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USF training camp


CousinRicky

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Has anyone heard anything about USF moving a week of training camp to another location?  Maybe a minor league complex on the other side of the state?

Just wondering.

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I have heard mention about it because I think that Skip likes to do it as like a team building thing. I heard at one point that it might be here in Lakeland.

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That would be cool to build on the fanbase and get out there and let some alum check out their Bulls.

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I think it would be a GREAT idea considering A). there has been a coaching change but also whenever you take a TEAM as a whole, out of there element usually you get some bonding that was unexpected and can help generate TEAM chemistry.

I really hope Skip does this as I think it would be an integral part of the success he will achieve and show that he is more than just an X's and O's guy. Which is sad to say considering I loved Leavitt's head games but considering the Psych program we have some of the professors should have gone to him and said this is detrimental to your team and you should do this.

I loved Leavitt but I really hope Skip changes a lot of things around from a players standpoint as I think it will help with moving on, motivating them, and relate to each other. We need a team and not any individuals, which we have had the past few years and that is not Leavitt's fault but more of a product of success. I think he just wasn't ready to handle that and wanted to just focus on being a coach but we ARE bigger than that now. Maybe he is a product of his own success?

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I have heard mention about it because I think that Skip likes to do it as like a team building thing. I heard at one point that it might be here in Lakeland.

Team Building? (1 win), about the players? (1 win)......Start a working relationship with the Dreadnaughts? PRICELESS!!!

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I think it's a great idea. It seems to have worked out well for Cincy. Here is a story on them. Link to it is no longer working:

Bearcats like Higher Ground

By Bill Koch • bkoch@enquirer.com • August 27, 2009

Following a Saturday morning practice, the University of Cincinnati football team will pack up most of its belongings and head back to campus after a 14-day stay at the Higher Ground Conference and Retreat Center.

Moving the operation to and from the facility – about 30 miles west of Cincinnati in West Harrison, Ind. – is a huge undertaking that requires months of planning and some added expense.

No other Big East team conducts its training camp off campus, but the Bearcats have been doing it for 11 years.

When he first arrived at UC in late 2006, coach Brian Kelly wasn’t sure he wanted to practice at Higher Ground.

“I was trying to look for reasons when I first came (to UC) not to come here,†Kelly said.

When he researched it, he discovered the major added expense was housing coaches and other staff members for two weeks rather than allowing them to drive home each night.

“It wasn’t enough for me to say we can’t go,†Kelly said.

So he consented to try it.

Three years later, Kelly is a strong advocate of training at Higher Ground and says that even after UC builds its two practice fields on campus, he plans to continue to practice at the facility each summer.

“Maybe not for two weeks,†he said, “but I think a week here minimally is great for team camaraderie.â€

According to figures provided by UC, it costs the program roughly $8,500 per day to stay at Higher Ground versus $7,500 on campus.

It also costs $1,750 to move the equipment, resulting in a total of about $15,750 more than it would cost to practice on campus for two weeks.

UC first moved its training camp to Higher Ground in 1999 at the urging of then-athletic director Bob Goin. The Bearcats, then coached by Rick Minter, were coming off a 2-9 season, and Goin was looking for an edge that would help them get back on track.

Goin dispatched John Widecan, now the assistant athletic director for football operations, as well as equipment manager Jay Bailey and associate athletic director Paul Klaczak, to check out three potential sites.

Higher Ground, which is owned and operated by the Church of the Nazarene, was the first facility they visited. Widecan was sold right away.

“We weren’t going to find a better place,†Widecan said.

During those first few summers, the Bearcats practiced on an open grass field that UC equipped with portable goal posts. Since then, the area has been split into two fields – one a regulation 100-yard field and the other about 70 yards. In recent years, the grass has been replaced by Field Turf, some of which was transferred from campus after new turf was installed at Nippert Stadium.

Lockers were moved from campus after UC’s football locker room was remodeled a few years ago, and they are set up in the Graves Family Life Center, along with weights and training equipment. The Ferguson Dining Hall, located directly across from the fields, is easily accessible from the Life Center.

About 40 players, along with the coaches and some of the support staff, stay at the lodge, with two occupants per room. There are two barracks-like bunk houses, one that accommodates about 40 players and one that houses managers and student trainers.

“Usually what we do is have the upperclassmen stay in the lodge,†Widecan said. “The newcomers will stay in the bunk house.†Counting staff, coaches and players, 150 people from UC stay at Higher Ground for the full two weeks. Wireless internet is available, but the only electronic devices available are the ones players bring themselves. There is no cable TV.

It falls to Widecan and equipment manager Barry Boyd to work out the logistics of moving the team’s equipment.

The lockers are stored at Higher Ground year-round, but the weights have to be transported from campus.

“It takes us about a day to bring it all out here,†Boyd said. “The weight room staff takes apart the benches. We load them up on the truck. We make one trip. It’s about 6,000 or 7,000 pounds of weights, plus the weight racks and benches.

“We pack up all of our sleds, all of our dummies, our goal-post pads. Every pad that we use for practice, we will pack it up and bring it here, along with a number of shoes, sewing machines, extra jerseys, extra tights, extra shoes, extra shoulder pads, extra helmets – everything we could possibly need, we try to bring it out here.â€

And much of it has to be done on the fly. This year, the Bearcats spent the first five days of practice on campus before shifting to Higher Ground.

The move is executed by student trainers and managers, plus volunteers – about 25 or 30 people in all.

“It’s a long night,†Boyd said of the move. “We put a lot of pressure on our kids to get it set up, but they did a great job and we were ready to go for practice the next day.â€

Saturday, Boyd and his staff will put in another long day as they return to campus.

“We have to do it pretty quickly because we’ll be getting ready for games,†Boyd said. “We’re preparing for Rutgers (Sept.7). We’ve got to get packed up and ready to go.â€

08-28-2009 05:15 PM 

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Cost some money, but truly worth it for team building. 

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Great idea. I wish they can train down southern part of the state. Maybe on NW Bulls football field?

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Oh I can see it now. It will be just like remember the Titian's

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what about IMG down in bradenton?

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