Saturday, March 5, 2011

New emphasis on nutrition, will it make a difference?

I was over reading the good Senator earlier this week and he talked about trying not to get overly excited about the things he is hearing coming from the players about the change in strength and conditioning as well as now having a full time nutritionist for the football team. It got me thinking about how much of a difference could this make not just in how the players may look more the part but will it truly be effective in making the Dawgs a better team this fall.
Coaches are always looking for any edge they can gain, no matter how slight it might be. Get in one extra rep of a play to help the execution be just a sliver better than it was the play before. One extra wind sprint to shave .01 seconds off your 40 time. With players that have been working out for years, practicing for years, it becomes progressively harder to get that extra knowledge, that extra .01 seconds, that tiny bit better execution. For a player like Murray to improve his throwing motion after the number of times he has thrown it would take hundreds and hundreds more throws for just a slight gain.
However if you took a guy like me who has never done anything but tossed the football around with his buddies in the yard, gave me a coach, and had me throw 20 times a day for just a few weeks with the coach directing me after each throw on how to get better, my improvement would be huge compared to Murray's. He would still be the better passer by a mile but my rate (%) of improvement would dwarf his.
That is the situation we have with the the nutrition program now at UGA. I am sure the players have been told in the past to watch what they eat (tossing the ball around with some friends) but how many have ever had someone plan out exactly what they should be eating, watching to make sure they are eating that, and kicking them in the rear when they don't. For the linemen the change in diet can result in much lower % body fat and giving the OL/DL to push the other team around in the 4th quarter instead of wearing down. For a skinny CB/WR this could mean a few extra pounds to help them go up and battle for a ball in the air. For Murray it could be putting on a few pounds of lean mass to better handle the hits he takes. The list of benefits go on and on.
This won't make a catch, or a tackle for the players but every pound of fat lost, every pound of lean muscle mass gained is an advantage over where the team was a year ago and that is a great thing. Unlike where 100 of reps, or hours of work produce small gains since the players have been working on that for most of their lives, the nutrition program will , at least in its first year, produce quick results in how the players bodies are ready for the work load they are put through. As fans we can only hope this correlates with plays being made on Saturdays.

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