Category Archives: The Body Is A Temple

To your continued good health…

Georgia’s new strength and conditioning program and its relatively injury-free season:  correlation or causation?

I have to admit I lean towards the former, since Georgia didn’t play in Knoxville this year.  YMMV, of course.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Alabama’s gift to the college football world

For once, it really is about something good for the kids.

Instead, it essentially took another month for the magnitude of what had been accomplished to start becoming apparent.

It was Oct. 10. Georgia was playing Tennessee, and Bulldogs star running back Nick Chubb suffered his horrific knee injury near the sideline. In addition to the replays, CBS had an overhead camera and another nearby that caught every moment as the medical staff tried to help him. Chubb‘s agonizing pain was on full display for the world to see, even after being helped to the bench.

Wade Payne/Associated Press

Later that evening, Alabama was hosting Arkansas, and Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland was shook up during a play. As he headed toward the sideline, ESPN reporter Holly Rowe zeroed in when the tent sprang up.

“Her jaw just dropped,” Allen said.

Ragland turned out to be OK and returned to the field, and the tent became the story. When she finally got a chance to talk with Allen near the end of the game, her first question was, “What in the world is that?”

It was an immediate hit with the players.

“I love having that privacy,” senior linebacker Reuben Foster said. “I don’t want anybody from back home worried about me or nothing, or somebody to say the wrong thing because it’s really nothing. Just go out there, get an oil change and just come on back out.”

The tent had other advantages that had not been anticipated. As the season progressed, Allen and the other Alabama trainers found that the players were more comfortable and honest when shielded, and fans weren‘t yelling for them to “suck it up” and get back on the field. He especially saw a difference when dealing with concussion issues.

Fans can be such a classy bunch.

126 Comments

Filed under The Body Is A Temple

UGA and CTE

I don’t know about you, but I find this report showing that Georgia has had more confirmed cases of CTE reported than any other program in the country but one disturbing.  I don’t mean that in the sense that there’s something specifically bad going on in Athens that’s the cause for that, but, rather, simply this:

“This information is being released to raise awareness that CTE is not just an issue for professional football players,” said Chris Nowinski, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. “The data should not be interpreted to say that players from these schools are at greater risk than other college players. Instead, the data shows the widespread reach of this disease, and the commitment by the alumni and their families of these schools to support CTE research by participating in brain donation.”

Courson is one of the best in the biz at what he does.  Whatever sins you might want to lob in Mark Richt’s direction, not caring about his players’ health wasn’t one of them.  Yet here we are.  That’s both a little sad and a little scary.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

And on the seventh day, they lifted.

It’s interesting to read this piece about changes Georgia has made to its training program in conjunction with the story about Texas A&M I linked to yesterday.

Are the players buying into it?  Ask Greg Pyke.

“You’d think that if you came in and just played a hard-fought game, especially after Missouri, you come in at 3:30 (a.m.) and then have to lift at 2 p.m.,” senior offensive tackle Greg Pyke said, smiling. “It’s tough, but I think that’s what makes our team have that edge in the fourth quarter, that we put ourselves in those positions to kind off just out-work people.”

Indeed, Georgia has out-scored its opponents 24-10 in the fourth quarter this season. But opponents have out-scored the Bulldogs in the first, second and third quarters.

The full-lift on Sundays isn’t the only major game-week change. There’s also a full lift on Wednesdays. Under the previous coaching regime, according to receiver Isaiah McKenzie, there was a “light lift during the week – when we could.”

Does that leave you anymore fatigued during the week and in the lead-up to the game?

“Oh it doesn’t affect us,” Pyke said. “Because we lift today then have Thursday and Friday and Saturday. So you’ve got three days off – from lifting.”

I like that little qualification at the end there.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

“There are wider behinds in there [on other SEC teams] and that’s a fact.”

Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M’s strength and conditioning coaches took steps in the offseason to close the ass gap.  Science, for the win:

This season, the coaches dove further into sports science data, tracking several aspects of players’ wellbeing. There’s an entire staff dedicated to the sports science, nutrition and all aspects of player development that works separate from the strength staff. One of those members, Texas A&M assistant athletic director for sport science Howard Gray, meets with Jackson at 5 a.m. daily to give him a rundown on where the team stands, and Jackson makes adjustments to his plan from there.

The biggest change in training, Jackson says, is the amount of running. Sumlin wanted his team to retain more muscle mass and be stronger against the SEC teams it faced. Jackson adjusted because “it’s hard to make that lean [muscle] mass grow if you’re forced to run a lot more.” Jackson said he focuses in-season on strength rather than conditioning.

“The big difference is the running is backed off on because we do it in practice now,” Jackson said. “Practice tempo is up, so I don’t have to do it as much whenever we’re not practicing.”

In the SEC, you can never have enough support staff.

9 Comments

Filed under The Body Is A Temple

It takes a village to repair a knee.

Here’s a great story from Mark Schlabach about Nick Chubb’s recovery process.

Part of what’s amazing is all the different things that went into bringing him back.  And part, of course, is Nick Chubb.  When the two collide, here’s what you get:

Courson also used an experimental training method to help rebuild the muscles in Chubb’s left leg. For the first time, Courson used Kaatsu blood-flow restriction training to help a Georgia player recover from injuries. Japanese doctor Yoshiaki Sato invented Kaatsu training in 1966, but it wasn’t widely used in the U.S. until recently. U.S. skier Bode Miller used Kaatsu training to help him recover from a bad leg injury.

A thin, pressurized ban was wrapped around Chubb’s left leg to restrict the amount of blood flowing back to his heart. As a result, his injured leg was engorged with blood, filling his capillaries and muscle fibers while he worked out.

When Courson initially explained how Kaatsu training worked, he told Chubb that Georgia’s trainers were going to push him until he reached muscle failure.

“Do you know what that means?” Courson asked him.

“No,” Chubb said.

“He had never experienced muscle failure,” Courson said. “Our biggest issue was slowing him down. Some people do rehab; he attacked rehab. I told him early on, ‘Don’t come in here and just do your time. Get everything out of it you possibly can.’ He worked so hard.”  [Emphasis added.]

I doubt Courson really had to do much urging there.

You gotta love Kirby’s immediate reaction to seeing Chubb being Chubb.

When Courson sent Smart a three-second video of Chubb running a cones course, in which he was cutting and sprinting between the cones, Smart replied: “Should he be doing that?”

“I didn’t know,” Smart said.

Who would?  Hell, we watched Chubb’s work ethic for a couple of seasons and still doubted he’d make it back as quickly as he did.  But in the end,

Georgia’s coaches certainly weren’t worried about his overall strength. According to Courson, Chubb is still one of Georgia’s strongest players. He squatted more than 600 pounds (strength coaches wouldn’t let him lift additional weight) and he also had the longest broad jump and heaviest power clean lift of any UGA player.

“Nick takes his body so seriously that he was never going to be out of shape,” Smart said. “I think the guy was so aggressive in rehab that he came back stronger. He put on weight and he’s heavier. He seems just as fast.”

There’s only one thing left for Chubb’s villagers to do.

Chubb didn’t have as much success running behind Georgia’s revamped offensive line in his next two games. In a 26-24 victory over FCS foe Nicholls on Sept. 10, he ran 20 times for 80 yards with one touchdown. In last week’s 28-27 win at Missouri in the SEC opener, he ran 19 times for 63 yards.

On Saturday, Chubb hopes to write the next chapter of his remarkable comeback story at Ole Miss.

“It’s unreal,” Smart said. “The guy is not normal. His heart beats to a different drum than everybody else. People like him eat challenges. He needs it, wants it and desires it. If you put something in front of him, he’s going to handle it.”

Let’s get to blocking, o-line.

47 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

“Nick Chubb returning to the field in 10 months… Is truly miraculous.”

Ron Courson discusses the injuries suffered by Gurley and Chubb in less than a minute.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple