Tigers are 72-9 since they started using the Poe Indoor Practice Facility
Since Monday morning, the Clemson area has received close to seven inches of rain. It has rained all day long, going on four straight days now.
When the rain comes down like it has this week, the practice fields outside the Allen Reeves Football complex are useless. The ground is too saturated, and the fields can easily be torn up, and a torn-up field can lead to injuries.
Luckily for the second-ranked Tigers they have the Poe Indoor Practice Facility, the football program’s own indoor facility that allows it to stay inside and practice on a full-length practice field in a controlled climate.
“I literally was talking about that today with a couple of different guys,” head coach Dabo Swinney said following Wednesday’s practice as Clemson gets set to host Duke on Saturday at Death Valley. “I was reminiscing of when we did not have it and how chaotic that was. It is such a blessing. That is all I can say.”
The Tigers first got the indoor facility in December of 2012, just before their big win over LSU in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.
Prior to December of 2012, when it rained, Clemson had to use the indoor track facility to hold practice. However, it was not much of a practice.
“We were just inefficient. I mean, we could not practice,” Swinney said. “There was nowhere to go. All you could do was a walk through. You could not do anything full speed. There was nowhere to do it full speed.
“We would go into the indoor track and throw out a piece of carpet, but you couldn’t do anything on it other than like I said, a walk through. You couldn’t get the team in there. It was what it was. You didn’t know anything, but we made it work. It was a constant juggling of the schedule.”
These days the Tigers don’t even go outside when it rains. The Poe Indoor Practice Facility is connected to the Allen Reeves Football Complex, so they walk through the weight room and down a ramp to get into the indoor facility.
Though it rained Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Clemson was able to get a complete practice in all three days, as it prepares for the Blue Devils.
Swinney says they are very blessed to have such a facility because there are a lot of programs that still don’t have one.
“Whereas now, we don’t even think about (the rain). There is no altering planning. ‘Oh, it is bad weather! No problem!’ It is the same thing,” the Clemson coach said. “I remember one year (prior to the indoor facility) it rained, and it rained, and we hardly ever practiced. Like legit practice. It takes a toll, it really does.”
It also affected summer workouts as well when the Tigers did not have the indoor facility.
“These guys have skills and drills and things like that, and then all of a sudden they get washed out and you just missed a day,” Swinney said. “That indoor facility is one of the best things that has happened around here for us, as far as being able to develop our team and to have consistency in our preparation and so forth, in-season and off-season.”
Since the Tigers moved into the indoor facility, Clemson is 72-9, an .889 win-percentage.