News and information on former/current MIL student-athletes
Former tight end Cody Nakamura at a Weber State preseason football practice in 2009.
Keith Johnson, Deseret News photo
Maui coach makes 7-month commitment to local athletes
By RODNEY S. YAP / HIsportsfolio.com
People who remember Cody Nakamura during his playing days at Baldwin High School, recall a versatile, multi-sport athlete, who made an impact in everything he did. Back then, it was mostly football, basketball and baseball.
Now, the 2010 graduated from Weber State, is looking to make a difference off the field, as a coach sharing his knowledge and experience with athletes from as young as 5-years-old to high school seniors. He is hoping to educate, build self esteem, and improve health and overall strength to athletes who attend his weekly Hard Naks High-Performance Speed Camps.
"I definitely feel like there is a need for this. I already had the idea, but I kept pushing it back and pushing it back for whatever reason," said Nakamura, who joined the Baldwin football staff last fall coaching wide receivers. "But after losing to Punahou (35-0), I said, 'We need to get this started.' "
Nakamura, a former all-state wide receiver and Big Sky All-Conference Third Team All-American tight end, is determined to bridge the gap between Maui and Oahu, as athletes on Oahu are trying to keep pace with athletes on the Mainland.
"There's a big difference in what our athletes here are doing in comparison to what the kids on Oahu are doing. The kids on Oahu are trying to train like the kids on the Mainland, that's why they are so ahead of us. The difference is a lot of those kids (on Oahu) train for football year round. There isn't a lot of opportunity for our kids to get high-quality training."
Prior to returning to the Valley Isle, Nakamura spent nine months training at Athletes' Performance Inc. (API) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Considered the most advanced athletic compound in the world, its 85-acre complex is the training center for many of America's top athletes. It was there that Nakamura participated in two Pro Days, before 10 to 12 NFL scouts, in hopes of extending his football career with the Canadian Football League (CFL) or Arena Football League (AFL).
"At API I learned to maximized my workouts . . . by finding a perfect medium of not over training or under training. I learned it's not about training harder, but training smarter," said Nakamura, the manager and co-owner of Yogurtland in Kaahumanu Center.
With 28 Saturday's, or seven months, from now until, Aug. 25, the week before MIL teams can officially start conditioning, Nakamura plans to gradually raise the bar. He promises to introduce more equipment, change the site from week to week over the summer, and have regular guest speakers from college coaches and players, to educators and nutritional specialists.
"We're going to start out with basic drills and as we go I will introduce things like parachutes, sleds, resistance and assistance bands . . . progressing with the workouts we do."
For instance, he said, "We'll go to the stadium one week and utilize the bleachers and track, then maybe the next week we'll go to the beach and do change of direction and acceleration."
Starting this Saturday and for the next three weeks, Hard Naks will be meeting at Maui Tropical Plantation. Camps are separated by age groups: Elementary School (5 to 10 years old), from 8 to 9 a.m.; Intermediate School (11-13 years old), 9 to 10:30 am; and High School (14-18 years old), from 10:30 to Noon.
The cost for the camp is $10 (cash only) and participants are encouraged to come 15 to 20 minutes before the scheduled start time to register.
Former Baldwin and USC linebacker Kaluka Maiava will be Saturday's special guest.
Hard Naks Assistant Trainers include:
Kawika Kahui, Baldwin 2002, San Diego State, football
Brett Nakamura, Baldwin 2000, University of Hawaii, football
Erica English, Baldwin 2006, Yuba City College, soccer and track
Chad Nishikuni, Baldwin 2005, Chaminade University, soccer
Akamu Aki, Baldwin 2003, Montana Western 2004, Weber State 2007, football
Cameron Higgins, St. Louis School 2006, Weber State University 2011, football
Trenson Himalaya, Baldwin 2005, Dixie State University, football
For more on Hard Naks High-Performance Speed Camps go to: http://www.hardnaks.com/