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Spring Training

Feb. 24, 2001

Guest Commentary: Howard Schnellenberger
Boca Raton News

The apex of the Allied Force invasion against German defenses occurred during World War II in Normandy on D-Day. To prepare for this most important day in modern history, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines began basic, advanced, and specialized training many months, even years prior to June 6, 1944. Young men were whipped into fighting machines and teamed up in platoons, companies, battalions, and regiments. Part of the team, each had a specific task.

Our D-Day of Sept 1, 2001 isn't to be compared to the sacrifices that our men fought and died for, but this Monday our young recruits will start training and preparation for FAU's historic moment.

With 185 days left until FAU's assault on Slippery Rock, our young and inexperienced gladiators start preparation. Each will train at a different position, honing his skills to find success on offense, defense, or a special team.

We count backward four weeks from March 19 when spring practice begins to launch this pre-spring practice tradition. Four days a week, the Fighting Owls will take to the Tom Oxley Practice Field and be guided, led and pushed by our experienced drill sergeants (coaches).

Conditioning is the goal during basic training so that when those 15 precious days of spring practice arrive, our time can be used to perfect technique. We'll merge each position with the other until we move as one, both on attack of our opponent and in defense of our goal line.

Conditioning will be the most physically demanding portion of our training. We'll heighten dramatically the level of intensity during last football season. Some athletes will take the lead, some will fall in the middle, and, a few will straggle. To ensure proper conditioning of the best, the least must struggle and perhaps not make it.

Fifty minutes will be divided into three 15-minute periods. The pace must be all-out, and virtually no player will have time to rest during agility, sprint, man-to-man combat, and rope climbing drills. A quick rest of 2.5 minutes between each drill will ensure a heart rate of more than 130 beats over the full 50 minutes which will guarantee each day's improvement in conditioning.

Not to interfere with class time, we'll meet Mondays and Fridays at 3:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 a.m..

By the end of the four-week period, conditioning will be stored within each body, and then advanced training begins. Spring practice will perfect our team by concentrating on team assignments, team work, and our practice game.

The final exam and graduation from advanced training will be on Sat. April 21 at Pro Player Stadium. Come to the graduation ceremony and pick our your seats for the invasion!



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