You might recognize Nic Steffl as the standout running back for the O'Gorman Knights Football team, but what you may not recognize are the special sunglasses he wears during workouts.
"At first I wasn't too sure how to use them but I'm getting used to it now." Said Steffl.
These "sunglasses" are the Nike Vapor Strobes and are the latest addition to the Athletic Republic workout regimen.
Like the name implies, the strobes "blink" limiting what the wearer sees.
"Once you turn them on the lights start flashing in different variations and you can do all sorts of drills with them and over all improve hand eye coordination." Said Steffl.
Athletic Republic trainer Cameron Ditlevson agrees that the strobes can take getting used to but any athlete and any age can utilize their benefits.
"You start using them and it's a little weird but once you take them off it's almost as if time is slowing up or things you focus on are getting bigger so it's easier to complete a task." Said Ditlevson.
By reducing what the wearer sees it forces them to react much faster and process what they see and also what they can't see.
"Really makes them concentrate on focusing, work on anticipation, peripheral vision skills, balance, and a number of things that normally wouldn't work in a training program." Said Ditlevson.
Ditlevson says the biggest challenge is creating new workouts to push the glasses and the athletes to their full potential.
Training the body as well as the mind like never before.
"It's so beneficial because up until now we were only able to train the physical portion of an athlete, the strength, speed , quickness but now we're able to tap into the brain almost." Said Ditlevson.
The Strobes are exclusive to Athletic Republic and the Avera Sports Institute in Sioux Falls is the only facility in South Dakota that offers their services.
Relatively new to the public, the Vapor Strobes have been used by various professional athletes including NBA star LeBron James and the NFL's Larry Fitzgerald.
Knowing the strobes have worked for the highest level athletes Steffl says they were something he had to give a try.
"It's really a privilege and not many people get to use these and we've got to take full advantage of it." Said Steffl.
Steffl says he's using the strobes to help him become a better all-around athlete, but is really focusing on football.
He's also become an unofficial spokesman for the product and is pushing his teammates into giving the strobes a shot.
"I'm trying to get more people to come and do these workouts so we can be more ready for next season." Said Steffl.
With the help of trainers like Ditlevson and Athletic Republic, the Knights might just have an slight competitive advantage come next Fall.
If anyone is interested in training with the eyewear, sign up for a football or volleyball training program this summer, or stop in for a free trial workout featuring the Nike Strobes call the Avera Sports Institute at 605.322.FAST (605.322.3278)