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  • Writer's pictureRon McKeefery

IGCT Episode #281: Johnny Parker "Make Them Feel Special"


At the forefront of modern strength coaching for athletes, Johnny Parker began his coaching career in 1969 at Indianola Academy in Mississippi. Well before weight training was common in sports, he spent 10 years coaching at the collegiate level, where at Indiana University he became the first strength and conditioning coach in the Big 10.

From 1984 until his retirement in 2008, he spent 21 years as an NFL strength coach, beginning with nine years in the New York Giants organization. Under Coach Bill Parcells, he helped them win Super Bowls in 1986 and 1990. Playing against the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV, the Giants set an all-time Super Bowl record for ball-control possession at 40 minutes and 33 seconds. Parker’s role as a strength and conditioning coach certainly contributed to the Giants’ tradition of excellence.

He then went on to spend seven seasons with the New England Patriots, followed by helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win the first Super Bowl in team history in 2003. In 2005, Johnny went to the San Francisco 49ers before retiring in 2008. All told, his coaching practices, many of which are outlined in this book, helped to establish winning records with nine teams, including four Super Bowl appearances.

In addition to his Super Bowl triumphs, he received the President’s Award from the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society, presented annually to the NFL’s top strength and conditioning coach and was named to the USA Strength and Conditioning Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, along with his co-authors Al Miller and Rob Panariello and mentors Alvin Roy, Clyde Emrich, and Lou Riecke.


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.

  • What is good and bad with present day Strength and Conditioning.

  • What advice would you give a young S&C to prepare for retirement.

  • Motivation behind co authoring the book "The System".

  • Best piece of coaching advice he has ever received.

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

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