This header absolutely RULES.
Category Archives: The Body Is A Temple
As someone who is occasionally bummed by college football turning its back on tradition, it’s reassuring for me to see that S&C happy talk is still on the menu in Athens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.