Views from the Sideline – My 1st Boot Camp With Buzz

Boot Camp

A new city, a new school, a new job, a new coach…and I am one of the two new guys on the entire staff. After spending the last two seasons in the PAC-12, I was one of the two hires Coach Williams made that didn’t come with him from his previous post. From my first day here, I was thrust into the mix of kid’s camps, long nights, early mornings, and the constant reminder of “When boot camp starts.” One coach even told me he was opting to run to the office from his house in the morning so he could physically prepare his body for what was in store; this was in early August, two months before Day 1 of boot camp would take place. I went home and did what most of the under 40 generation does when they want to learn more about something. I turned to Google and YouTube to fill me in. I discovered that other schools like Kansas hold something similar while still being reminded to, “Just wait and you’ll see what it is we do here.”

The camp kicked off every morning no later than 5:30am and would push the players harder than they have ever been mentally and physically pushed before. The basketball gym transformed into a training ground that had little to do with basketball. The baskets and scoreboard simply became part of a drill that ultimately involved no real physical basketball, but rather a football. Every single activity had a purpose and could at some point carry over to a game situation. The court lines became mile markers in the race to the finish and at times the baseline would serve as a sanctuary of rest and relaxation…for about what feels like the shortest 48 seconds of their life, until it was time to line back up and attack again.

Coach often uses the quote, “Calm seas never made a good sailor,” and the ocean that Buzz has created here in Blacksburg at the Hahn Hurst facility during this camp is filled with more storms and swells than an episode of Deadliest Catch. Yet, through all this activity you can truly see the progression of the players during each session. You see which players can thrive in the chaos, those who are willing to step up first, and those who may need a little more attention to get in the boat and paddle in the right direction. Most importantly, you see the level of teamwork being developed and the rewards of completing the session.

The players form a tighter bond, a new level of trust, and a shared focus of the goal they are all trying to achieve. When Coach Williams makes his walk across the court after the last drill and holds his fist in the air, they know, that today they worked…and they worked hard…and that tomorrow they will be fortunate enough to get to work again.

Now get back on the baseline…48, 47, 46…..

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