With normal life on hold, it's up to football players to stay in shape


by - Senior Writer -
Larry Greenlee (top) and Adam Smotherman (right) watch Gage Cervenka at Pro Day.
Larry Greenlee (top) and Adam Smotherman (right) watch Gage Cervenka at Pro Day.

Clemson strength and conditioning coach Joey Batson and his team of Larry Greenlee, Paul Hogan, and Adam Smotherman are among the best in the business, but with life on hold, it’s up to the players to stay in shape.

Clemson’s coaches are working from home and most of the players have also returned to their respective homes. That means the players don’t have access to the 25,000 square foot state of the art weight room, the plunge pool, team doctors, or football complex.

So how are the players staying in shape with social distancing keeping everyone at home? You have to go old school, and sometimes it means filling up a bucket with dirt.

"The strength and conditioning is a huge part of what we've got to do," head coach Dabo Swinney said. "Joey Batson and our strength staff have been very creative with the technology as well. The biggest thing is who has access to weights, and if they don't have access to weights, we've got a plan of the day. And if they don't have access to weights -- and very few don't -- having an alternative plan so they can get their workouts in. Our strength coaches have done a great job videoing and demonstrating what that alternative plan may be, whether that's filling up a bucket full of dirt or sand whatever to get your core workout done of the day.

"Guys have been sending video back and forth every day of their workouts and what they're doing. I think we are in a good place there.”

The coaches are also able to keep track of a player’s weight with a dedicated nutrition staff that prepares all of the meals in the dining facility. So how do you keep track of what the players are eating?

"Same thing with our nutrition. Paul Harrington has done a great job keeping these guys updated nutritionally on what they need to do,” Swinney said. “I'll tell you what, I already knew it but I am so proud of our team. We have a very contentious team. That's one of the reasons we win is because they are very conscientious and they care. And for the most part, have a ton of accountability.

"This team has a unique challenge. But for us, best is the standard all the time and not just when it's convenient to be the case. We are going to adapt to the best of our ability to find a way to make Clemson better at this time. That's the challenge we've all accepted as players and coaches."

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