Alex Wetmore is a current graduate student at East Tennessee State University in the coach education and sports science program. Once a two-time NAIA national champion at Marian University on the field, now he helps train other athletes to reach their potential off of it. He works as a performances trainer and strength coach at Acceleration Indiana West while in graduate school.
Alex took the time so speak with myself and Locker Room Update about his career background in football, as well as his aspirations as a professional trainer. Check it out!
When did you first fall in love with playing football?
I have loved football since I put on my first set of pads in 2002. I would wear those things day and night, waiting for my mom to get home from work so I could tackle her in the doorway!
Who was your role model in football when you were growing up, and who was your role model outside of the sport during your childhood?
I have always been a Dolphins fan so I would say my role models were players like Dan Marino, Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. Outside of football, my biggest role models had to be my parents. Like any other kid, I just wanted to make them proud.
What’s the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach or trainer has ever said to you?
I’ve been really lucky to have some amazing coaches over the years. One thing that has always stuck with me is a pre-game ritual Coach Henninger brought to Marian called “My everything or nothing.” I’ve always strived to apply that attitude to everything I do both on and off the field.
In your time as a player at Marian University, you were a two-time NAIA National Champion. To what did you attribute your immense success as a college football player?
I think my biggest attribute as a player was my hustle. I wasn’t always the most talented athlete on the field but I absolutely gave it everything I had on every single snap. I think that is something our entire team embodied.
When was it that you determined your career would align with the performance training side of sports over competitive football – and why?
I always had dreams of becoming a professional football player but as my senior year came around I experienced several serious injuries (shoulder surgery and nerve damage) which helped me to realize that although it was time for me to hang up my cleats, I could still make a difference in the sport. Helping other athletes to achieve their full potential is extremely rewarding.
Is it easier to train football players as opposed to other athletes because of your experiences as a player?
I think it is easier to train football players because I understand them. I understand the hours they put in and the skills they need. I understand how they feel after two-a-days. So I think that helps me to be an effective performance coach. However, I welcome the challenge of training different sports and that is something I am really excited for in graduate school.
Tell us about your work at Acceleration Indiana West. What does a typical day on the job as a trainer and coach look like for you?
Our bread and butter at AI West is speed, quickness, and agility training using super treadmills and plyometric protocols. I am also a strength coach so I spend a lot of time programming and training athletes in the weight room. However, one unique aspect about AI West is that I am able to bring athletes in to use turf and run them through sport specific training sessions.
Who is someone interesting that you’ve worked with as a trainer?
I have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of athletes including professional football players, college track, football, soccer, and volleyball athletes, professional ultimate Frisbee players and high level high school athletes. I think one of the coolest experiences for me is training former teammates of mine from MU because I get to give back to the school and team that gave me so much.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I am currently a graduate student at East Tennessee State University in the Coach Education and Sport Science program. I hope to graduate with my master’s degree and have the option of pursuing a Ph.D. in the future. I would love to continue to coach collegiate and professional athletes both during and after grad school.
And finally, how can a potential client get in touch with you or Acceleration Indiana West?