Get to know Preston Greene – Director of strength and conditioning at Florida university
Get to know the ATP Lab supplement brand and the athletes who represent our lifestyle through our exclusive interviews.
ABOUT THE ATHLETE
Preston Greene enters his ninth season as director of strength and conditioning at Florida university after being hired on August 23, 2011. Greene is one of the most respected thinkers and practitioners in his field and has been instrumental in raising the level of Florida basketball players under two head coaches.
In his eight seasons at Florida, he has helped the team earn a 196-92 record, win the 2013 and 2014 SEC championships and the 2014 SEC Tournament, earn six NCAA Tournament berths, reach the Elite Eight four times and the 2014 Final Four. Greene has trained future NBA players Bradley Beal, Erik Murphy, Dorian Finney-Smith, Devin Robinson and Chris Chiozza.
He came to the Gators after a two-year stint from 2009-2011 as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with Clemson men’s basketball program. During his time at Clemson, the Tigers posted a combined record of 43-23 and advanced to a pair of NCAA tournaments.
Greene is one of several internationally certified Level-5 coaches through the Poliquin International Certification Program (PICP) and he is a BioSignature Modulation Practitioner. He also contributed to the third edition of Basketball for Dummies by Digger Phelps, released in October 2011, updating and revising a chapter on strength and conditioning.
In addition, Preston Greene has hosted several private internships for coaches internationally, including Canada, Sweden, Germany, Dubai (UAE), Australia, Russia, Liechtenstein, Belgium and Switzerland. As a 1999 Clemson graduate, he returned to his alma mater after multiple stops, including a one-year stint (2008-09) as the strength and conditioning coach for Stanford under head coach Johnny Dawkins. He designed and implemented all aspects of the Cardinal players’ strength and speed development programs and oversaw the team’s nutritional needs. Stanford posted a 20-14 record and advanced to the College Basketball Invitational. Prior to his lone season in Palo Alto, Greene served as the director of strength & conditioning for Charlotte, from 2003-08. He worked primarily with the men’s basketball team under coach Bobby Lutz, but also with the men’s golf team. He also been an assistant strength, speed & conditioning coach at the University of Arizona for two years prior to his time with the 49ers program. At Arizona, he assisted with the implementation of strength, speed and conditioning for the football team, while serving as the head strength coach for the women’s basketball and women’s soccer programs. He also directed the department’s nutrition and supplementation program. The Peachtree City, Georgia, native worked as a student and graduate assistant under Joey Batson from 1995-99. He was in charge of strength & conditioning for golf, women’s soccer, men’s tennis and volleyball. He also assisted with football during his time at Clemson.
Preston Greene earned a bachelor’s degree in health science from Clemson in 1999, with a minor in sport management. He received a master’s degree in 2000 from the University of Minnesota in applied kinesiology and sports management. Greene holds numerous certifications and memberships, including the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). He also recently earned certification as a performance enhancement specialist by the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM).
WHAT IS THE ONE WORD THAT DESCRIBES YOU BEST?Preston: Driven
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP-3 FAVORITE ATP LAB SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS?Preston: Enos, Myoprime and Synermag. Also, really excited about AlphaJack!
What is the most rewarding part of being a basketball coach?Preston: The journey of a new season each year. Being a part of a common goal with a group of guys each year and competing at an elite level. Also, watching my players having success in life, beyond the game. Lastly, being a positive influence and example for my players by trying to go above and beyond, outside the realm of strength training and coaching.
If you could choose another career or sport what would it be?Preston: I wouldn’t. I absolutely love what I do.
What influence did Charles Poliquin have on you as an athlete and coach?Preston: Everything. I started studying him when I was 14 years old. He taught me basically everything I know about strength training and he impacted my life well beyond the weight room. He was a mentor, a friend, a figure head and an inspiration.
WHEN IT COMES TO OUR PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT FLAVOURS, WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER?
Vanilla, Chocolate, Raspberry or Salted Caramel?
Preston: All of them! But if I had to choose just one, I would go with raspberry.
Can you name three essential exercises you would suggest to every player and why?
Preston: After achieving structural balance and strengthening, the four main deficiencies in basketball players are VMO, erectors, scapular retractor and hamstrings. So, I would say: 1-Front Squat, for knee stability and lower extremity strength, 2-Chin Up, for upper body strength to match the torque on the lower extremities, 3-Power Snatch, Power Clean or Push Press, in order to teach them to overcome inertia. However, exercise selection depends on the player’s training goals and needs.
Hardest decision you ever had to make?
Preston: What flavor of ice cream I want to eat? No. It’s always hard to leave a team for another job or position as we become invested in each other as a family. There is a lot of emotions after spending every day with 18 to 21-year-old kids and watching them develop through the up’s and down’s of competing under pressure.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS HERO?
Preston: Tiger Woods. He specialized in golf at the age of 3 and achieved all-time greatness in his sport before hitting rock bottom in his personal life and having multiple back surgeries and a fused spine. At one point, he couldn’t even get out of bed by himself, much less swing a golf club. But being one of the greatest competitors of all-time, he recently made a historical comeback and won The Masters. He has an unprecedented level of focus, determination and mental toughness.
Are supplementation and diets part of your coaching program? What products do you suggest to players for optimal performance?
Preston: 100 percent yes. They are crucial to sports performance and the durability factor. We run blood tests twice a year to get a comprehensive metabolic profile and take all the guess work out of the equation, then we look for trends on players. Vitamin D, magnesium, and fish oil are common ones. Also, during the season, zinc is helpful for tissue repair as well as electrolytes, since hydration is a key for speed, strength and power.
What is your favorite song to listen to while training?
Preston: Anything by U2!
IF YOU HAD SUPER POWERS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE AND WHAT WOULD YOUR SUPERHERO NAME BE?
Preston: Tough question… I’d want to be the ultimate superhero, with all of the powers! Why limit to just one?
What is the single biggest accomplishment in your career so far?
Preston: Being asked by Charles to teach with him for sure. Also, making it to the Final Four… We won 30 games in a row that season. However, I don’t like to be judged on wins and losses, so I would have to say the single biggest accomplishment so far would be when former players come back to thank me for having an everlasting impact on them.
As a basketball coach, how do you develop trust with your players and keep them motivated?
Preston: It’s a process and it develops over time. Some are more forthcoming and trusting initially… Some are very challenging. One key is to figure out what style of coaching is best for them: hard nosed, tough discipline or coaching with my words, not my volume. Also, by letting them know I want to have an impact on their life beyond the weight room and basketball court goes a long way into cultivating a relationship with them.
What is your philosophy on recruiting?
Preston: Finding out who is the best fit for our culture, program, locker room and team. Just because an individual is highly touted or ranked does not mean this is the best place for him. We strive to be great in all areas of the program: training, regeneration, academics, community service and all things that go into winning. Finding players who want to be coached and developed instead of thinking they have all the answers. Team guys is what we look for. Obviously, you need to have a high level of talent to win big, but we also look for guys that have character and work ethic along with talent.
What are your academic and behavioural expectations for your players both on and off the court?
Preston: The highest level of course. There is a direct correlation to doing the right things off the court and winning big. If there isn’t high level of accountability to be a “pro” outside of our practice facility, then there is no way we can max out as a team during the season.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Preston: My two biggest influencers on my career, Charles Poliquin and Billy Donovan, told me something I will always keep with me. Charles told me: “Never stop training. If you do, then you need to stop coaching. Coach Donovan told me: "If you don’t feel you have something to prove every day, you’ll never improve."
WHY ATP LAB?
Preston: Simply because of the superior quality of ingredients as well as the research and science that support the products. Also, the constant innovation and relationship with Informed-Sport is important for my athletes with regards to knowing what is being put into their bodies.
IN A FEW WORDS, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FANS WHO SEEK A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?
Preston: Obviously, eating a nutritious and clean diet as well as finding some form of exercise that is enjoyable to maintain is vital for a healthy lifestyle. Consistency is key. However, beyond that, a former basketball coach, Jim Valvano, who eventually passed away from cancer gave a very inspiring speech called: “Don’t Give up… Don’t Ever Give up”. In that speech he listed three things that you should do every day to live a fulfilling life. “To me, there are three things everyone should do every day. Number 1 is laugh. Number 2 is think / spend some time in thoughts. Number 3, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that’s a heck of a day.”
Let us know in the comment section if you have a special question for one of our athletes?