Team PowerBar member Seth Minter, aka The FootDoctor, is a former football player turned athletic trainer. After a high school injury prevented him from playing in the NFL, he started his own program to help athletes improve their game through footwork and agility drills. As former teammates headed to the NFL, they sought out Seth’s unique footwork training to improve their performance on the field. Seth went back to studying to include dynamic body motion and injury prevention to give his athletes the best possible opportunities. When others in the League saw teammates using Seth’s drills, people began to call asking for the FootDoctor.
The demand for The FootDoctor and his unique footwork drills became so great that Seth could not train everyone who wanted his services. Seth decided to create a program for all levels of training with multiple trainers adapting his philosophy across all sports. We caught up with The FootDoctor to get his thoughts on how his program has grown and the evolution of athletic training.
How did you first get involved teaching footwork drills?
I played football in high school and college and I first got involved with footwork drills when I was trying to better my game. I was watching YouTube videos of Ocho Cinco and he said “they don’t pay me for my hands, they pay me for my feet.” That had a big impact on me and how I developed my style of training. Funny enough, I actually met Ocho Cinco and he told me that what I have done with my coaching is far more than he could do with the concept of enhancing footwork speed and agility.
After a bad football injury in high school, I focused on my footwork to not only better my performance but also improve my overall movement. I had lost some speed with my injury but found I was getting quicker and more effective with my drills. I posted videos of myself online doing some footwork drills and I started to get some attention. Local guys reached out and wanted to train with me. I was training Juan Dixon’s cousin for an upcoming workout with the Baltimore Ravens. Juan was impressed by my videos and shared them with Ray Lewis. Ray gave me a call shortly thereafter and I started training his two middle sons (eventually Seth would train all of Ray’s sons). That really validated my training. I mean, this is Ray Lewis, arguably one of the best defensive athletes in the world, calling me asking about my training techniques.
Is The FootDoctor only for football athletes?
I think I get categorized as a ‘football trainer’ because my clients are mostly football players. But the concept is all about maximizing your potential. My drills can be used universally throughout all sports. It’s not about the actual drills that we’re doing; it’s about understanding the importance of your footwork and the movement and awareness of your body.
How has the program grown since you first began coaching?
The program has taken leaps and bounds since I first started training athletes four years ago. A large part of that is due to the time I have committed to it. As the game is evolving, training has to evolve with it. We’re continually learning about what the human body is capable of and how it moves. Even the structure of the program has developed from four years ago to where it is today. In order to stay effective and stay relevant, we have to grow, adapt and improve.
What knowledge have you gained or techniques do you use that you think sets you apart from other coaches?
I don’t think I do anything astronomically different; I think what sets me apart is my philosophy. I give guys what they want to do, not what they have to do. The FootDoctor system is revolutionizing how athletes approach the game.
You have been an athlete your entire life, do you miss anything about playing the game?
Absolutely. My go-to line when I am training professional athletes is that I am as close as I can get to doing what I love, and what I wish I was able to do. After my injury, I had to redefine my future. I always believed I was going to play in the NFL. I had a lot of success when I was young and I had made up my mind that I was going to have a career as a professional athlete. Unfortunately (or fortunately now), I get to do something closely associated with the game I love. This is my NFL. This is as close as I can be to playing on the field.
I live vicariously through my guys. I want them to be as prepared and as confident as they can be when they step onto the field. It’s all about confidence and preparation. We want our guys to feel like they’ve prepared better than who they’re competing against. What separates you when you come to the line is your psychological approach to the game. Our guys feel different. It doesn’t matter if they’re bigger, faster or more agile. The confidence they carry in themselves transfers to kinetic energy and they have the mindset that they can compete with an Ocho Cinco. They have a swag. That’s the best way I can describe it. When they get to the line they embrace the challenge.
What’s the most rewarding part about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the athletes take the advantage of the opportunities they’ve been given. Being in a position to play in the NFL, or ‘Not For Long’, you need to take advantage of an opportunity when you can. When a guy is having a good year because of the training we’re doing and is rewarded with a lucrative contract-that’s my reward. I don’t care about how many training sessions you pay for. At the end of the day, what we’re teaching has to be translatable to a game-time scenario. Being able to have a positive impact on my players’ lives and their families’ lives is invaluable.
What is the most important thing you want your athletes to take away from your training sessions?
The most important thing is for them to gain a level of understanding, a deeper level of understanding, of how their body moves. We always have the capacity to be more creative. If guys are progressing and they’re excited about learning and the things that we’re doing, that’s how I define success.
Is there advice that someone has given you, that you think has been instrumental in building your career?
A year before I started training with the FootDoctor program, I was working out with a guy that used to train me in high school. I was in grad school at the time in LA and one night after training we went to grab dinner. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I’m in graduate school getting my degree in Business and Psychology. He asked me what I planned to do with that. I said “I don’t know, right now I’m a professional student.” He looked at me and told me “This is what you should do. Think of something you love to do that you can’t imagine someone would pay you for.”
When I first started training athletes, I had no idea that FootDoctor sports would become its own business with budgets, etc. Although it was the wildest advice I ever got, I actually made it into my reality.
Can you discuss your involvement with the youth in your local community?
I’m from the inner city, I understand what it’s like not to have access to resources. We did a free camp in Baltimore for the local community this past July. We had a turnout of 150-200 kids. The FootDoctor brand has a big reach within the community. We have followers and fans that are supportive and truly excited about our success. I think it’s important to show kids that grew up in the same environment that I did that you can make an impact.
What are you most looking forward to as we kick off the NFL season?
Probably to watch some games. We held a monthly clinic on Sundays last year so I didn’t get to see many of the games. I’m looking forward to going to the games and seeing our guys perform on the field.