg, has provided more than one special moment.
“His father said he had never done the hurdles before, so one day we just set them up and he had developed the confidence to go over them,” Asher said. “Today, Ezra is winning medals at national Paralympic events.”
Asher’s travels during the spring and early summer took him to the Bahamas while serving as Head Men’s Team Manager for USA Track & Field at the 2014 IAAF World Relay Championships and then to the Philippines where he worked for Nike at a Rising Stars volleyball camp.
“Speed Kills and with that said this summer has been super hectic and quite the experience heading into the fall as I dealt with many athletes on a daily basis looking for speed,” Asher said. “On a daily basis, I had two to three NFL players training with me before the start of training camp, a professional rugby player from England, quite a few excellent high school football and baseball players working with me to improve their athleticism, footwork, quickness and speed, as well as many youth athletes as well as high school soccer, lacrosse, basketball, softball athletes and obviously track and field athletes. If you are an athlete and you want to really get fast from someone who has done it with average athletes and professionals, contact me immediately to get you to the next level.”
As a runner himself, Asher has vivid memories of the Hawthorne High track program, which he was a part of from 1985 to 1987. In a seven-year stretch 1983 through an, led by legendary coach Kye Courtney, Hawthorne’s boys won a remarkable six CIF state team titles and set numerous state and national records, not to mention producing Olympic gold medal sprinter Michael Marsh and NFL Player and current NFL TV Analyst Curtis Conway, who just happens to be married to none other than, Lailah Ali, the daughter of Muhammad Ali.
“Kye Courtney was a phenomenal high school coach and he had some great teams,” Asher said. “It’s still mind boggling to me that Hawthorne ran the still standing national record time of 3:07.40 in the 4×400 at the 1985 Texas Relays. Being around the athletes at Hawthorne that I was around gave me a different perspective on who would be a really good college or professional athlete.”
Asher’s coaching career began in 1997 as an assistant track and field coach at Cal State Fullerton. He then became the director of track and field and cross country at Cal State Los Angeles from 2002 to 2012 and also has served as an assistant coach for sprints and hurdles and as an event manager and operations director for UCLA’s track program.
“My best moment as a coach came in the summer of 2012 when I was the sprint/hurdles and relays coach for Team USA at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain,” he said. “There is nothing like working with a group of young men and women and having them succeed at an event of that magnitude. To hear the Star Spangled Banner being played while watching them on the medal stand is one of the ultimate honors in all of sports.”
You can connect with speed coach Chris Asher by email at Chris.Asher@goldmedalexcellence.com , follow him on
Twitter @GMEChrisAsher and
Instagram at @goldmedalexcellence_chrisasher.
To see pictures and training videos, CLICK HERE.