George Kittle is on a balance beam all year round… and it pays off – The Athletic


Bruce Kittle remembers a play his son performed in ninth grade. His team had traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and were trailing in the fourth quarter when the quarterback stepped back and threw a ball deep down the sideline. George grabbed it over his shoulder at the 7-yard or so line, then sort of slipped a tight rope along the sideline the rest of the way for a touchdown.

Bruce stood nearby and had the perfect angle to watch the score unfold. At the time, his son was a good high school player. But he was skinny and gangly – “It was kind of his young stag stage,” Bruce said – and there was no indication he would go into the NFL let alone become an All Pro.

Papa was therefore impressed by George’s achievement as well as his sidelines.

“The quarterback got it over there and then my kid grabbed it,” Bruce said in a phone interview. “I was like, ‘Holy shit–! It was a pretty cool room.

That is to say, the 49ers tight end has always had a nice balance. What stood out this season was that he made it even better.

Following a foot injury last season that caused him to miss six games, George Kittle has started working – a lot – with balance beams. No, he doesn’t go full Simone Biles with the springs back from a polished wooden beam four feet off the ground. Its beams are metal, rounded – “Like PVC pipe,” said George – and are mostly two inches off the ground, although they could also be mounted for tilt, which he did. at his offseason home gym in Nashville.

They are meant to be used barefoot and are not easy to master.

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