TUSCALOOSA — Kevin Elko’s one-man tour played a packed house at the Alabama football complex this past week to rave reviews.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban called him “fantastic” and “interesting.” Tight end Preston Dial used the term “phenomenal,” and safety Rashad Johnson “tremendous.”
“The players gave him a standing ovation,” Saban said. “I’ve never seen that.”
So who is Kevin Elko, and why is he performing for Alabama’s team at a critical time, weeks before it opens the 2008 season against Clemson?
Elko, a middle-aged former teacher from Pennsylvania, describes himself as a sports psychologist and performance and career-enhancement consultant. He speaks to sports teams. He also speaks to Fortune 500 companies about mental techniques like positive attitude and confidence.
Saban, who previously employed Elko for his squad at LSU, opted to wait a year to bring him in at Alabama now.
“He was the best speaker I’ve ever heard,” Dial said. “We’ve had some great guys come through there, too, so it’s tough to say. But he had everybody on the edge on their seats and was giving true-life stories of stuff he’s been through and witnessed other people do that proves you can push through it mentally.”