Home of the Trojans

You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Words never uttered by us, despite being lucky enough to gain access into various NFL, NCAA Football and NBA programs.

Whilst the goal is the same, the way each organisation presented itself was vastly different – but all extremely impressive.

The last stop on our amazing two-week journey was in Los Angeles, to the University of Southern California – home of the Trojans.

Fortunately, through an ally in Adelaide we were put onto Jared Blank – the director of football operations at USC.

Jared – like everyone we encountered in our travels – was amazingly generous with his time, not to mention his great patience as we asked question after question.

The first thing that hit us as we entered the USC campus was the amazing weather.

California is known for its lovely weather most of the year whilst places like Seattle, Bristol and New York (our previous destinations) can suffer furious snow storms and spend 24-hours per day well below zero.

USC is the chosen school of almost 40,000 students and between the sporting teams, have won 100 NCAA championships, ranking them third of any program in America.

As we began walking through the sporting facilities, the first thing that struck us as unique was the fact that the Trojan football team shares its training space.

Jared explained that the power brokers within the school decided to create a community environment and give everyone access to the same elite facility.

Unlike LSU and Washington where we witnessed phenomenal training areas built only for the football team, the USC athletes willingly share the area.

But don’t feel sorry for the Trojan athletes – whilst the football team is required to share its weight room and indoor arena, they also get access to the indoor golf simulator – a very cool apparatus indeed.

During our walkthrough of the USC sports, we spent five minutes chatting with the nutritionist – a scary lady!

USC had purchased a remarkable machine, which was far more accurate than the skin fold calipers that are widely used in the AFL.

Taking barely over 10 minutes to take the measurements, the machine is able to accurately display body fat percentages and much, much more.

The Trojans nutritionist explained that the apparatus was so hi-tech that it could even tell her what the athlete had been eating and drinking within the past few weeks.

It could do so by measuring the amount of fat around the internal organs.

As she went on about how accurate this machine could be – both Tom and I looked at each other with a scared look on our face.

There is absolutely nowhere to hide with this machine.

You either eat well and stay off the drink or you will be found out.

I guess the only positive of having a far lesser budget than the college programs is that fact that we may not be able to afford such a machine – thankfully.

We finished off our visit by looking at the vast amount of silverware earned by the various Trojan teams.

Countless first round draft picks in the NFL and NBA, Olympic gold medalists, world champions – the Trojans have had them all.

From NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan to NFL Defensive Player of the Year Clay Matthews, USC is a big-time school and we are grateful for having set foot inside their four walls.


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