Friday, May 4, 2018

Michigan Friday: France is Now Complete - Back To The Weight Room

The trip to France is now complete and it seemed the Wolverines got plenty of educational value out of the trip.   This bonding and educational trip was funded by Michigan alums Bobby Kotick and Don Graham at a cost estimated to be $800,000.   Bobby funded the Rome trip entirely and split it this year with Don.   Bobby has offered to fund the trip every year that Jimmy wants to do it.  

Next year proposed trips could be Greece, Spain, Cuba, and South Africa.  If Jimmy can start winning on the field more often, this trip will become a huge recruiting advantage. 

One of the most important hires this off season was S&C coach Ben Herbert from Arkansas.  It seemed that Ben and Jimmy hit it off during the first phone conversation:

"It was as natural and easy a conversation as I've ever had," Herbert said Wednesday. "Philosophically, how he views things, the things he takes pride in, the things he believes in, carry in line with the things that I do.  "The conversation was effortless."

Ben got to work right away contacting players and getting them back in the facility:

What followed was baseline testing, deep-tissue work and a full revamp of Michigan's offseason strength and conditioning program. Rather than narrow down specific objectives, Herbert says he prefers to take a comprehensive approach.

"It comes down to first making sure they understand the importance of fueling their body," Herbert said. "And most don't."

He's hammered home the importance of water and fluid, having frequent meals, pushed zinc in players' diets and stressed working on the lower body during workouts.

"The largest muscles in the body are in the legs," Herbert said. "Those are pulling movements. Their upper back, lower back, really the backside of your body in a lot of cases, are untapped when they come in. Either from high school or other institutions. 

"From a development standpoint, we start there."

The other side to all of this is creating a new, inviting environment in the weight room. Players say they can't wait to get in there and made reference this spring to new, unique workouts.
Herbert and his team -- he hired four assistant strength coaches, along with a full-time nutritionist -- have turned it into an environment "you like/love to be in."

As I know you have heard, Ben has been making a real impact on the team since he joined in January.   With his new approach and the new Schembechler weight room, it seems the team is enjoying working out and getting stronger and faster.   One of the things that happened last year, was the dominating defense got tired in the  4th quarter as the offense was not moving the ball.  Hopefully we will see a huge impact with both units next season.

  •  JT Barrett was signed as a free agent by the New Orleans Saints.  He is not expected to make the team as a QB.   I know JT had a great run in Columbus, but with the new OSU QB's and a new a pro offense focus, there will come a day where we will miss playing JT and his power running game.   I continue to be surprised that Don Brown couldn't stop a QB that didn't want to throw and would run anytime it was less then 3rd and 10 yards.

  • Wichita State sophomore shooting guard Austin Reaves is considering transferring to Michigan.  He would of course have to sit out a transfer year.

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