Sports Illustrated has launched SI All-American TV, a weekly video show hosted by our recruiting director John Garcia. Every Tuesday, Garcia will dive into the college football and recruiting world with guests, and is joined by former UCLA, Seattle Seahawks, and Atlanta Falcons head coach Jim Mora Jr. in the first episode.
The two discuss the strategies and difficulties of football training over the next two months amidst the coronavirus pandemic, and what will be required of coaches in order to best prepare student-athletes. Recently, the idea of six-week training camps have been floated to follow the voluntary workouts the Division 1 council has recently approved to begin in June.
"I think six weeks is probably doable, I think there's a lot of factors you have to consider," Mora told Garcia. "Unlike the NFL where this is a job and men are feeding their families, you can't count on every single player on your team at the collegiate level to come back, whenever that may be, and be in top condition."
The usual athletic calendar would restrict the amount of time players and coaches are allowed to work together in offseason and preseason training, but Mora expressed that that schedule would have to be tweaked in order to get student-athletes into the best all-around shape they can be in.
Mora also voiced the importance of mental health for players preparing to get ready on an altered schedule.
"I think it's really important as a coach that you listen to your strength and conditioning coach," Mora said. "You listen to your trainers, you listen to your nutritionist, you listen to your team psychologist, you listen to your rehab specialists, you listen to your team leaders, as a coach you have to sometimes back off a little bit. But you have to be able to teach, you have to be able to give them an opportunity to learn."
The Florida Gators are set to begin voluntary football workouts on June 8th, following a multi-phased approach in order to return student-athletes to the facilities safely.
Make sure to follow SI All-American to watch the show every Tuesday.