With no opponent and to face and no games to play, McKeefery and staff found a way to keep the competitive juices flowing during the grueling winter months. The annual lifting competition.
The annual winter competition was created by the staff to increase competitiveness in the weight room and build intensity among the players. Each week the players are competing in different areas in the weight room. Last year pitted the offense against the defense, but this year the staff went back to drafting teams.
"Last year was the only year we had the offense against the defense every other previous years we drafted teams. The strength staff drafts seniors onto three teams and the seniors draft the rest of the team."
Last year two strength assistants one took the offense, one took the defense, and Coach Mac was the commissioner.
"I didn't like not having a team, and we have a little more fun with it. You get an opportunity to have ownership over the teams and it builds an overall competition with everybody, similar to fantasy football."
The difference this year is instead of drafting just seniors; they drafted two captains, an offensive and defensive captain to head the three teams:
The winter program recognizes those that are excelling through a point system. That helps the players individually and as a team. Everyday there's a competition going on and they are competing in a different area every day. The staff is tacking on points every day or taking away points based off of efforts.
"For example, one day we'll do a push-up competition among the groups, and when one group comes in for their lifting session, and another group is leaving, they'll find out how many reps each player did. Whatever we may be competing on that day, they'll know it and try and to outdo them."
The competition throughout the winter is based off of a team total and also on an individual basis.
Every player starts off with 100 points. Then points are added or subtracted depending on different factors.
· If they miss a work out its minus 10 points and have to come back later to make it up.
· If they are late it's minus 5 points.
· If they have a good workout its plus one point
· If it's bad then it's minus one point.
· If a guy comes in to get an extra lift in they get a point.
· They also have a lifter of the week and he gets 10 points, and the honorable mentions will get 5 points each."
Keeping the competition among players high is paramount to a successful off-season conditioning program.
"Keeping track of the points through daily competition lets you know what guys are really going after it. The guys that come in on a Wednesday or a Saturday to get an extra lift in they get a point, but it helps you gage who's doing the right things and who's not. It's like a peer pressure system that makes guys push each other, to work harder for the team, themselves, and be better ball players
Coach McKeefery has totally revamped the Bulls strength and conditioning program, and was just honored Friday by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society as the national Collegiate Football Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year.
"When I first got here there wasn't a lot of accountability. Guys were missing workouts and being late and instead of me jumping up and down yelling at the players, I put it on the guys. If someone on their team is slacking, they get on them. Guys will do a lot to get their name on a plaque, and it helps year round."
Check back later with USFNation.com for the current team leaders and the Lifter of the Week winners and the continuation of our inside look into the Bulls off-season strength and conditioning program
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