Alabama football coach Nick Saban shares the key to Crimson Tide's 50% decrease in injuries

Claire Kuwana
The Tuscaloosa News

HOOVER, Ala. — Alabama football coach Nick Saban shared one of the newest secrets to his program's success on Wednesday when he took the podium at 2021 SEC Media Days. 

Saban said he has made a significant change in his program in the past few years to shift from a powerlifting approach to a focus on "explosive movement."

The Tide brought in a new strength and conditioning staff and transitioned to "velocity training." Led by David Ballou and Dr. Matt Rhea and combined with an emphasis on technology to test the players, Saban and his staff were able to lower the injury rate significantly. 

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"Last year our injuries were down by about 50%, soft tissue injuries. We increased explosive movement during the season by almost 5%, which we had not done for several years," Saban said. 

Saban said Alabama has been able to eliminate all running tests. With their new technological approach, there is no need for them — the staff can already track how fast a certain player is running on any given day. 

"So it's a much more positive approach. The players have really bought into it from a flexibility standpoint and a strength and conditioning standpoint, and the technology has been very instrumental in helping the players see their progress and buy in to this process," Saban said.

Claire Kuwana is a sports reporting intern at the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter @clairekuwana.