#vtRAW: The Truck Push

In addition to what we are doing with our on court workouts, we have implemented some “out of the box” thinking in regards to our strength and conditioning workouts. Our strength coach, David Jackson, is a Hokie alum and a fan favorite for his style of play. He has been incredibly consistent in helping transform the bodies of our guys and really has a good feel in preparing them for the style of play that we believe it takes to play and have success in the ACC. That being said, this leads me in to our workout over the past weekend – our first installment of #vtRAW: …”THE TRUCK PUSH.”

Coach Jackson and I met several times to discuss the purpose of the competitions and to determine when they should be based on the other things we are trying to accomplish this summer. The main reason for the truck push would be for toughness as much as it would be a strain on our kids psychically. You can use the truck as conditioning but we would be using it for a toughness/confidence booster. Who is the toughest/strong minded/strong willed guy out there? And it was interesting to see how it played out.

The goal was to push the 1965 Ford pick up (Coach Jackson’s other pride and joy) weighing in at 5,000 pounds at a distance of 70 yards. A large parking lot that he found on campus that has slight peaks and valleys included. The first half they get it going and then right about halfway through it hits a sort of mini peak in which the real battle begins. Over half our guys “DQ” the first time through, not even making it to the finish. But then what happened after that, was what really made me happy we decided to do it.

They dug in even deeper. Some guys went from pushing the truck about 50 yards to blowing it out over a 100 yards. One of our freshman, Kerry Blackshear, pushed it the furthest. Well when that happened, the upperclassmen had to get back into the swing of it. Seth Allen pushed it even further. Greg Donlon, a walk on who has transformed his body like no other had pushed it to the 70 yard mark the fastest. This motivated Zach LeDay to push it to the fastest time of the day. It was remarkable how one guys performance could create a domino effect on the others.

Then the staff got involved. Coach Jackson, who played here in the mid 90’s lined up against “Big Red.” He pushed it faster and further than anyone, and in doing so implemented the quick turn around technique. I even jumped in there and was on pace until one of my shoes popped off (I was on pace to break all the records…at least that’s what I tell them!).

By the end, they were tired and worn out. The truck must have made 50 trips up and back. It took everything you had to get it moving, keep it moving, and make sure it didn’t come to a stop. What I loved was the way everyone around the person pushing it got into it. Cheered, yelled, jumped around, and rooted for their teammate or coach to push it one more foot, one more inch, just a little bit further.

It was strength competition, a conditioning competition, but also a team building experience. I couldn’t have been more proud of our guys. I still think I had them all beat…until my shoe came off. Well, at least that’s my story….and I’m sticking to it!!!

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