The Daily Call caught up with Director of Strength and Conditioning for Olympic Sports Todd Barbour to discuss the offseason work for @RazorbackWBB under new head coach @CoachJimmyDykes.
Q: What are some of the things you’ve focused on with the Arkansas women’s basketball team this offseason in preparing them for next season?
A: Well, this first phase of our off-season has been focused on getting the girls bodies’ right (fixing, adjusting, activating) and increasing their work capacity so we will be able to hit the ground running once summer training starts here in a few weeks. We had a very long season with the trip to Italy and all and I had to change up what we would have normally been doing in the summer because of practice. Our freshmen really missed out on a lot of physical and mental training this summer because of it. I can’t wait for summer training to start, I consider that time of year my In-Season.
Q: It’s common coach speak that the real work and preparation takes place in the offseason when no one is paying attention. In your opinion, how crucial are the steps taken at this time of the year in making sure student-athletes are ready to perform come game time?
A: I believe that to be 100% accurate. Successful basketball teams know that the battles faced in the SEC from week to week are won before the lights ever come on, before they ever take the court, and before the stands are filled with all our fans calling the hogs. They know that the games are won during those dog days of summer and are won under the bar, behind the Prowler, pulling from the floor, and up on the Hill. The work that’s put in during the long hot days of summer are critical for not only the physical development of our kids but for a lot of them it’s the mental development that’s needed the most. Learning how to be a good teammate, a good leader or a positive follower, learning how to be accountable to their teammates and themselves, and having the dedication that is needed to play at this level is all developed in the summer. I believe that what we do reveals our athletes true character because of the stress both physically and mentally that we put them through and the fact that a lot of our athletes haven’t lifted before getting here or at least lifted like we do. The weight room can be one of the most uncomfortable places for our new kids when they get here but I think that they all grow to love it…..and I will continue telling myself that until the day I retire.
Q: What are some of the things you preach this time of the year to the student-athletes you work with? In your mind, what are some steps that they can take to better themselves and really set themselves up for next season?
A: I have several sayings that are common among coaches and I am always looking for new ways to motivate our kids. I would hope that they all have that internal fire that drives them to be the best and to succeed, but it’s always good to find just the right thing for each athlete to get their mind right. I work to instill Discipline, build and reveal Character, hold them Accountable to their team and themselves, develop a Team first mentality, fuel their Passion and Competitiveness as an athlete, show how Resilience, Dedication and Sacrifice will lead to great Team and personal achievements, build Confidence, develop Leaders and positive followers, foster a sense of Razorback Pride in themselves, their Team and their Athletic Department. The main step to being ready for next season is being here in the summer, it’s critical for the development of the team’s culture.
Q: What has it been like working with new head coach Jimmy Dykes? How have the offseason workouts and conditioning changed, if at all, in your daily routine and focuses with the team?
A: It’s been great. Coach D has brought an energy to this team that it’s been needing. The few practices that we had have been very upbeat and up-tempo and the girls are loving the energy and enthusiasm. As the saying goes; Nothing Great Has Ever Been Accomplished Without Enthusiasm. Coach D and I are really on the same page about everything and he trusts me to get his kids into the shape and condition he needs them to be in. We will train 4 times a week for the entire summer working to develop all aspects of athleticism. We have some kids that need to develop more linear and lateral quickness and speed, and we have some kids that need to lean up and put on lean muscle mass, and we all can continue to get strong(her).
Big Inning Leads @RazorbackBSB Past Missouri State The Arkansas baseball team used a two-run home run from Michael Bernal and six pitchers combined to allow five hits as the Razorbacks defeated Missouri State 4-1 Tuesday evening at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo. For a complete recap click here.
T2 | Bernal delivers a 2-RUN HOMER to left and Arkansas leads Missouri State 3-0!! #NeverYield #WPS
– Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) April 29, 2014
FINAL | Arkansas 4, Missouri State 1 – Razorbacks travel to No. 10 Ole Miss for weekend series. #NeverYield #WPS pic.twitter.com/hwixFE5fkv
– Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) April 29, 2014
Michael Bernal meets with the media after hitting a two-run homer and reaching base three times in 4-1 victory. #WPS pic.twitter.com/6u0NjXe8VK
– Razorback Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) April 30, 2014
Tate Named To 2014 NFF Hampshire Honor Society
Former Razorback tight end Austin Tate, who completed his eligibility in 2013, is included among the members of the 2014 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which was announced yesterday. Tate appeared in 46 games with 11 starts, catching 22 passes for 171 yards, in his career at Arkansas. He also earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture business before playing his senior season and is on track to complete his master’s degree in agriculture economics this summer. For more information on Tate and the award, click here.
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