“Michigan, Duke in shape to win”

USA Today October 3, 2008: 8C
“Michigan, Duke in shape to win”
Whitside, K.
{A follow –up to the “Review of the Motor City Strength & Conditioning Clinic”}
Andrew Charniga, Jr.
Sportivny Press©
A now retired legend in the strength and conditioning profession was fond of saying, “I don’t take credit for the wins (football and basketball teams) because then I would have to accept responsibility for the loses.” This remark came from a man with multiple NBA championship rings and a super bowl championship ring.
In our review of the Motor City Strength & Conditioning Clinic, we were considerably less than enthusiastic about the presentation of some of the coaches, especially the representative from the University of Michigan. We feel our review was reasonably objective.
Therefore, it is appropriate to revisit this subject in the event our remarks were unduly harsh or misguided.
The quotes presented below were taken from an article in the USA Today newspaper sports section on October 3, 2008.
“Plop into Michigan’s weight room on an afternoon in the off season and catch … the team’s director of strength and conditioning, standing on a Swiss ball. Then watch him balance himself as he jumps from one ball to another ball. The move is impossibly hard,… but defines the coach’s approach.”
Apparently the reporter was quite impressed by this feat and no doubt the man bouncing on his Swiss balls was in full pontification mode in regards to his unique approach to conditioning the University of Michigan football team.

Perhaps the reporter failed to Inquire as to the relevance of bouncing on big round balls to a power sport like football. At the very least, he should have noticed that the game is dominated by powerful athletes propelled about the field of play by the explosive strength of the lower extremities and trunk.

Maybe someone should have mentioned to the reporter that a football is small and with an odd conical shape. Athletes who are 200 to 300 lbs really can not sit (or stand for that matter) on it and bounce around.
“… the players didn’t know what to expect … Nor could they stand on those balls; by the summer, just about everybody could.”
Apparently, after a summer of this revolutionary new training, most of the Michigan players were able to stand on Swiss balls; and, this special conditioning in no measure led to their successful comeback the previous weekend against Wisconsin.
“Plenty of credit went to Michigan’s conditioning program last week when it erased a 19 – 0 first half deficit to beat Wisconsin 27 – 25.”
But that was last week. The day after this article appeared in USA Today, Michigan was humiliated by Illinois 45 – 20. The Michigan defense gave up the most offensive yardage in the history of the Big House.
Perhaps if the Michigan players were permitted to bring Swiss balls onto the field of play and be allowed to bounce around on them, the results would have been different. After all that is what they were trained to do.
Furthermore, it was deemed important for the information hungry readers of the USA Today sports section to be made aware that the coach, “has owned wolves all his life…, but apparently now has gone from wolves to … wait for it … Wolverines.”
Can we offer a suggestion? For the next Michigan football game try putting the “Wolverines” and their Swiss balls in the cages. Let the wolves out of their cages. Unleash a team of wolves onto the football field. See the difference.

Alas, our suggestion was ignored. October 11, 2008: University of Toledo 13 Michigan 10. The first loss to a MAC level team in the history of Michigan football.