Cowboys ready for season
April 15, 2021
The focus for Wyoming Football turned to Spring Practice this week as the Cowboys hit the practice field for the first time on Tuesday. But the foundation for Spring Ball and for the 2021 season was laid during the months of January, February and March as the Cowboys went to work in the weight room and on the turf to improve their strength and speed in preparation for the 2021 season.
“We certainly did have a good winter conditioning period this year,” said head coach Craig Bohl. “We had about two more weeks allocated to strength and conditioning this winter than what we normally would have as we pushed Spring Practice back, and our players took advantage of that extra time.
“We’re just getting the measurables now, but I can tell you our overall team speed compared to the previous year was up a couple miles per hour or about five percent, which overall is very impressive. Our body weights are up. Our lean muscle mass is improved and in terms of our strength levels as a whole the bar has been raised. That gives us a great foundation and now we need to translate that to the football field.
“We’re well pleased with where we are at. We were very mindful of how we wanted to approach winter conditioning. Eric (Donoval) and I talk all the time about how we want to develop our players and that has resulted in us making good broad-based gains which should translate into a bigger, stronger, more athletic football team.”
Donoval is Wyoming Football’s Director of Sports Performance. He leads the team of strength and conditioning coaches who work directly with the Cowboy Football team to develop their strength and their speed.
Individual Training Programs for Individual Position Groups
In the world of training college football players, the term one size fits all does not apply. Each position group and each athlete within a position group is studied by the strength and conditioning staff to optimize their training.
“Not only do we have a head strength coach, but we have four assistants, and they divide the squad up into the types of workouts needed to enhance their skills,” said Bohl. “Certainly, an offensive lineman is going to train differently than a wide receiver. There are going to be some core exercises that apply to all the groups, but we’ve specialized the training down to which guys need to develop strength and explosion vs. speed and explosion. You have the offensive and defensive linemen. You have the mid-skill positions -- the tight ends, fullbacks and linebackers -- and then you have the skill players -- wide receivers, running backs, quarterbacks and defensive backs.”
“Each strength coach is designated a position group or position groups,” said Donoval. “That was how Coach (Tommy) Moffit did it at LSU when I was an assistant for him. When I was at LSU, I trained all the defensive backs and wide receivers. Here at Wyoming, I train all the defensive backs and the wide receivers. Jordan (Jurasevich) trains all the defensive line. Carl (Miller) trains the O-line. The reason those guys train just one position group is because they are such vital positions. Here at Wyoming, we’re going to live and die with the guys in the trenches, and I wanted just one coach dedicated to each of those position groups. Colin (DeClark) trains the quarterbacks, tight ends and running backs, and then Tre (Thomas) trains linebackers, fullbacks and specialists.