I've never seen so many Double T logos in my life. From the floors, to the weight plates, to the bathroom soap dispensers, and literally everywhere else you can think of, they're there.
Those of you who have been reading my first few articles may have picked up on the fact that the new football facilities are discussed quite a bit. The players and coaches I've talked to have had plenty to say about the building, so I decided to take a look for myself. I took Recruiting Coach Dennis Simmons up on his offer to give me the grand tour. The football building across the courtyard from the south end of Jones SBC stadium opened in February, giving the office staff and coaches more elbow room as well as training facilities in close proximity.
The weight room was completed and ready for use this May and is three times the size of the former one.
"It's a big difference. It's state of the art. The new strength and conditioning coaches are top notch, so we've been working harder than we've ever worked," commented senior slot receiver Trey Haverty.
The coach's roomy offices line a long hallway on the east side of the building, and the lucky ones have nice views out onto the practice field.
Also on the east side of the 56,000 square foot facility is the treatment and state of the art rehabilitation facilities. Following various injuries and two reconstructive ankle surgeries, I'm a self-proclaimed expert when it comes to rehab equipment. I've even been told I could open my own ankle therapy center. What a laugh. It is with this so-called authority that I say they're the nicest I've ever seen. NFL teams don't even have a few of the training resources the rooms are equipped with. The pool area that adjoins the treatment room is a good example.
A hydrotherapy pool with an underwater treadmill provides an opportunity for athletes rehabilitating lower extremities to stay conditioned with low impact walking or running up to 8 mph. The treadmill can be lowered or raised according the athletes height and desired water resistance.
Additionally, the pool faces a computer control panel that includes two television screens recording the athletes' motion underwater from different angles. Athletes can watch themselves onscreen to monitor their form and assess their progress. The underwater motion can also be videotaped and sent home to parents who want to know how junior's rehab is going.
When former Tech quarterback B.J. Symons rehabilitated his knee last winter, NFL scouts were interested in seeing if it was going as well as said. Symons spent a lot of time on the underwater treadmill, and videos were regularly sent out to scouts to show he was rehabbing quickly and effectively.
The computer control panel also allows the operator to turn on two separate jets in the front end of the pool that provide a higher level of resistance. Do you remember the scene from Rocky IV that shows Ivan Drago on a treadmill hooked up to a computer testing system? That's what it reminded me of at first glance. And of course, underwater lights shine a red Double T onto the bottom of the treadmill. Keep in mind that none of the NFL teams have this machine, and the only college that has something close is Texas A&M. Close, but no cigar.
Also in the pool area is one (yes, one of two) of the hot tubs I've been hearing so much about. Don't forget about the cold tub and whirlpool either. The treatment room contains countless benches and tables for players to sit during treatment, and each station has its own ultrasound machine (also called stem machines). Most colleges have one or two that are carted around from station to station.
Guys don't have to wait in line to get taped either. There are plenty of tape benches, with a mat at the foot of each table spelling out "Texas Tech" in separate letters. A massage therapist is on hand three days a week during the season and a chiropractor makes rounds twice a week. Nice.
Having an in-house rehabilitation facility is also a big plus. Players don't have to go off-site for treatment, and team therapists can monitor the athletes more closely. In the past, injured athletes just seemed to disappear off the face of the earth while rehabbing. That's not the case anymore.
Down the hall from the treatment rooms are team and position meeting rooms. Regular times are set aside for players to meet in small classrooms with their respective position coach. Coaches Sonny Dykes (wide receivers) and Dana Holgorsen (inside receivers) can instruct the receiving corps together or separately. By clicking a switch, the room divider moves across the middle to create two smaller meeting rooms. Each room is also equipped with video projectors to study film and white boards for those X's, Y's and Z's.
The large team meeting room is definitely tailored for football players. The "lecture hall" style room features wide aisles and over one hundred big comfy chairs with a lot of leg room. In other words, plenty of elbow room for guys like junior nose tackle "Big Fred" Thrweatt.
The building also features an in-house media room. The full blown media operations center features state of the art non-linear editing equipment, sound boards, and broadcast equipment that allows staff to prepare film as well as operate Coach Leach's show. He doesn't even have to leave the building. Media staff can also prepare commercials and other marketing spots for television and radio.
The main lobby divides the center of the building. On the left wing are the treatment rooms and coaches offices, on the right wing are the weight room, strength coach offices, and the locker room. At the end of the lobby is a player's lounge that includes a widescreen television, black leather lounge chairs, a small kitchenette, and ping pong and foosball tables facing the window looking onto the practice field.
Later this week the facility tour heads into the weight room, locker room, and academic center.
I'm Seeing Double T's
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