Late last night, Kevin Lynch posted the above video in a discussion about Frank Gore's sustained success. Gore uses boxing as part of his training regimen. The video shows Gore looking very sharp during the session. He spoke with the media yesterday, and he was quick to note that boxing is not in the cards as a second career:
"It's different when you are hitting the mitts than when you are fighting, especially with somebody who has been doing it all their life."
While the punching might not be a big help in his training, the footwork has to be a big help. Additionally, while punching mitts might not matter, the hand-eye coordination likely helps him, as does the vision to keep an eye on the mitts as they move around.
Gore is coming off back-to-back 1,200 yard seasons, and is one pace for a third such season. Since taking over as the undisputed starter in 2006, Gore has surpassed 1,000 yards in all but one season. The lone miss was a result of a hip injury that cut the season short. That season and the following season Gore averaged 4.2 and 4.3 yards per carry. Last season, Gore bumped that average up to 4.7 yards per carry, and this season his ypc is at 4.8.
What might be even more amazing is Gore's health the last two seasons. Prior to 2011, Gore had appeared in all 16 games in one season, 2006. In 2011 and 2012, he played in all 32 regular season games. Frank Gore came into the league with significant question marks about his health. He had surgery on both knees in college, and had surgery on his shoulders once he entered the league. And yet, he continues trucking along, setting the 49ers franchise rushing record, and continuing to climb the all-time rankings (No. 33 in rushing yards).
At some point, Frank Gore will lose the magic. We don't know when, but his style of play might be able to push it off a little longer. Gore's vision and balance are two key parts of his game. We see him squeak through the tiniest of holes, but it's not dumb luck. He sees the holes, and then his ability to get down low allows him to get through more consistently than a lot of backs. Eventually he won't be able to consistently get to those defensive holes quick enough, but for now, he just keeps on keepin' on.