BRADENTON, Fla. -- Adrian McPherson is still thought of as one of the best high school athletes to hail from the Suncoast. ABC 7 caught up with him Monday as he begins his quest to build a more well-rounded athlete.
A.D. is still the only athlete in Florida history to be named ‘Mr. Football’ as a quarterback at Southeast High School, and then followed it up with a ‘Mr. Basketball’ for the same school. He knows what it takes to be successful, and now he is passing on that knowledge to kids. “It’s something that I wish I had growing up. What I've done is put together a system I think could use to get ready for a season. I have put together a strong program."
Monday was the first day of the McPherson Athletic Summer Program at St. Stephen's School in Bradenton. Boys and girls from age 8 and up were jumping right into things. “I feel like the drills are going to help you get better. I also like the happy, positive attitude. Yeah, that's what I like," says 12-year-old trainee Hailey Kadibar.
"To catch kids when they're in 5th grade, 6th grade and help them achieve their goals, and their dreams, is just something I want to be a part of," says McPherson.
He has several professional trainers in camp to get the kids in the best possible shape, both physically and mentally. "It's a blessing really. This is something I have been looking to do my entire life, and I finally get the chance to do it," says 12-year-old Ryan Overstreet.
Ricky Simmons for speed and agility, Graham Anderson for strength and conditioning, Cody Hughes for the same, Amy Whittingham is a tri-athlete so she covers many disciplines, plus McPherson has an ace-in-the-hole. "Rob Rivera, who is a Wounded Warrior. What better guy to be doing your nutrition and mental conditioning than a guy that has been through things that I can't even comprehend," says McPherson.
Whether it be one day, one week, or the 7-week summer, the trainees will learn speed, agility, strength, flexibility, and how to mentally prepare for sports, and life. “I get more pride and joy out of seeing these young kids achieve their goals than I do throwing touchdowns."