Mailbag Question:

ErocWolverineSenior Writer IJune 2, 2008

Hey Guys,

I have seen you guys post about the old and new regime at Michigan and could you talk about the differences of the two and the differences in the S&C programs. Don't mean to beat a dead horse here, but could you also explain why the old guard wasn’t so demanding of the kids in the off-season and is this one reason why Michigan has gotten behind other programs like osu?


When eroc and myself attended practice this spring one of things we were interested in observing was the differences in how practices were managed. We wanted to see if things had really changed. The differences were astounding.

Three areas truly stood out:

First was the intensity of the practices. Old regime had more walk through and low intensity drills. No more. Everything is full speed with emphasis on hitting. There was more hitting in first thirty minutes than the three spring practices I attended last year. What really stuck on the intensity side were the coaches. They were on top of every player. Screaming and lecturing making sure players realized the amount of intensity required by new regime.

Second difference was amount of work done and pace of practice. There were no down periods, or go-through motion sessions. Every drill, every rep was filled with football skills necessary to succeed in Coach Rod’s scheme. There was no walking between drills or from one station to another—every player hustled. Hell, even injured players were either jogging or riding a stationary bike.

Third was the organization of practice. In the past Michigan used long sessions with tons of talking and explaining. No more. Practice was set up in many short, usually five minutes or so, drills with each teaching a basic football skill. Practices under the old regime always reminded me of city workers, one person working and ten others standing around watching.

Not this staff. Standing around doing nothing was held an absolute minimum. However, what I noticed most was the amounts of time full go, with best against best. Donovan vs. Stonum, Zibrel vs. Taylor, Minor vs. Ezeh, every station was not first group vs. second group. It was #1 vs. #1. The amazing thing was watching Donavan go head to head with Stonum, and Ortmann against with Jamison.

As for why Coach Carr ran things, the way he did. Really, I believe Coach Carr felt that players should also be allowed to be students and have lives. He did think that football should not be only thing in player’s life.

Differences in S&C from under Coach Gittleson to Coach Barwis were stark. Coach Barwis emphasized core training and transfer of energy through the core. Very little of this was done under old S&C. Power lifts were also basis for much of S&C under Coach Barwis were it is Olympic lifts that are focus under Coach Barwis. Coach Barwis also is huge believer in stretching and flexibility, Coach Gittleson would go ballistic even asked about stretching. Final major difference is Coach Barwis includes many football-specific exercises.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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