The San Francisco 49ers overturned most of their coaching staff this offseason with the hiring of Kyle Shanahan, and a notable change was in the strength and conditioning program. The team elected to not retain longtime strength coach Mark Uyeyama, and replaced him with former Washington strength coach Ray Wright.
Uyeyama had joined the 49ers in 2008 as the assistant strength and conditioning coach, and was promoted to the lead role in 2011. The decision to part ways with Uyeyama has brought a notable change according to center Daniel Kilgore. earlier this week, he told KNBR’s Kevin Jones that competition has been added in the weight room. Kilgore mentioned lifting competitions with results tracked on screens, and also video showing the lifting.
“They’ve (brought) competition into the weight room,” veteran Daniel Kilgore said. “Who can run the fastest? Who can bench the most? … It’s cool. It’s something different. I’ve been here for seven years now, we’ve never had that.”
It remains to be seen how much this might change things on the field, the competitive spirit of it is a good thing. I don’t think the team was lacking for competition under Jim Harbaugh, but one has to wonder how things devolved under the last two head coaches. Shanahan obviously has a competitive spirit, but I don’t think anybody can match Harbaugh in that regard. Adding another level of competition away from the practice field seems like it could be helpful in rebuilding the spirit of a football team that felt incredibly flat the past two seasons.