The South Carolina football team is about to leave a valley from a strength standpoint.
For the run of May, the school is in “May-mester,” and the team isn’t fully together. Head strength coach Jeff Dillman said it’s a less structured part of the year, but head coach Will Muschamp noted there have been around 45 players coming in on their own to lift.
When the team reconvenes at the end of May, some things will be different for summer from the pre-spring work, or the work post-spring meant to slingshot players into the break and summer. Dillman said the team didn’t open spring in “tip-top” shape because the overall program is a larger continuum.
“We’re not going to be in the strongest peak that we need to be in,” Dillman said. “That doesn’t happen until before September. Our job is to get the guys in shape the best we can for spring ball, but then during the summer, we get them in shape for camp so when they get to camp, they can get to football shape.”
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He said this summer is far different from a year ago because the culture and system the staff wants is in place. Year one was about getting the players in good shape and used to flying around at practice.
Now strength takes a more central role, all the way to minute details like ground contact force (an element of playing faster).
“You’re making fine tunes and tweaks to the culture and the environment and making sure guys are doing the little things right,” Dillman said. “A lot of times guys are holding themselves accountable now more than they did last year because they didn’t know any better.”