Since most track and field athletes don’t stand 6-foot-10 and 251 pounds, it’s hard for Griffin not to stand out. That’s exactly what he did while cross-training with Jeter in the second episode of “The Crossover.”
“The Crossover” is a new Web series featuring Griffin, a forward on the Los Angeles Clippers, trying his hand at different sports and exploring all his training options in order to reach his goals.
Griffin and Jeter worked on sprinting technique, starts and fast-twitch explosion at a Los Angeles track. These are things Jeter knows well. She is a world champion in the 100-meter dash and three-time Olympic medalist.
I got everything I wanted out of this training session.
Jeter didn’t hold back as she challenged the NBA star’s aerobic strength, sprinting power, basic running technique and muscle memory. Knees up. Arms swinging from chin to pocket. Eyes level.
“Stay tall! Stay tall!” the 5-foot-4 Jeter instructed Griffin. “You’ve got to stay tall, because once you bend over, you’ve already collapsed.”
Griffin said, “I got everything I wanted out of this training session. I definitely felt a difference trying to use the techniques that she showed.”
NBA players do plenty of running up and down the court. But on the track, it’s a different kind of running. Jeter noticed one clear distinction: In basketball, Griffin can put his head down when driving hard to the hole. But in track and field, he has to keep his head up.
“Blake is used to being a power player and dropping his head,” Jeter said, “but to sprint and get off quick, we need that head up.”
The track star said she loved being able to teach her passion to an athlete from a different sport. “I think you ran track in high school, and you’re just playing games with me right now,” she told Griffin, laughing.
Next Monday, watch Griffin train with MMA star Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. What will happen when the two do a little grappling in the ring? Check back here at RedBull.com to find out.
Read Jeter's first-person essay about being a sprinter on The Players' Tribune, which is releasing exclusive weekly content featuring the athletes who train with Griffin.