Summer workouts stress mental toughness, too

ATHENS - Summertime is usually for being lazy, but that's not the case for Georgia's football team.

Time for lying around the pool must be at a premium for the Georgia Bulldogs – it appears the remainder of their time is being spent working towards a successful 2005 campaign.

Each Summer for the for the past half decade Dave Van Halanger and his staff have been getting the Bulldogs ready for their games in the fall. The work is strenuous, but rewarding – just take a look at the Dawgs' success since 2001.

Two squads work each day: one in the morning and one later in the day. No matter the unit a particular player decides to works with on a given day, they all get their workout in; it appears the players see to that.

It's easy to see why Mark Richt's program has done such a good job of winning games lately – in the summer they prepare for contests physically, but (likely even more important) they also prepare for the fourth quarter of games mentally during their workouts. That part of the workouts should not be ignored.

"Prepare to dominate in the fourth quarter" and "Get your mind ready for this season – it's already June 20th – we don't have a lot of time left" were both used to sound the battle cry today in Athens today. Building strength is the obvious and evident part of summer workouts; getting mentally tough is something that might go unnoticed.

These Bulldogs, a virtual no-name group compared to last season's group of stars, will have to fight for the program's reputation – few publications predict the Bulldogs will beat out Florida and Tennessee to win the SEC East. That's where this team's mental toughness comes in.

There were groans and struggles during today's workouts from players and coaches alike. Hopefully for the Dawgs, and their fans in the Bulldog Nation, all the agony of those groans and struggles will be the reason for success and satisfaction in the fall.

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