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  • Writer's pictureRon McKeefery

IGCT Episode #268: Rapheal Ruiz "Coaches Golden Rule"


Raph Ruiz, in his own words...Throughout my career in Human Performance, I stand resolute in my ability to help athletes to earn athletic eXcellence by properly implementing scientifically-based training systems that are orthopaedically-sound & performance-driven. Experiences in a blessed career have taken me through three Tampa Bay pro teams with the Buccaneers under Tony Dungy, the Mutiny & the Devil Rays.

I worked with individual, high-profile careers of the NFL’s Deion Sanders, MLB’s Gary Sheffield, boxing’s Antonio Tarver & many Olympic swimmers. I am very fortunate to have been an integral part of 5 University of Tampa’s National Championships. I do not mention these in a boastful manner, but as a testament to my dedication towards preparedness, putting myself in the best position to be successful when opportunities arise, but more importantly gifting this mindset to the athletes under my guidance.

The fortuitous accomplishments of my family of athletes have not created complacency, slowed my enthusiasm or dedication, but rather continually sharpens my craft against a perpetually rising standard. Filipino Martial Arts, Football and Track & Field started my scholar-athletic career as the paving stones to earning my Kinesiology degree from Sam Houston State University where I began framing a training system for developing highly effective athletes.

This journey took me through those experiences at the pro teams level, sports academies, premiere health clubs and eventually settling into a niche as the Director of Performance with Div II University of Tampa. At the S&C helm of Spartan Athletics from ’99-‘09, our athletes won National Championships in Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Volleyball and back-to-back Baseball. Commensurate with those rings, in an era of epidemic ACL & Shoulder injuries, is our proud accomplishment of dramatically reducing catastrophic injuries incurred and a reduction in severity & length-of-time injured. This is a milestone in that most schools are still experiencing a rise in the opposite direction, especially overhead athletes such as volleyball, baseball/softball & swimming. Alongside one of my very dear friends, John Welbourn and I created CrossFit Football/ Power Athlete HQ which offered a laser-focus on comprehensive on-field performance and sound strength & conditioning program to the CrossFit community. Also, I am very proud of what I have built as many elite athletes called my Pro Select Systems their home.

This encompasses my Pro Draft Prep, Fight Science Camps and Pro Off-Season Programs. But, I am most proud of the development of our ‘HERO’s Initiative’ (Highly Effective Rescue & Operator). This program serves preparation for selection, current Special Operators, elite SWAT LEOs and Fire Rescue, as well as return to quality-of-life for the retired. Its success has driven innumerable benefits throughout our entire training population of athletes, especially with young, rising stars and teams all vying for the development of invaluable X-factors such as team cohesion, effective communication, composure under duress & noble-warrior mindsets that many coaches, athletes and parents desire for well adjusted rising stars ready to take on the world. I am constantly struggling, yet perpetually striving to be the best role model for my son Raider, the best husband for my wonderful wife Stephanie and the most loving companion for our Kino, Max, Adi & Teros while I help others build their foundation of a championship culture and centers of excellence.


In This Episode We Discuss:

  • What experience in his journey impacted him the most, and Why.

  • Biggest mistake he has made and how he learned from it.

  • Looking at S&C as a series of coordinated movements.

  • Developing athletes long before the accolades.

  • His learning process.

  • Best piece of coaching advice he has ever received.

  • His favorite quote, Book/App/Website recommendation.

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