Training Camp for Dummies

Training Camp for Dummies


Training Camp for Dummies


You have heard of those self-taught books which help you learn something really fast so you understood the basics like for instance, Computer for Dummies or Yoga for Dummies. You get the point. What if there was a book for understanding football camp … Training Camp for Dummies, if you will.

What if there was a book that taught you what to look for and decipher when you go on line and read all of The Clemson Insider’s reports from football camp? Wouldn’t that be a big help?

What is training camp all about? What do fans need to look for and not look for when it comes to camp?

The main difference between training camp and spring practice is that one is an evaluation process while the other is geared to molding a team together.

You hear Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney say it all the time in the spring, they are “evaluating” the talent as they try to figure out who can, and who will not be able to help the team in the fall. So in a nutshell, the spring isn’t so much about building a team at that time, but instead geared in helping the coaches know who they might be able to count on.

Fall camp, or training camp, if you will is a five-step process.

First, the players are acclimated to practicing again. Remember, it has been nearly four months since they actually had to participate in an official practice so there is some getting used to. This also gives them the opportunity to adjust to the heat, especially on days like today when temperatures in Clemson are expected to reach near 100 degrees.

Coaches like to use these first three days as installation days. Since there is very little hitting and most of the fundamentals were taught in the spring, the coaching staff will work on installing the offense and defense so the team can be ready once the hitting actually begins.

After three days of wearing helmets and shorts—there is nothing to see here—the team will get in its “thud drills” where it can put on the shoulder pads and pop the pads a little while not actually tackling to the ground. After a couple of days of this, they get into full pads, which is generally welcomed by the first two-a-day session of camp.

When two-a-days begin, the real competition begins. This is where the team starts to take shape and leaders rise to the top. The competition battles come to the forefront, leading up to the first stadium scrimmage of camp.

That first scrimmage is when the men separate from the boys, and in most cases, the leaders in each of the competition battles emerge.

The leadership of the team can also be measured after the first scrimmage. If the team comes out of the scrimmage relatively healthy, it means the leadership did a good job during the summer months in pushing guys to work out and train their bodies for the physical grind of camp and the season to come. A healthy team illustrates the commitment level of the senior class and the team leaders in making sure everyone participated and gave it their all during voluntary workouts.

When camp concludes on Aug. 18th odds are coaches will have a pretty good idea what kind of team they will have. They will use the next two weeks to prepare it for the long season ahead, and then will begin to install their game plan for the season opener.

The last five days will be part of the regular game-week routine the team will use the rest of the year in preparing for each and every opponent.

That is Training Camp for Dummies … it’s going to be a long couple of weeks.



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