On Monday, things will get more physical. That’s when the Owls will finally don pads and begin contact drills.
Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon said the players are ready — namely, because they are tired of running.
“We’ve put the kids through the wringer with the coaches’ runs in the mornings,” Bohannon said. “It’s been really productive, and it is helping us get acclimated for practice.”
The coaches’ runs are separated into agility drills and sprints. The agility drills include cone drills and line drills, with short-yard starts and stops. There are six stations where the players are asked to go full-speed in 3-minute intervals.
“There is no way around it other than to go right through it,” Bohannon said.
Bohannon said the important evaluation during the drills is when the players get tired. Then, coaches can judge their attention to detail — making sure the players touch the lines and go around cones, instead of over them.
Following the agility drills, players have been put through eight to 10 100-yard sprints, or four or five full “gassers,” in which a player goes from one yard line, up another 10 yards and back, then returning an additional 10 yards and repeating the process.
“The kids have had a great attitude,” Bohannon said. “Overall, we’ve seen what we call effort, attitude and toughness.”
Bohannon said the idea behind the conditioning and this week’s weight-room work is to make sure injuries are limited once contact starts Monday.
“Talent-wise, I think we’ve got a very talented group,” Bohannon said. “But we won’t really know what we have until we get in pads.”
To get a better idea of what everyone might see once the pads go on, the coaching staff ran a run-through practice last week, so everyone understands what will be going on when things get started Monday.
“We’re going to go high-tempo and get things done,” Bohannon said. “We’re going to find out about the toughness of some of our kids. But we’re hoping, when you watch us, you wouldn’t be able to tell it was our first practice.”
Monday’s practice, open to the public, will begin at 9 a.m. at the KSU Sports and Recreation Park.
The Owls also passed another benchmark Wednesday, which marked one-year until the team’s first game at East Tennessee State.
Bohannon feels the clock is moving too fast and too slow at the same time.
“We’ve got so much to get done,” Bohannon said. “It’s been three weeks, but it just seems like yesterday we were having that first team meeting.
“It’s been a blink of an eye, and it’s going to do nothing but get faster.”