When Kevin Sumlin took over the Aggie football program, one of the first things he did was push spring practice back two weeks, in order to allow Aggie strength and conditioning coach Larry Jackson extra time with the team.
Sherman's approach to strength and conditioning was an improvement over the previous regime under Dennis Franchione where every position on the team did the exact same workout. Still, Sherman trusted the players to police themselves.
He expected the seniors to lead the team and for the players to be accountable for getting their workouts in. Many players did not spend the time in the weight room that they should have during the summer of 2011, and the result was a 7-6 season.
While Sherman took more of an NFL approach of trusting the players, Sumlin has his team work out under the watchful eye of Jackson. The former Aggie OLB and DE stresses hip and core strength over all else.
There is luck involved with avoiding injuries, and you cannot train an ankle or a knee not to get injured. However, a football player that is in better shape is more likely to continue to play with proper technique late in the game and lessen the chance of injury.
The Aggies did not suffer many major injuries during the 2012 season. Some of that has to be attributed to Jackson and his grueling workouts.
When the Aggies were playing the then-No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa and the cameras panned the Texas A&M sideline after the third quarter, the audience was treated to an excited group of Aggies football player jumping up and down around their head coach.
That football team was excited and jumping around even though they were in a dog fight. They knew they were in great physical shape and had the energy to fight Alabama until the end. They had that confidence and mental toughness because they had earned it by working hard in the offseason with Jackson.