Kim Wood, the conscience of America's weight room, hosts his third annual strength summit this weekend at the aptly straightforwardly-named "Football Strength Clinic #3" at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.
Wood, the NFL's first full-time strength coach when Paul Brown chose him to become the Bengals strong man and began a tenure that ran into four decades, continues his assault against concussions with vintage common sense philosophies outlined on his web site footballstrength.com
"We're all pro football. Meaning, we are for the game of football," Wood said. "Everybody starts talking about what to do after concussions. We're talking about cutting down the risks with preparation even before taking the field. The idea is to build muscle strength in such important places as the neck, shoulders and jaw so that it dissipates the forces."
The clinic, which costs $25, opens Friday night with a social hour at the facility at 3711 Clifton Ave. in Cincinnati and follows up Saturday with a 7:30-9 a.m. check-in for the event that runs to about 4 p.m.
Keynoting Wood's speakers is Bob Rogucki, the strength coach of the Super Bowl champion Ravens who is expected to talk about the lack of neck training on the collegiate level.
Wood, one of the most vocal leaders of the anti-steroid movement when the drugs surfaced in the NFL in the 1970s, has gone far and wide and on all levels to collect a variety of neck strength experts that begins with himself.
Colgate University strength coach Gabe Harrington runs what Wood calls a "unique head and neck beeper program," and says he was the first to "introduce strength in return to play post-concussion." Saginaw Valley State University's Anthony Delli-Pizzi is author of a 26-step program featuring the head, neck, trapezius and jaw, while Doug Scott, a New Jersey high school strength coach, has charted progress from middle school to high school for students in neck and head training.
Clinic standbys like Michigan legend Mike Gittleson and former Cincinnati prep star and Michigan player John Wood, a combat grip strength expert, are also expected to speak on the importance of strength in curtailing concussions and head injuries.
"There's more to it than helmets and keeping your head up," Wood said. "There are positive things to do to cut down the risks and the key is preparation. The responsible thing for a coach is not only to make players better, but also to make sure they can protect themselves."