Better to have 15 more practices or an extra month in the weight room?

Submitted by phild7686 on November 23rd, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I've heard alot of people refer to the added benefits of having 15 more practices because of making a bowl game, but does it really benefit the younger players any more than just getting in the weight room a month earlier?

I played college football in division II for 5 years, and in my first two years by the time the end of the season rolled around, I wasn't really getting any added benefit from the practices. Until I matured physically, extra practices weren't going to make me that much better of a football player. Spring football was definitely a huge benefit to me because I was able to get bigger, faster, and stronger by working out for several months, and then test my new ability on the practice field. I wasn't able to improve my technique very much until I became bigger and stronger, because my technique was more like "damage control", and even if I had good technique I was getting beat anyways. Getting bigger and stronger first enabled me to improve my technique, because then my technique was the factor that decided whether or not I succeeded on an individual play, not my lack of size and strength.

Some players, such as Denard and Tate, would probably benefit more from the addition practices because as QB's they need to make mental improvements more than physical improvements. But I believe that many of the other young players will probably actually benefit more from having a longer offseason, especially under Barwis.



November 23rd, 2009 at 3:05 PM ^

I like your silver lining.

Having never played college football, I can't really voice which one would be more beneficial to the team.

However, I am pretty sure the coaching staff (not the conditioning staff) has to stay away from the players now, which a lot of our young players could probably use as much technique help as possible. So although the players may get physically bigger, the extra practices would have made them mentally tougher.


November 23rd, 2009 at 3:07 PM ^

I would think practices have more benefit overall.

BUT, what hasn't been discussed is the added recruitng opportunities that RR and his coaching staff have now that the season is over. A lot of other teams have one or two regular season games plus a bowl game to prep for. Can the Michigan coaches be making some headway in recruiting by making some on home visits during this time? Anyone know the rules on recruiting right now?

spam and beans

November 23rd, 2009 at 4:33 PM ^

I am pretty sure you can only contact a prospect once a week. But the point was having time to recruit being beneficial. I am not a recruiter, and I don't even play one on T.V. But I would think it would be more beneficial to have less time to recruit but bring a bowl team to the table than to have more time with a team that doesn't qualify for a bowl. It's not just how much time you have with a recruit, but what you have to offer. Luckily for Michigan, even with a bad record for two years, the institution still has plenty to offer. Go Blue


November 23rd, 2009 at 3:08 PM ^

Practices are hugely important, but, it's possible that right now is exactly the wrong time for the coaches to keep up their drumbeat of technical criticism for the players. The kids need the next few months to lick their wounded egos and come back together as teammates.

Not sure when the recruiting quiet period is coming up, but even if it's only a few days, coaches can take advantage of their free time to concentrate on that.

Happy Holidays,everyone. Fuck, I hate this.

Steve in PA

November 23rd, 2009 at 3:19 PM ^

Weight training isn't going to do much other than wear the players down at this time of the year. Very little is gained in season and strength training only maintains what is built in offseason. They are all worn down from a long tough season and keeping up weight is even difficult (Roh).

Section 37

November 23rd, 2009 at 3:42 PM ^

would be a bigger benefit IMO. The more times the QB runs that read option the better he will get at deciding to keep or pitch the ball. I think every team has a "tell" and tendencies and the underclassmen could benefit from studying film instead of watching film.


November 23rd, 2009 at 3:42 PM ^

You forgot about the bowl game. Think about it. You can have 15 practices SUPERVISED BY COACHES (we are under investigations just for that) plus a BOWL GAME and still lift weights.


November 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 PM ^

Like others have said, these things are not mutually exclusive. Just because you have the extra practices doesn't mean you aren't in the weight room and doing conditioning work. I would much rather take the practices since we have such a young team, and didn't get any last year either.

This gives the coaches time to install lots of new things without the pressure to gameplan specifically for that week's game.


November 23rd, 2009 at 4:50 PM ^

In my experience, lifting in season is much different and most of the players merely maintain or lose strength, because the coach's don't want to wear the players out and they only have so much time in the week (20 hours) to devote to football anyways, they'd rather spend it watching film and practicing than lifting.


November 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 PM ^

I would think that after a season of watching linebackers hit the wrong hole, and watching corners and safeties let receivers run free, their problems aren't of the physical variety, but the mental variety. Lifting more weights isn't going to educate them about fundamentals, technique, or schemes.


November 23rd, 2009 at 4:57 PM ^

but back when I played, I knew the technique and the schemes but that wasn't why I couldn't make some of the blocks as a freshman. I knew that I had to get my head on the front side of the 5 technique to stretch the play, but as a freshman on the scout team I would try to do that but get blown back almost every time by our starting DE's. For me personally, I needed the extra time in the weight room, not on the practice field. All's I'm saying.


November 23rd, 2009 at 5:22 PM ^

As already cited, the two aren't mutually exclusive. Since it's already been decided, though, I guess we will just have to settle for what we get. I do agree that the practices would have been valuable, but it's OK. The team will be fine next year.


November 23rd, 2009 at 5:29 PM ^

In defense of the OP, he is not saying that he would prefer to miss a bowl and get right to the weight room - he is simply saying that this is where we are (no bowl and no practices), and that this is a possible silver lining. As someone who has been involved in strength and conditioning, I can tell you that there is a valid point here. While our team can obviously use the 15 practices, one of our greatest deficiencies was our size. When players are training "in season" they are not training for size. Most in season training is dedicated to flexibility, injury prevention and agility. Players still lift weights, but on a regimin that is not aiming at gaining strength and size. Training for size employes entirely different methods, and having these kids in the weight room 8 weeks earlier can result in an extra 2-5 pounds, as well as some real increases in strength and size.

Yes, is sucks for these young kids to be missing out on the extra 15 practices, but at this point, after an entire spring and season, they probably aren't going to learn all that much more technique that will stick with them into the spring.

Again, not saying I wouldn't prefer to have the extra practices and game experience. But, if our team can come out larger, leaner, stronger and faster next year, that is still a positive.