Satisfied with the ‘old school’ label that Big D often gets, he’s confident in his old school values of treating people right, developing young men for a lifetime of success, and never letting the words “that’s not my job” pass through his lips. Having been in the game for so long, Donnie Sommer understands the cyclical nature of training – everything old is new and everything new is old. Even with changing times and approaching things a little differently, the underlying culture and lifestyle he teaches remains true.
We started the podcast reminiscing some of the good ole days – squatting 600lb to failure and then doing 60”+ box jumps. When Donnie was in college, the weight sessions were to last 30 minutes and no longer. But that wasn’t ok with Big D, he knew he couldn’t be the athlete he desired in a mere 30 minutes, so he took training into his own hands.
Because he lacked a true strength coach in college, Donnie saw the void and decided he wanted to help fill it. He saw the missing link of strength and conditioning as a way he could help kids without being a football coach. Knowing the easiest way to get on the field is to be bigger, stronger, faster & in better shape than anybody else, his goal was to be the help he wished he had while training.
As we progressed through the episode, we discussed the changing times – how when Donnie started out he was the strength coach, the film coordinator, game day head set organizer, nutritionist, janitor, punisher and whatever other miscellaneous roles needed filled. Nowadays people want to get so techy and scientific, we’re losing touch with the people aspect. It should always be a people business, and that’s why Donnie sees it as a family business.