Team building at NC State

A few years ago, NC State head coach Tom O'Brien hired Naval Academy graduate and Marine Eric Kapitulik to bring in some new training and team building ideas for the Wolfpack. In their first season under the new program in 2010, they finished 9-4 and pulled out a big mid season win over Florida State.

O'Brien added that the program is "all about leadership and accountability".

Kapitulik is the CEO and founder of "The Program", which is aimed at developing leaders, becoming more accountable, and handling mental fatigue. Every single NC State practice ends with the entire team doing a perfect jumping jack in unison. The training regime also includes a firemans carry with a teammate, carrying 35 pound to 70 pound sand bags, military like team workouts with huge log poles.

“It’s mentally tough to do,” he explained. “The guy next to you wants to check out and think about themselves, instead of the team.”

Last season, The Program helped train the Tufts University football team, a D-III program in Massachusetts. The video below captures the kind of stuff that NC State is doing now, and illustrates what makes Kapitulik's approach unique.


If you like Les, you'll love this

Les Miles is a great coach. He also happens to be a wonderful sound byte machine.  

He is incredibly sincere; just sometimes it comes out in a unique manner. In reality in this video he makes some great points. The fact that he adds his own personality to it just makes it that much better!

Listen and enjoy.

Video: Experience spring ball at Cal

Cal held their "Spring Practice Experience" over the weekend, inviting fans to meet the team and participate in a few select drills with the team.

The video captures the event very well. You get some helmet / coach cam footage as well as how the event felt for the die hard fans of Cal football.

9 years without a coaching change

Oregon is the only FBS program without a change within it's coaching staff since 2009. Tough profession.

Up in East Lansing though, Michigan State's defensive staff has been able to stick together since 2003, when Mark Dantonio assembled them after being introduced as the head coach at Cincinnati. Going into this season, the staff has been together an impressive 9 seasons. That's unheard of.

In the video below Dantonio explains that the continuity on the staff has allowed them to take the team to new heights. Also, having the defensive staff stick together for so long has allowed them to try out some different things as spring ball has progressed as well.

Keeping the same staff together on the defensive side of the ball has helped them put together back to back 11 win seasons and rank in the top 10 nationally in most every major defensive category (#7 in sacks, #6 in total defense, #9 in rushing defense, #10 in scoring defense).

The Spartans will be put to the test, especially defensively, in their season openers the next few seasons. They'll open up with Boise State this year and next, followed by their season opener against Oregon the following two seasons.

Oregon Authentic

Everyone knows that Oregon and Nike have a fairly close relationship. In fact, we've heard one coach refer to the University as "Nike's test lab in Eugene". Unquestionably, Oregon strolls out more uniform combos than any other football team in the country (at any level). So, have you ever wondered what happens to all of those Oregon jerseys / pants / lids once they have moved on to the next set?

Well, the Oregon athletic staff had a creative idea to help turn that "used" (which they wisely have up-sold as "authentic") equipment into very real fresh dollars for the department.  

Yesterday Oregon launched a new website, OregonAuthentic.com. The website will auction off things such as game-worn jerseys, helmets, cleats, etc. from all sports.

Craig Pintens, Oregon’s Senior Associate AD for Marketing and PR, announced the launch of the site via twitter (see tweet above).

Pintens a few hours later went on to tweet, “Crazy to think every item in http://oregonauthentic.com started at $1...”

It certainly is crazy, considering the jersey set that was worn vs. LSU last season has a current bid of $932, less than a day after the website launched. At that same time, a game-worn LaMichael James jersey (pictured) is pushing $700.

This idea wouldn't work for every team. First, you have to have the "authentic" inventory; and most programs reuse those things for a few seasons. Oregon’s well-documented history with Nike allows them to have a large quantity of things to auction off. This serves them a dual purpose of raising money for the athletic department and cleaning out the crowded equipment room to make space for new gear.

We think this is a great idea for Oregon and we hope it generates some more novel ideas within other athletic departments across the country. We saw that Pintens shared some love with Row27 last night via twitter for their excellent work in designing and building the site. Row27 is a marketing / creative firm that is doing some very cool things for athletic programs across the country. 

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