I know that we are in the middle of hoops hysteria, including Georgia State hosting a game in the CollegeInsider.com tournament, or CIT, on Tuesday, but Georgia State will begin spring football practice on Wednesday.
To that, I’ll post five spring questions about the team that will bear looking at until practice ends April 6.
I encourage you to post your thoughts about each area because I enjoy what you have to say and I appreciate the feedback. Oh, and good luck with your NCAA tournament bracket and in Mark Bradley’s Bracket Fiasco.
Here’s part III: How will the new strength and conditioning program show results?
Georgia State football coach Bill Curry wanted to see dedication from every one of his assistants and players as soon as they walked off the field, 42-35 winners over Campbell, in the season finale.
So Curry has become a cheerleader of sorts during the team’s new offseason workout program. He’s an active participant in the spirit station, one of the stops the players make during their routine. Curry and other players encourage their teammates to try to build confidence and camaraderie. It’s something he said he’s never done before.
“I love it,” he said. “When we are there in the fourth quarter on the goal line and can’t breath, you can help me by giving me a pat on the butt and saying you can hit this guy. The team learns to encourage each other… that’s becoming a habit.”
Strength and conditioning coach Ben Pollard didn’t get much of a chance to work with the team before the 2011 season. His fingerprints are all over the team this season, and Curry and the players like what he’s doing.
“It’s clear that Pollard that brings a certain gift for motivation and technique,” Curry said.
He said the players are lifting a lot more weight than last season, but the team isn’t sacrificing quickness or flexibility. Curry said the offensive line is stronger but not much bigger because he wants them to play with a faster tempo.
In some of the position groups, Curry said the team is sacrificing some size for some speed. He said the team is noticeably faster than it was last season, and also stronger. The lack of both, or either, is one of the reasons the team couldn’t finish games last season. The Panthers scored a total 34 points in the fourth quarter last season, while giving up 123, the most of any quarter.
“We will run faster, we already do, run with more flexibility and will strike with a lot more power than we have before,” he said. “Those are things that are supposed to happen. Those things give you a chance.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu