The Olsen Files notebook: Day 3
Day 3: February 25, 2012
It’s 10:00 on a crisp Saturday in February. Kevin is experiencing, without a doubt, the hardest, most grueling, and most intense workout he will ever have because it's with big brother Greg.
They spend an entire hour just doing warm ups. They are doing various stretches, light cardio and the step-ladder. Greg never lets Kevin cut corners -- ever. He relentlessly stresses finishing, and being able to think on the fly- even when doing things at top speed. It was impressive. I was sweating and I wasn’t doing anything, but watching from behind the camera and trying to absorb some new cardio moves!
I'm hanging with Roy, our camera man, and watching in awe as he instinctively knows what we are trying to accomplish with Kevin and how he maneuvers his camera to just the right angles to capture each scene. He was on the main camera and served as a producer during the taping of "The Crusade" -- a documentary of the 2002 Bergen Catholic football season of which Mike Quick was the director, writer and producer.
I am truly appreciative of sports documentaries and I am a fan of genre. (What a surprise!) Needless to say, I am glad these guys are on my team.
Kevin and Greg move on from the cardio room, to the weight room. Today they are concentrating on the lower body with one-legged squats, weighted step-ups, hamstring curls and other leg crunching maneuvers. The entire time Greg just pushing Kevin to the max, to the point Kevin shows signs of frustration. Maybe it’s too much weight, too many reps or struggling to figure out the proper technique -- I don’t know. But Greg presses on.
Then it’s time for throwing. Greg an all pro tight end for the Carolina Panthers is snagging balls out of the air like his hands have the back side of wall paper on them! To say he is impressive is an understatement. Clearly there is a reason he is one of the youngest, brightest and best TE's in the game. His work ethic is off the charts and the intensity he brings to his training, and the training of his younger brother is an experience like nothing I have ever seen, Kevin is doing three-step, five-step and seven-step drops.
Greg is just standing in multiple spots, stressing the importance of accuracy and footwork, “get your depth, hit a spot. Time after time, “get your depth and hit a spot.” The words are like a snap out of Greg's mouth. He stresses excellence and is impatient. I’ve seen that pursuit of excellence, the impatience, the being demanding somewhere before. Where? Ah yes, I remember. I’ve seen their father, Coach Olsen with that same demeanor. Leaves don’t fall far from the tree.
Moving on to the best part of the shoot. Kevin gets a little football 101 from Greg on the chalkboard. We head to coach’s office and begin some of the best stuff I have seen all year, but Greg’s making Kevin extremely nervous. Almost like Greg’s speaking another language. Well, actually that's because he is speaking another language. At least in Kevin's eyes, he is.
See, each level of football from Pop Warner up to high-school then college and straight through to the pros, the concepts are basically the same, but the terminology gets manipulated and those basic concepts become more complex. Kevin is thinking on a high school level and Greg obviously is throwing stuff at him from the highest level.
Kevin sometimes getting frustrated and Greg’s yelling, “Well get over it, Kevin, time to think like the big boys.” It was a classic Olsen moment. You are good, but you could be better.
In the end Greg was really impressed with Kevin's performance; he just wants him to adjust when he speaks fast and throws a ton of terminology at him so that when he gets to the next level, he will be prepared.
'Til next time...