04 August 2009

Polynesian Athletes Prepare for Football Training Camp in Arizona

Who would have thought that in the middle of the Arizona Desert at the peak of the summer heat (116 degrees) you would find Polynesian Football Players running drills, flipping tractor tires, dragging sleds, lifting weights all for the preparation of training camp? Numerous NFL, Collegiate and High School Polynesian football players have dedicated their off-season to travel to Arizona and train with strength & conditioning coach Chad Ikei at the Ikei Performance Training Center in Scottsdale. It is here that these young men learn what it takes to become a champion.

“Being born and raised in Hawaii and understanding the island culture allows me to help inspire these young men to excel in their sport and learn the life skills necessary to be successful in the competitive world” states Chad Ikei who back in 1991 left Hawaii to pursue his Weightlifting career at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. “We have some of the most talented athletes coming out of the islands or living on the mainland, but many of them are not exposed to the type of training and work intensity that we provide for them at our training center. The time we get to spend with these athletes allow us to teach them how to improve their chances of getting to the next level.”

Through the years many Polynesians have made it to the NFL but they have also had the reputation of being “lazy.” “I hear it a lot of times from coaches or teammates,” remarks Ikei about the reputation of Polynesian Athletes being lazy. “It’s not that they are lazy, most of them will work extremely hard when taught how to work. Sometimes their easy going personalities can come across as “laid-back” or mistaken for being lazy. But all my Polynesian Athletes that I have trained have excelled in the program and exceeded many expectations. To me it’s a lot about understanding the culture, the individual and being able to build a relationship with each athlete so they understand how to accept and embrace success.”

The Polynesian people are very strong in their culture yet extremely humble. This sometimes affects a young athlete when faced with moving away from home and competing for a spot on the team. “I have heard of many stories where a young Polynesian athlete heads off to college only to return home due to being homesick or culture shock” states Ikei. “No matter how much talent an athlete has, if they are not mentally and emotionally prepared they can only expect sub-par performances. Sometimes the lack of preparation results in some of the best “potential” football players to leave the game whether it’s voluntary or involuntary. This breaks my heart because many of these athletes have not been taught how to mentally and emotionally prepare for the changes. I’ve been there and experienced the emotional stress of being away from home, but I also am a product of discipline, sacrifice and hard work. I made it through the struggles successfully and use that experience to inspire other athletes to do the same. I know what it takes to compete at the highest level. Therefore, I don’t let any of my athletes slack off or make excuses. Excuses aren’t tolerated, they either want it or not. In the end it’s their choice but I’m here for them and do my best to inspire them to make quality choices in life.”

This is why coach Ikei has open his doors to his home in Scottsdale, AZ where he houses and feeds many of his Polynesian athletes. “We had 15 people staying at our house this summer, not including our 5 children that’s 22 people in our home…you know the size of these Poly boys, they aren’t small like me” chuckles Ikei. “But that’s how we do it and that’s who we are. All the athletes have the understanding that we are all one big Ohana (family) and everyone is welcome to stay. It keeps them humble and appreciative of the opportunity they have. This is a learning experience that I hope will change their lives for the better and something they carry with them, so one day they will be able to pay it forward to another young athlete that needs help or inspiration. There’s no shame in sleeping on the floor.” According to Ikei every athlete has to earn their position in the household in order to move up, “the boys need to pay their dues, if you have seniority with Ikei Performance then you are granted a room and a bed, if you are new and a youngster then you start on the floor. Sooner or later a veteran will depart and vacancies open on the couch or futon. But no matter what status each athlete is they all take part in cleaning duties.” Ikei insists that every single one of his the athletes that lives with him be treated like family, “I have all the boys do chores around the house and gym. No matter if you’re in High School, College or NFL it’s our rules and everyone respects and understands our culture. Even NFL Fullback Reagan Mauia comes to stay with us during the off-season and always helps with the chores. My wife and I also have 5 children so all the Uncles at one point or another will baby sit for us too. It’s a great way for us to show how much we love and trust these boys and how much we want them to be successful. When you build and establish a bond with them they open their hearts to everything you teach them and this is what makes a difference in their lives. We are truly blessed to have them in our lives and will always do what’s best for each and every one of them.”

Testaments of Ikei’s efforts and results are endless but in a recent email from the parents of a University of Hawaii Defensive Tackle say it all:

“I wish I could express just how grateful we are to you for taking our son under your wings and sincerely caring for him. We can feel his pride in his voice on the hard work he put in under your wings in teaching him not only the conditioning and diet program, but giving him the will to see these last 3 weeks through. It wasn't easy for him to make it up there however, he was determined to get there and put his whole heart and being there. I'm sure you know how devastated any athlete can become when injury occurs and for him, it’s been a long year...but, he looks like a totally different person and you have instilled his burning desire to become all that he can...and then some. Thank you so very much for being his trainer,...his family away from home…only your deep love from your heart can help the hundreds that you have helped...and we are so very grateful and appreciative....for being there when he needed it the most. Please extend our thank you for Mrs. Ikei as well....again, thank you for caring...” Chicki and Rocky (his dad) Savaiigaea

Here’s a list of Polynesian Athletes that made it to the NFL that have come through Ikei Performance:

Aaron Francisco – S, Kahuku High, BYU, Arizona Cardinals
Al Afalava – S, Kahuku High, Oregon State, Chicago Bears
Brennan Carvalho – C, Kamehameha, Portland State, Green Bay Packers
Brian Soi – DT, Timpview High, Utah State, Miami Dolphins
Bristol Olomua – TE, Red Mountain High, Texas Tech, Cincinnati Bengals
Caleb Spencer – WR, Kamehameha, Nevada, Washington Redskins
Cameron Stephenson – OG, Hawthorne High, Rutgers, Jacksonville Jaguars
Joe Tuipala – LB, Burroughs High, San Diego State, Jacksonville Jaguars
JT Mapu – DT, Kahuku High, Tennessee, Washington Redskins
Karl Noa – DE, Kamehameha, Hawaii, New York Jets
Naufahu Tahi – FB, Granger High, BYU, Minnesota Vikings
Patrick Scwhenke – OG/OT, Taylorsville High, West Texas A&M, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Reagan Mauia – FB, Tokay High, Hawaii, Arizona Cardinals
Taitusi “Deuce” Lutui – OG, Mesa High, USC, Arizona Cardinals
Tala Esera – OG, Kahuku High, Hawaii, Philadelphia Eagles
Timmy Chang – QB, St. Louis High, Hawaii, Hamilton Tiger Cats
Vaka Manupuna – DT, St. Louis High, Colorado, Washington Redskins

Other Notable Former Collegiate Players:
Francis Maka – DE, Bellermine College Prep, Hawaii
Jeremy Perry – OG, Kahuku High, Oregon State
Travis Tofi – DT, Fagaitua High, USC

Each year numerous collegiate and high school athletes will travel from across the country to train with Chad Ikei and his team of professionals.

Exceeding Expectations
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Interested in learning more about our training program visit www.ikeiperformance.com or contact our office at 480.657.6937, email: info@ikeiperformance.com to arrange a tour of our facility.

28 July 2009

Pictures from Inaugural Ikei Performance Football Camp Big Island

Our Inaugural Ikei Performance Football Camp Big Island was filled with talent and Aloha. From the kids to the parents & the Kea’au High School Booster Club, the power of the Aloha Spirit ran immensely through all us. “Much Mahalo” (many special thanks) go out to Kea’au High School Athletic Director Iris McGuire, Ceci & Ty Kahooilihala and the rest of the Kea’au High School Booster Club, we couldn’t have done it without their kokua (help).

The 3-day overnight camp was held at Kea’au High School July 7-9, 2009. Ikei Performance Camp coaches included former and current NFL Players: Aaron Francisco, Seth Joyner, Vaka Manupuna, Tala Esera, Timmy Chang and JD Runnels. The first two days of the camp started at 9 o’clock in the morning and ended at 8 o’clock in the evening with the final day ending at 4 o’clock. Campers were introduced to proper Olympic Weightlifting Technique, combine training preparation & technique, running mechanics, speed & agility drills, conditioning, football fundamentals, position specific drills, one-on-one drills, 7-on-7 game, proper nutrition & supplementation and college recruiting process.

The feed back from both parents & athletes were outstanding and we are already planning for next year’s camp. We hope that the information we shared with each athlete & their families will encourage them to strive for a higher level of excellence and look forward to seeing them play at the next level.

01 July 2009

Ikei Performance Athlete Charles Brewer Drafted to the Arizona Daimondbacks

Ikei Performance, Scottsdale’s exclusive sports performance and fitness training center is the destination of choice for many A-lists athletes when it comes to hard core sports conditioning and training. Athletes travel from all over the U.S. to work with the Ikei Sports Performance team, from professional athletes to NFL and MLB hopefuls. The Ikei team often has the privilege to see their dedicated athletes reach their dream of playing for a professional sports team. Today they are very proud to announce that Ikei athlete Charles Brewer has done just that. Brewer, a right handed pitcher, was recently drafted to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 12th round.

Brewer, who was assigned to play Class A ball for the Missoula Osprey’s in Montana, pitched his first inning as a Class A division player over the weekend and did not disappoint. Brewer struck out all three batters with ease, a stellar start to this young athletes promising career. Brewer was a steady influence in the UCLA rotation during his career and posted an impressive 12-10 mark at the collegiate level.

“This is a dream come true for me. I’m very excited and proud that I was drafted to the Arizona Diamondbacks. I could not have made it this far without the unwavering support of my family, friends and coaches. Words cannot express my gratitude to Chad Ikei and his team. They pushed me to better every aspect of my game and helped me focus on the areas that I needed to work on. They were with me every step of the way,” Stated Charles Brewer.

Chad Ikei, Owner of Ikei Sports Performance had this to say about Charles and his dedication to training leading up to the draft , “Charles & his brother Chase came to Ikei Performance during their Christmas Break of 2008. While majority of their UCLA teammates and other young athletes take this time to relax and enjoy a nice vacation the Brewers were working out 5-6 days a week. Charles was very focused as he knew this was an important year for him heading into the draft. Our main focus was to improve his lower body and core strength to enhance is velocity on the mound. We also wanted to focus on his decelerators of his throwing arm to maximize his release point. We also put him on a nutritional & supplemental protocol that would enable him to put on the lean muscle mass necessary to handle throwing all the reps he needed during the season.”

His hard work and dedication has definitely paid off, as Charles is now officially playing at the professional level. According to the Ikei team, Charles didn’t waste any time getting back into the weight room. He was at the Ikei Sports Performance training center the day after being drafted, working hard to prepare for his MLB debut.

Chad Ikei had this to add, “We are very proud of Charles and thrilled that he was drafted to the Diamondbacks. It’s times like these, when I see the discipline, accountability and desire from a young athlete that makes me smile and say to myself, I have the best job in the world!”

For more information on Ikei Sports Performance, please call (480) 657-6937 or visit Ikei Sports Performance online at www.ikeiperformance.com.

About Ikei Performance
Ikei Performance is an exclusive sports & fitness training center that trains numerous professional, college and high school athletes as well as serious fitness enthusiasts. The private 9,300 square foot facility has an indoor field turf area, outdoor 3-lane 70 yard turf track, strength training area including Olympic lifting platforms and medical offices. Under the direction of 5-time National Weightlifting Champion and World Record Holder, Chad Ikei, the Ikei Performance team has proven time and time again to produce fast and effective results. Personal Training, Sports Performance Programs, Naturopathic Medicine, Chiropractic care, Active Release Technique, massage therapy and the Ikei Performance Nutritional Center are available to interested fitness enthusiasts, junior athletes as well as professional athletes in training. Visit Ikei Performance on-line at www.ikeiperformance.com.

30 May 2009

Inaugural Big Island Ikei Performance Football Camp Hawaii - July 7-9, 2009

3-day intensive football training with NFL Players

Kea’au High School (Hawaii) will be the host site for the Inaugural Big Island Ikei Performance Football Camp scheduled July 7-9, 2009. Athletes from grades 8-11th will have an opportunity of a lifetime to learn from one of the nation’s leading experts in sports performance training as former Hawaii and National Weightlifting Champion and World Record Holder Chad Ikei and his team of NFL Players, lead campers through the 3-day intensive football training program.

Kea’au High School Athletic Director, Iris McGuire, is excited to bring the Ikei Performance Football Camp to the Big Island. “We are proud to have this caliber of professionals come to the Big Island to teach our young athletes. Chad has trained many athletes from Hawaii that have moved on to play in the NFL, and now our kids will have the opportunity to learn these skills that will benefit their future both on and off the field.” Athletes will learn how to master the football combine drills, college recruiting process, position specific techniques, proper weightlifting movements, speed & agility development, healthy nutrition, and safe supplementation.

“It’s such an honor to return home to the islands and share my experiences with Hawaii’s young athletes,” states Coach Ikei. “There is so much talent here in Hawaii but many times athletes are overlooked or go unnoticed. Our goal is to educate both parents and athletes on how to maximize their exposure as well as their performance so that they increase their chances of playing at the next level.” Coach Ikei and his team of NFL Players have volunteered their time to help teach Hawaii’s athletes how to become a champion. “This is my way of giving back to the islands that has provided me with such great opportunities.”

Kaimuki DB, Trendt “Tonka” Marsom, learned from Coach Ikei during his earlier years of football when he participated at one of the Oahu clinics. “The camp I attended with Coach Ikei taught me a lot and I was able to utilize many of the drills immediately which helped elevate my game.” Tonka will be heading to play for the University of Wyoming but before this upcoming season begins, he is planning to make a stop in Arizona to spend a few weeks training under the direction of Coach Ikei.

The Inaugural Big Island Ikei Performance Football Camp is an overnight camp with events scheduled from 9am-8pm on July 7 & 8 and 9am-4pm on July 9. The cost of the camp is $200 for all three days, which include all meals (2 breakfast, 3 lunch, 2 dinner and snacks) and lodging for 2 nights. The camp is limited to 100 participants to ensure proper coach to athlete ratio and is based on a first come first serve basis. The camp is open to all Hawaii and Mainland athletes. All proceeds benefit the Kea’au High School Booster Club.

To find out more about The Big Island Ikei Performance Football Camp call 808.895.2391 or email kahooilihala72@aol.com.

06 May 2009

Former Arizona Cardinals First Round Draft Pick Wendell Bryant Trains at Ikei Performance hoping for a Second Chance in the NFL

In 2002 the Arizona Cardinals selected Defensive Lineman Wendell Bryant (Wisconsin) with the 12th pick of the First Round. Seven years later the former first round draft pick is looking at redeeming himself. Not for money, not for glory, but for inspiration, inspiration as a young father, soon to be husband and loyal son. “I want to prove to myself that I am capable of overcoming the obstacles that I had faced and the poor choices I made in my life and hope to be an inspiration to my daughter & family” states Bryant.

Bryant was tagged a “first round bust” and many consider him a failure, but he’s been through that path of negativity. In a recent interview with Aaron Wilson of profootballtalk.com Bryant tells it all from substance abuse & partying to his release and path to depression, “I went into a depression and didn’t want to do anything but be holed up in my house. Drinking and smoking pot became my whole existence. I was in a bad place and I needed help.”

Click here to read entire article:

Bryant is now looking at the positive side of his future. For the past 9 ½ months Bryant has devoted himself to training at Ikei Performance. “When I was playing with the Cardinals I heard a lot of buzz about this Ikei guy and in my last season with the Cards I actually went and trained with him. After a few weeks of training I fell off the wayside and went back to partying and completely dropped training,” remembers Bryant. “Ikei was always there for me and pushed me hard, but I just wasn’t ready at that time of my life. But we kept in contact through the years and when I decided to make the leap back in to the NFL Ikei was the first guy I called. I asked him if he would be willing to help me get right and to kick my ass back into playing shape.”

Chad Ikei recalls the conversation with Bryant like it was yesterday, “I remember that call. It came to me as a surprise and I thought he was joking.” Ikei reminisces about the last time he trained Wendell: “He trained so hard for 2 months during the off-season in 2005 but then just disappeared. At that point in time he wasn’t ready to hear what I was teaching him and the path he was choosing wasn’t what I was hoping for which unfortunately led to his release from the team. So when I got that call I thought to myself is this guy for real or is he just chasing a dream. I told him that if he was serious about getting back into the league that he would have to arrange a meeting with me face-to-face and discuss our options.” Ikei & Bryant met for several hours and discussed what it would take for him to train under Ikei’s guidance, “I told him plain and simple that if he wanted to get back in the league he would have to make sacrifices he never imagined, be disciplined in all aspects of life and work his butt off every session. If he was to miss any scheduled training sessions, diverge from the plan or not put forth the effort our relationship would end right there.”

That conversation between Bryant and Ikei was back in the beginning of July 2008 and it’s now May 2009. Wendell has been training six days a week, two sessions a day three of the six days. He has invested thousands of dollars of his own money not to mention the countless hours he spends everyday driving to and from his home to Ikei Performance (a 40 minute commute each way). Ikei enthusiastically responds, “I can’t explain how proud I am of Wendell’s accomplishments thus far. It’s been 9 ½ months since we started training and the man has shown how much heart, discipline and passion he has to prove to himself that he can still play in the NFL. It’s amazing to watch him grow and develop into the person that he is right now. It’s such an honor when one of your athletes believes in your program and believes in the relationship that the both of you develop during this time of training. I feel so privileged to have been able to work with him once again and will forever wish him much success in life.”

Many fans may not believe Bryant can still play or is deserving of a second chance, “People that read what the media publishes sometimes only see one side of the story. They don’t see the blood, sweat and tears that these athletes put forth day-in and day-out,” remarks Ikei. “I understand that words are words and ‘proof is in the pudding.’ Wendell has been putting forth the effort and his words are true to his heart. But he’s not out here trying to buy back the respect of the fans, media or teams. It’s about finding the self-respect within himself and to show his daughter that Daddy never quit when things went awry. He’s not out here saying he’s going to become a Pro Bowler his first year back in the league nor is he out there ranting and raving about how good he is or can be. Everyone is entitled to have their opinion but don’t judge the man on what he has done in the past. Surely he has disappointed many people in his past and more than likely will disappoint others in the future as will all of us. But he, like other professional athletes, are always targeted with high expectations and when they fall short fans become judgmental. I personally can vouch for Wendell that he has turned a new leaf in his life, but my opinion means nothing to the fans, but it can mean a lot to him and that’s all that matters. I see him everyday busting his butt in the weight room, hustling through agility drills and pushing himself through our conditioning program. Trust me this is not an easy task and I can guarantee that majority of the fans wouldn’t be able to keep up with him yet along try to line-up against him in full pads. But more importantly I see him managing his responsibilities at home, taking care of his daughter, and helping his fiancĂ©, in fact just the other day he came to train early in the morning to ensure he got his workout done so he could take his daughter to see an Elmo performance. Now to me that show his priorities in life are straight and that he will be successful whether or not he continues to play football.”

However, Ikei still believes Bryant can play amongst the best in the NFL. “It’s one thing to be in fitness shape and it’s a completely different thing to be in game shape, but you got to start somewhere. Right now Wendell is definitely in the best fitness shape of his career, physically, mentally and spiritually. All he needs is a team to give him an opportunity to get into game shape which will come through mini-camps and most importantly training camp. The team that is willing to take the risk and give him the opportunity will reap the benefits of his performance. ”

Bryant’s effort is proven by the physical transformation of his body and the strength, speed and power development he has acquired through the past months of training. “I’ve never been in this great of shape in my entire life. I showed up at Ikei weighing 325 lbs looking sloppy at 28% body fat and no muscle tone at all. Last month I weighed in at 295 lbs with a body fat of 13% and I think I can actually see a silhouette of an ab,” chuckles Bryant. “My strength, speed, power and conditioning are also at my peak so now it’s just about getting the reps at a camp to prepare myself for the physical challenge of being in game shape. I can’t wait to get the chance to show my skills and test myself. It’s been a long awaited journey and now all I can hope & pray for is that a team is willing to give me that second chance and I will not let them down.”

For both Bryant and Ikei it’s been a long road that is yet to be determined where it will end. But together with the continuous effort from Bryant and guidance from Ikei one NFL team will get the performance of a lifetime from a First Round Draft Choice that still has the desire and passion to win. With maturity, wisdom and courage Bryant is determined to prove himself a better man than he once was and to inspire those faced with animosity to never give up but overcome the toughest challenges one may face in their life. “God gives us one life and it’s our responsibility to make the best of it. His strength will carry us through but we need to choose the right path and when times seem like the path is at its end he will create a new one for us but we have to do our work to find it.”