"Godfather of football speed" plays huge role in Caledonia's suc - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

"Godfather of football speed" plays huge role in Caledonia's success

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Caledonia's success on the field is unmatched.

They've won seven state titles in the last 10 years.

But some of their most important work comes off the field without helmets, pads or even a football.

It's where the players learn speed isn't a luxury t's a necessity.

"Trying to convince the world you can develop speed, nobody would buy that story.  You'll either bore them with it and they'll say you can't develop it.  They don't say that anymore," according to Dale Baskett, who has made a career out of making athletes faster, especially football players.

"The 40 is a myth because you don't run 40 yards hardly ever.  The whole secret for football speed to get kids better is, number one, teaching them control their mechanical function.  ."

Baskett is a pioneer in football speed.

He began his craft in 1979 when speed coaches were unheard of.

"There was no place to go for kids who wanted to improve their athletic or football speed.  That's it started and, of course, the rest is history with my resume.' "

His resume is lengthy to say the least.

He's personally trained dozens of NFL players, served as the speed coach for the Seattle Seahawks and consulted with several college programs over the last 38 years including Minnesota and Winona State.

"We call it football speed to clarify there's a certain perameter of speed that's important to the game.  That's acceleration, burst and multi-changing directions that have to happen on the field.  It's indifferent from anything else you're going to do."

Baskett doesn't use a stopwatch, instead relying on science.

"In essence, the secret is what the arm does to the leg.  The arm controls the leg.  So it's not about the stopwatch.  Time does not matter.  What matters is control."

Baskett moved to Caledonia after forging a friendship with head coach Carl Fruechte.

It was time for the speed coach to slow down.

"I needed the environment change.  I needed somewhere where it was quiet.  It's time to just relax a little bit."

With seven state titles in the last ten years, Caledonia is sure glad he did.

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