Arizona Football: Recruiting heating up in Hawaii

Cred: Chad Ikei (Arizona football coaches come to these camps)
Cred: Chad Ikei (Arizona football coaches come to these camps) /

Football in Hawaii is huge, Arizona Football is not shy tapping into the Pacific Island Hot Zone! Zona Zealots asked an expert trainer, who is grooming current and future Wildcats.

Coach Chad Ikei, Ikei Sports, mentors young athletes and helps shape their bodies and their spirit.  He has over 26 years of experience, over 11 years of athletic experience in World-Class competition, and 15 years of professional coaching in strength and conditioning. According to his website, ‘When athletes need to be bigger, faster and stronger, they come to Chad Ikei at Ikei Sports Hawaii.’

Coach Ikei runs a Satellite Camp in Hawaii for college coaches to scout athletes in Hawaii who cannot make it to he Mainland on their own. Now that the NCAA lifted the ban on these camps, coaches can now attend, and who doesn’t want to scout in Hawaii?

We reached out to Coach Ikei to get his perspective on football recruiting in Hawaii today and how involved our Arizona Football Coaches are in recruiting in this beautiful land.

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1. What is your training philosophy?

The first and most important part of my training philosophy is communication and the relationship between athlete and coach.  It is imperative that all my athletes have trust in me as a coach and vice versa.  If we can’t start off understanding each other’s expectations, then the road to success will be sub par.

Secondly, I expect all my athletes to have the mindset of a WARRIOR, meaning we will out work everyone…we have a saying that states “your hard work is our warm-up”, and we do our best to create an environment that is competitive and high intensity.

As far as the actual training program goes I’m a firm advocate of implementing the explosive movements of Olympic Lifts (snatch & cleans) and developing acceleration & deceleration efficiency, but our program is constantly changing and making progress that I couldn’t give one specific style of development, but in the end, our main objective is to create a better athlete that is faster, stronger, powerful & conditioned while achieving their specified body weight & body composition.

2) What makes your program different than others in Hawaii?

I think there are a lot of good trainers out here in Hawaii that are doing an outstanding job and helping our athletes reach the next level.  But luckily for me, I’ve had many years (18 years as a professional coach) training hundreds of professional athletes as well as hundreds of collegiate & elite high school athletes which gives me a little more experience working with elite level athletes than everyone here on the island.

“Our program has created the most NFL & D1 collegiate athletes in Hawaii,” Coach Chad Ikei

I’ve also competed at a high level of both Olympic Weightlifting & Powerlifting, which gives me a lot more insight on the training parameters of strength & power development, as well as the understanding of properly coaching the techniques to these movements to benefit athlete development.

Although I tell people that I’m not a coach for everybody, as my expectations and level of intensity we work at might not be a fit for every athlete, however, we are known to separate ourselves when it comes from helping an athlete go from “good” to “GREAT.”

Our program has created the most NFL & D1 collegiate athletes in Hawaii, let’s not forget to mention the most recruited player in the history of Hawaii, your future OL Michael Eletise!

Related Story: Arizona Football: Michael Eletise is pumping serious Iron

3) How does recruiting work in Hawaii? Mostly from trainers? Or from high schools or satellite camps?

“I do my best to also get in contact with the coaches that I know and share with them some of the players I work with,” Coach Chad Ikei

Recruiting in Hawaii is a little different, but the talent level here is really good for such a small place.  The biggest challenge is the demographic isolation we face which makes it a little more difficult for college coaches to attend multiple games throughout the year, especially the athletes from the outer islands (other than Oahu) as they frequently get overlooked.

Therefore, most of our student-athletes need to attend satellite camps like our GPA FOOTBALL COLLEGE SHOWCASE CAMP in June here in Hawaii, where numerous college coaches attend and evaluate players.

We are so blessed that the NCAA rescinded their ruling on the ban of satellite camps because that really would put our athletes at the worst possible situation.  As a trainer myself, I do my best to also get in contact with the coaches that I know and share with them some of the players I work with that have the capabilities of playing at the next level.

4) How active is Arizona Football in Hawaii?

Right now Arizona is very active in Hawaii and on the rise as a program recruiting some of the top players in the 808 state.  This is mostly due to the efforts of Coach Charlie Ragle who is an outstanding coach that knows a lot about the culture here in the islands and can identify talent & character within programs.

When you have a genuinely great person who is also an absolutely amazing coach it’s easy for an athlete to see value in the program he is providing for them and the families trust in having their child with him over the next 4-5 years.  I believe more Hawaiian players will become Wildcats in the future.

More wildcats: Satellite Camp ban overturned, 11of 12 Pac-12 Coaches did not want ban

Coach Ikei, that’s music to our ears. Since a ton of great talent is coming out of Hawaii in recent years, it’s interesting to learn about how the satellite camps work for Hawaiian athletes and how our Arizona coaches have embraced your great state.

Thanks for molding our future Cats, including possible Arizona linebacker recruit Isaac Slade-Matautia. We look forward to asking you more questions about Isaac and how he might fit into Rich Rod’s new defensive scheme. Mahalo! And BearDown!