Q&A With Football Strength & Conditioning David Feeley
Q: How much further along is the team this summer compared to last summer when you started working with them?
A: Strength wise we are much further along going into the summer than last. But as far as our conditioning level, we will have to give you that answer in late July.
Q: Have you seen a change in the student-athletes since you started at Ball State a year ago?
A: The bodies of our guys have changed significantly from last year. The weights our guys now lift are heavier than last year and their body fats are lower. Mentally, the biggest change is their expectations of the team and of themselves. Our guys were disappointed they were left home during the 2011 bowl season, and they have taken a tremendous, consistent mental approach to working quite hard to make sure that doesn't happen again.
Q: What does your summer strength and conditioning program consist of on a day-to-day basis?
A: First, we will always perform a thorough warm up and stretch. Second, there will be some sort of movement, either linear or change of direction work (because if our guys can't move efficiently, then it does not matter how strong they are). Third, we will lift. Fourth, we will have some sort of conditioning drill in order to have our guys learn to move when they think the a're tired. Finally, we always end our workouts with a foam roller and stretch routine.
Q: What are some of the things Coach Pete Lembo looks for out of the strength and conditioning program?
A: First and foremost, Coach Lembo wants our players in the safest training environment possible. He advocates getting our guys bigger, faster and stronger, but not at the expense of their safety. Coach Lembo fully expects his players to report to camp healthy and in shape. We, as an entire program, know those two things are essential for starting camp off on the right foot.
Q: What are your biggest objectives with the student-athletes as you work with them from now until fall camp?
A: Each individual needs to be in the best shape possible and know they have put in the right kind of work to give them the best opportunity to have a successful fall camp. That means each guy has to lift to his full potential, have the right body composition, be at the efficient body weight for their position, and to be in great, not good, great condition. That's 105 players to take care of. It may sound like a daunting task, but ultimately they are the one's playing, and it's the strength staff's job to make sure they are physically and mentally ready to win and achieve their goals.
Q: How do you motivate the student-athletes in the weight room during the summer months?
A: We will do a variety of things. We will throw competition events in during a lift, put them in positions to lead and be the motivator for each other, as well as put motivational quotes around the weight room from players in the NFL, the WWE or even the artist Lil Jon, etc. Once a strength staff becomes stagnant and doesn't keep the 'ears' of the players, then we've lost them. The strength and conditioning program is a long, tough, and challenging program. If you cannot keep your players motivated, then it will become a negative experience for the student-athletes and coaches. I can tell you from my own personal experience, we have great kids who want to win and are putting in some great work that deserve to be motivated every day they step in our doors.