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Meet Johnie Drake of Johnie Drake Speed Performance

Today we’d like to introduce you to Johnie Drake.  

Hi Johnie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Born and raised on the eastside of Detroit, MI, I started my athletic career as a basketball player in middle school and began running track in 8th grade. It was discovered at that time my biggest asset was my speed. I participated and excelled in AAU and Cass Tech’s High School track and basketball programs. I decided to focus only on track after high school— securing a scholarship at Central Michigan University. At Central, I earned several titles. To name a few: School Record Holder in the 60m & 100m, MAC Indoor Champion in the 60m & 200, NCAA All American, and ran the fastest 60m time in the World in 2006. Additionally, I was featured in Sports Illustrated, as one of their “Athletes to Watch.” I pursued a professional track career from 2007-to 2011 which afforded me the opportunity to travel abroad. In 2016, I was inducted into the Central Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. With an extensive background in sports, I decided to bring my experiences back home as a sports performance coach. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Not at all! I started working with a nonprofit in the city of Detroit that presented me with a great opportunity to develop an indoor training facility, create multiple sports programs, and have access to student-athletes from Detroit Public Schools. During my 4-year tenure there it was hard to be on the same page with the board. I had my own dreams and goals which did not coincide with the board’s vision. It was a tough lesson to learn when I worked so hard to grow the nonprofit and not be able to reap the rewards. Removing myself from there turned out to be a blessing; it granted me the time to start my own business, Johnie Drake Speed Performance. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Johnie Drake Speed Performance?
I specialize in speed development. I am most known for running some of the fastest times in the World in the 60m dash. I most recently trained 5-star football player Will Johnson who is an early enrollee at the University of Michigan. Together, with my guidance and his work ethic, he was able to drop his 40-yard dash time from 4.7 to 4.4. 

What sets me apart from any other trainer is I actually did it. I’ve competed many times throughout the years, so I understand what an athlete is feeling and thinking during this athletic journey. Plus, I am detail-oriented. Parents love how I am able to break down an athlete’s movement, fix the problem, and then improve it. 

I am most proud of the love and respect I receive from parents and athletes. Word of mouth has been my biggest marketing tool. My name/brand holds weight when it comes to speed development. 

Readers can find me on all social media platforms @jdspeedperformance. My website is www.jdspeedperformance.com. And to look up a few of my races on Youtube, just type in Johnie Drake. 

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
I also have an e-commerce company called 1st of the Day®. It is a lifestyle brand that encourages professionals and entrepreneurs to recognize and celebrate the moment. Hardworking overachievers are consistently in work mode; we are here to acknowledge your efforts and encourage you to take a moment to create, celebrate, and cherish life. The celebratory toast, “1st of the Day,” is a fun-loving way to share a moment with friends and family. Our products include glassware, drinkware, and apparel that serve as a memento for the occasion. In addition, we host various experiences for our audience to feel the energy/vibes of 1st of the Day®. Products can be found at www.1st-oftheday.com 

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