BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The best athletes in the world are constantly searching for ways to keep their bodies in tip-top condition, whether it be with physical therapy, strength and conditioning training, or with a proper dietary program.
They’ll find all that and more at the Fischer Institute in Phoenix.
Brett and Stephanie Fischer founded the Institute in 1997, and right now, it’s hopping with business from the NFL, MLB, colleges and high schools and various youth sports.
With the NFL Scouting Combine taking place next week in Indianapolis, Ind., the Institute’s extremely busy this week, with some of the top athletes in college football gathering there for the NFL Combine Preparation Camp.
The athletes started their training right after their final college game, and they’ll continue to train all the way up to their Pro Days at their respective schools. Of the 17 athletes taking part in the camp, three of them – running back/wide receiver D.J. Foster, quarterback Mike Bercovici, wide receiver Gary Chambers – played for Todd Graham at Arizona State. Chambers, who Brett Fischer says is “under the radar,” says he’s noticed a change in “everything,” thanks to the time he’s spent training at the Institute.
“There’s a lot we learn up here, and to be able to start putting it all together, slowly but surely, has been really good,” Chambers said. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement just in some of my times from when I first got here in the 40 (yard dash), the pro agility, (and) the three-cone, and I feel myself getting a lot stronger actually. (I’m) definitely learning a lot, and definitely being able to put it all together.”
Brett Fischer’s seen a countless number of athletes come in and out of his building, year after year for the past 11, and take part in his camp. Some of them were told that they were all that, and they didn’t need much work to get ready for the NFL, and some – like this current group of 17 – were willing to be yelled at and told that they need work in certain areas if they expect to be employed by an NFL franchise.
This group’s willingness to learn is what’s impressed Fischer the most, and made him want to work even more with them to make them as NFL ready as he and his staff can.
“This group we have in here – the 2016 group – is willing to take the criticism, positive and negative, and get themselves better,” Fischer said. “Be it technique (with) throwing, running, (or) lifting, they want to get better, and the desire to get better has been amazing in here.”
In watching a one-hour workout at the camp, one thing stood out pretty far, and that was the level of fun the athletes had with their counterparts. The 17 young men were from different parts of the country, but they all came together in one accord and they genuinely seemed to enjoy each other. Maybe it’s because a lot of them have faced each other in their college careers, but the energy level in the building was at a high level, and each and every member of the camp gave it their all during the workout.
“It’s so funny, when you’re at your own school, and you’re in your own area, you think everyone’s different, but we’re all the same. We’re all football players, (and) goofy guys,” Foster said. “It’s been a blast training with these guys (for) the last couple months, and just seeing their motivation, (and) their passion for the game.”
All Fischer wants to do is bring people together, train them, make them the best athletes they can be, and send them back out into the world, and hope they make a difference in their professions.
Mission Accomplished Mr. Fischer!
“To be a part of their lives, and to have guys like (Jets cornerback) Darrelle Revis come back 12 years in a row, and (Falcons wide receiver) Roddy White come back 13 years in a row, and be a part of their lives, and be a part of what they’ve done their whole career, that part means the most to me. That part means the most to me,” Fischer said. “It’s not about accolades, it’s not about money, or getting fame, or anything like that. It’s about the people I’ve met, and the relationships that I’ve made. They’re bonds that are beyond the game itself.”