Summer workouts at Penn State

Summer workouts are underway at Penn State with strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald and his staff.

In a Q&A with the Patriot-News, Fitz explains their weekly schedule. Mondays are their speed day where they do a lot of NFL combine prep, Tuesdays are interval days, where players have to make the drill in a certain time, Thursdays are a hybrid day working on both speed and conditioning, and Friday the team is split up into 12 groups and they compete with each other through an agility circuit, with the winners at the end of the summer getting a steak dinner.

The clip shows some good drills for resistance work on a hill, as well as in a sand pit.

Rain delays: The difference between football and baseball

Most of us have seen the hilarity that ensues during a college baseball game rain delay. If not, just search for it on YouTube and then sit back and enjoy.

During Oklahoma State's visit to Tulsa this past season, kickoff was delayed over 3 hours and a Saturday night game became an early morning Sunday contest. The game, which was supposed to start at just after 9 pm, actually got started at 12:16 am and finally wrapped up at 3:35 am Sunday morning with an OK State 59-33 victory.

What happened in between, was adversity at it's finest. Get a bunch of guys all jacked up an ready to go, only to have to pull back on the leash and retreat to the locker room.

Gundy and his staff made sure the players spent their down time getting focused however they do best. Many of them chose to put on the head phones, a few chose to educate others on how to use an iPad to play games...and all were kept comfortable with a nice PB&J.

Leadership training with the Navy Seals

Brady Hoke, director of strength and conditioning Aaron Wellman, and the seniors of the Michigan football team took a trip out to California last week aimed at developing leadership skills and helping them grow as men. It is a trip that Hoke and Wellman have been taking since 2006 while together at Ball State.

"To watch the kids grow and see how they treat their teammates and influence their teammates is fun to watch. If they run the locker room, we're going to be OK. If I have to run the locker room, we're going to be in trouble." Hoke said.

The trip's itinerary consisted of leadership classes, a tour of the Rose Bowl, a youth camp completely organized and conducted by the seniors, and of course, training with the Navy SEALS. The full article can be found here and has some great insight from the players on developing leaders as well as a day to day itinerary of what they were up to.

Wellman talked about the trip during an interview with ESPN. Pay attention to his thoughts on how physical and mental conditioning are intertwined.

Inside Scoop: Inside the NFL / NCAA Coaches Academy

Last week the NFL & NCAA hosted a coaches academy for 60 up and coming coaches. We spoke with three participants about their experience at the academy and spoke with NFL Vice President of Player Engagement Troy Vincent about the NFL's input into the academy. 

Each of the coaches we spoke with (see the full list of coaches that attended) raved about their experience at the coaches academy. 

Vincent told us that the goal of the academy is to prepare these coaches to be better leaders of men; both on the field and in the communities in which they live. "This isn't about Xs and Os, this is a different kind of boot camp for coaches" Vincent told FootballScoop. He went on to say that coaches talk Xs & Os all the time within their staff and with other coaches; but they rarely get to spend time preparing in a professional environment to handle all of the other things that go into being a great coach. "The academy is about professional and personal development." 

One of the coaches that attended told us, "My head coach recommended me. It was very educational. Personal and professional conduct, leadership, budget, contracts, search firms, interview process, media training, etc... were all areas were learned a lot about. It's also great for networking. Speakers from 8AM to 9PM. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is invited to attend." 

Vincent told us that 30 current NCAA assistant coaches were invited to participate (based upon recommendations from their head coaches) and another 30 former NFL players (some of whom are currently coaching, others are looking to get into the profession) were invited to participate. 

Look through the agenda below and you will see a great program for the development of coaches that want to take their careers to the next level..."leadership", "personal and professional conduct", Business operations, "becoming a head coach", "strategic crisis navigation", the "search" process, "contracts"... all great stuff that you typically don't have many opportunities to truly learn about / prepare for. 

From all accounts, the coaches academy was a tremendous success and we're sure that it will be "oversubscribed" next year.

Vincent also told us that they are hosting a "Champions Group" in late June which will consist of 16 coaches that have been selected to participate based on the belief that within the next 1-3 years these coaches will be in a position to accept a head coaching job. We'll keep you informed about that one as well. 


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GA of the Day - Ben Duvall (Western Kentucky)

Ben Duvall played outside linebacker at Western Kentucky and was in the right spot at the right time when a defensive grad assistant position opened and he was fortunate enough (i.e. he had impressed the coaching staff enough with his leadership and work ethic) to get the job. 

Listen to Duvall tell you about the transition from playing to coaching and the turnaround that he has been a part of at Western Kentucky. 

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