Long Island Lacrosse Best Kept Secret: Trainer Edition

Long Island Lacrosse’s best kept secret. Golden Ukonu, Speed Coach at Revolution Athletics, has taken his intense standards of training from being a NFL Athlete to being the top trainer on Long Island. He has helped produce a lengthy tutelage of athletes from Chris Gray, Brennan O’Neill, Joey Spallina, Andrew McAdorey, Ellie Masera, Celeste Forte, Xavier Arline, Ally Kennedy, just to name a few. Here is our interview with Long Island’s Finest, Golden Ukonu, as he explains the methods of his madness.

“Being known as “the” facility on Long Island for the last 12-15 years, what does Revo have in store for 2023 in terms of speed, strength, recovery, and NIL Opportunities” Randy Paul (LILJ)

Golden Ukonu (Revo Athletics) “You understand, coming from a football background, you know about serious training at a top facility. From personalized programming for strength, if a player has things they specifically want to work on, our trainers are equipped to provide those services. For speed & agility, which is my form of fashion, its not just working on the basics or ‘first step or shuffles,’ the focus is how can we build athleticism, reaction as fast as possible. We want you to be comfortable playing so unorthodox. We want our athletes to have the confidence to train outside of the ‘mold’ to be the best athletes on the field. It’s exciting that a lot of other athletes are doing that as well instead of just one top tier athlete. We have a bunch of athletes buying into our culture and philosophy. Conditioning, we try to introduce collegiate style conditioning. We are preparing our athletes to compete at the highest institutions, so we want them to be comfortable with these conditioning styles as early as possible. Recovery, we have a partnership with Island Shore Physical Therapy where our athletes can get treatment two times a week at our facility after training sessions. We have heat, ice, stim, normatec boots to provide a plethora of services in terms of recovery. Everything that a professional looks for in a training facility, we like to provide those opportunities for our high school and collegiate athletes.”

“NIL can be a double edge sword, some kids don’t know their worth, whether it is small business owners, or training facilities, brands, there would be very little to no compensation for the licensing of their popularity towards the athlete. But they do not hesitate to profit off of the athletes popularity. Because NIL is so new, athletes truly don’t know the power that they have specifically in Lacrosse & Long Island. Sometimes I act as a safe space for athletes to explain their opportunities that’s being presented to them. But it is truly up to the athlete to understand their worth, you can’t hop on the first NIL deal that you see, you need to understand the power in your voice. Many athletes have been playing and perfecting their craft since they were 5 years old, don’t give away the access to your fan base for nothing. Don’t rush the process, in the later years lacrosse has grown into an olympic sport and legit professional leagues, with the help of NIL and the development of it. You can make a lasting career doing what you love.”

“How have you fostered relationships with many club lacrosse teams on Long Island?” Randy Paul (LILJ)

Golden Ukonu (Revo) “The relationship has always been established through the athlete. Before, many clubs and teams didn’t want you training with another instructor in your free time. They used to see training outside of practice as overtraining or overdoing. They wanted you to only focus on that team or club, they wanted you to have fresh legs to be prepared for them. There were always rough patches when we started, but when an athlete shows tremendous improvement and progress. My ideology is the athlete has to prove their worth and work in the product. I don’t have to talk about how good my athletes are through our training and culture, the product speaks for itself. If a coach tells a player they need to work on a specific part of my game, once a player tells me, it is my job to continue to work on that deficiency and master it. Once they see the improvement, and ask how they improved so much, that is how we have built relationships. Also word of mouth through other teammates on the team. Throughout the years we have basically been able to develop a pipeline just by developing an athlete and their product just speaks for itself. It’s a form of advertisement we never truly thought about. Our culture & training philosophy speaks for itself.”

“How has the Lacrosse landscape changed since you came back to Revolution Athletics from the NFL in terms of culture.” Randy Paul (LILJ)

Golden Ukonu (Revo) “It’s definitely changed a lot, I tell all of my lacrosse athletes that I will treat you like all of my high school, collegiate, and professional football players. I can confidently say there aren’t any other lacrosse trainers creating an environment like this, and it definitely shows in the pedigree of athletes we have. Our philosophy and standards are different. All of our athletes are training with us at least 5 days a week, 1 day can be conditioning, another day its player specific like shooting or defensive work. When our college kids are home they come in and work on their shots against other collegiate goalies to perfect their craft. We conduct combined style testing to document their progress. Everything is programmed and recorded to track this progress. We are so strict that if an athlete does not give 100% it shows, it’s not a regular facility. Every single ounce of the program is tailored to the needs of our athletes. We are here to be a part of the process of achieving our athletes goals, no matter how “outrageous or far fetched” it may look to the public. I take pride in saying the culture has shifted, instead of coming in to overwork the body and get tired. We come in with a plan, every single step has a purpose.”

“How has the media changed lacrosse?” Randy Paul (LILJ)

Golden: Social Media has helped the sport grow tremendously but regular media has grown as well. There are a plethora of outlets but specifically LILJ that is spreading the sport of lacrosse and giving our kids the platform to show their skills at the highest level. Also, the growth of professional lacrosse leagues have brought in life long fans at a young age. Our athletes get to witness but also experience lacrosse after college, there are opportunities to be apart of the less than 1% of people turning pro. Even seeing lacrosse being accepted into the olympics creates lifelong fans because we can see a 5 year old kid see how their life can map out like other professional athletes in other sports if they choose to take this path. The sky’s the limit for lacrosse and its development through different media channels

“What can we expect from the partnership of Revolution Athletics and LILJ?” Randy Paul (LILJ)

Golden “Not to sound arrogant, but because LILJ is one of the biggest if not the biggest media platform for lacrosse on our island, this just brings another opportunity to showcase why we house the best athletes not only on Long Island but in the country. From the youth to professional, you can see through how our athletes are the creme de la creme crop of athletes. An example, for LILJ’s winter lacrosse league, more than half of the player of the game awards were awarded to our athletes. These types of things are expected from our athletes, they are the living testament to our philosophy of Revolution Athletics. Every opportunity that we get, we will show that this is the standard that we keep when training here.”

“How has Revolution Athletics played a part with athletes on and off the field?” Randy Paul (LILJ)

Golden “We have talked in depth about how our training styles, and methods prepare our athletes on the field. But the principles that we instill, the culture we create, the standard we demand, prepares our athletes for life. We push them past the limits that they put on themselves, they make sure they are punctual; they know class does not start at the top of the hour, you have to be not only mentally prepared but physically as well for the workout. Our athletes come in at least 15 minutes before and do their prehab, just like they would need to do in life. With this level of commitment, it also shows the commitment in the classroom and as someone in society. You have to be a good neighbor, you have to have high remarks, because that’s our standard. Applying the principles I learned through being a football player at the highest level and understanding what it took to get there, it is no surprise of the production my athletes have been able to sustain as long as they buy in. They know to be the best their ego has to be killed at the door, because everyone in this room is the best, we are here to learn and to compete and have the mindset to dominate.”



  1. Kiki says:

    We can really see that media in the long does a great job in showcasing bright talent. So happy so see athletes continue to a good influence on more generations to come! This is such a great article! Cant wait to see more from Golden Ukonu!

  2. Edelyne says:

    Great article! ❤️

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