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Mark Thomas

Leaders defined in summer workouts

Posted June 22, 2013

Spring football is a crazy time where players can put the pads on and hit each other, but there is so much improvement that takes place during that time. For Duke, North Carolina, and NC State this summer actually may be more important than what happened in the spring.

The NCAA rules do not allow for coaches to teach during the summer. And while there aren't any official practices, the players still have the ability to meet with the strength and conditioning coaches for workouts.

Players are only required to take one class in June and July to be able to stay on campus. Less class work allows teams to spend more time with each other, and to focus in on their workouts. The workouts aren't easy though. More focus will be given to legwork and getting in the best physical shape of your life. And while the triangle football teams are getting bigger and stronger, the improvements of a football team go above and beyond the changes to a players body.

You see, at the end of the season most of your leaders have either graduated or moved on to the NFL. During the spring football practice sessions, the juniors now take on the role of leaders. But it's during the summer when those leaders are truly identified.

VInce Lombardi once said, 'Fatigue makes cowards of us all.' The hot grueling workouts of the summer define who your leaders are going to be. The greatest physical improvements you will ever make as a player is in summer workouts. But even larger strides will be taken in the form of leadership.

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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jun 24, 8:54 p.m.

    ^^^^

    Good points, twetherby - thanks.

  • twetherby Jun 24, 4:53 p.m.

    I believe Mark's point is that in the spring workouts and game, the coaches are there driving the workouts and the practices. With Seniors graduating, there is typically a void in leadership. The summer period is the first one where the players are left on their own to hold workouts/practices. Coaches are not allowed to be present, so, new leaders MUST step up to make sure workouts/practices run smoothly and that things are accomplished.

    Mark is dead on correct.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jun 23, 4:44 p.m.

    I didn't know the summer was so vital in determining team leaders. I thought it was a time to capitalize on not having to go to class, and therefore, having more time to devote to the weight room and fine tune other aspects of the game.

    @ korn - I agree about Renner. He may not be the most talented guy in the world, but his hard work and determination will - and has - gone a long way into him becoming the QB he is.

  • Hokies94 Jun 23, 4:11 p.m.

    Ah. I don't know about this one. Most leaders lead all during the year. They lead when they are in the regular season, the off-season, the weight room, team meetings, and how they carry themselves all of the time. They don't wait until the summer to become a leader.

  • kornfan2448 Jun 22, 7:53 p.m.

    Renner is the obvious leader of the explosive Tar Heels offense. Question is, who will step up on the defensive side? I think Heffernan will need to step up and take over for the linebackers, they're a young group with just one Sr. and four Fr., I believe. Can't wait for football season!

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