February 11, 2009

Insider Report: Quest for the black shirt

Quest for the black shirt

On Monday, the Seminole players began the dreaded off-season workout program, which is more commonly referred to as "mat drills". The grueling before dawn test of character has been an annual ritual around Florida State football since the early 80's. While a lot of time has passed since then, current strength and conditioning coach Todd Stroud, who played noseguard for the Seminoles between 1983 and 1985, admits that other than a few measures to make the strenuous exercises safer for the players, mat drills are fundamentally the same.

"We say this as we get older, but they were probably a lot tougher back then," Stroud said. "Really, they probably weren't. The difference now is that science has come into play on this thing so we are a lot smarter and a lot more prudent with what we do with the team in what we have put in place for our players to protect them. The drills are probably the same but I would say the break times and those things have changed more than anything else. And the fact that we had to do 90 percent of this in the parking lot out here (outside of the Moore Athletic Center)... The elements of it hasn't changed. It's still circuit training and the core of the drills are still the same."

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