Lions In Shape

In Sunday's Province Lowell Ullrich wrote an interesting piece on the Leos game against Edmonton that hasn't previously been discussed. He talked about how the Leos are in excellent shape and how it was a factor under the Dome heat. The Leos run 'gassers' or wind sprints at the end of practice for mistakes. They also run them voluntarityl. Buono is determined that his squad is in excellent physical shape and Rechelt, their trainer, is also focused on each player being properly hydrated before each game.

Ullrich believed it was a factor, especially in the fourth quarter, and the Leo players who were quoted agreed.

Got to be a credit to Walley as he knows it will come down to athletic fittness, in the days and weeks to come at the end of season!

They spoke about this for a while on the post game show on Team 1040 friday night, how the Edmonton players were getting tired, dehydrated and cramping up/going down hurt to rest as much as they could.

In Wally Buono's interview, he said the Edmonton players kept faking injuries because they were tired, and the BC Players played the game like football players, like men, and thier conditioning was reflected.

It was a funny shot at Edmonton

I did notice the Esks players going down a lot. Maybe they were hurt or maybe not. I think someone else posted the same thing about the Esks when they play the Als (I think)

Wally has been in the league for a while and guess he should know how to prepare his players for the grind of a long season.

Thanks westcoastexpress for the information on the Team1040 post game show. I missed it! It's an interesting angle on the game!!

I don't agree that Edmonton guys were faking the injuries (shades of Joe Galat coaching with Montreal and his weekly designated diver) like apparently Wally was saying. But I did think they weren't getting up right away as they wanted to give guys a rest and that was bad.

The 'gassers' as he called them are 4 times across the width of the field and when I was there I saw both O and D teams do them and once or twice just the O team ran. What absolutely blows me away about the coach's comment is that these are for punishment. I cannot believe that in the 21st century we are still hearing that stuff from football coaches!!! When will they learn. Next they'll be doing like some coaches when I was a kid and take away the water as 'men didn't have to get a drink' back in them old days' blah blah blah. I don't think the Lions do too much running at training, but it should not be for punishment.

To this day I hate running because it always was a punishment for us when we were kids. I run only when I play raquet ball and a bit on the treadmill but mostly I like running when I am playing. Fitness is an essential part of the game and for my teams I mostly stress that players have to work on fitness on their own time as we aren't pro or college and guys have jobs and college so time is limited in training and I want to focus on the skills, drills and functional activities that we need in the game (soccer).
That is no doubt the same at the pro level now. You come to camp in shape as there is too little time for fitness and mostly it is getting ready to play.

........mmmmm, good points 16........I don't know quite how this will factor into friday's game, but this is BC first high altitude game of the year......trust me on this next part, I'm a diver and a crappy long distance runner so I know a bit about the CV system and the affects thereon from altitude, but training here in cowtown and then running in vancouver is a piece of cake, going the opposite way is really really tough..........going from sea level to 3345 feet above is going to have an affect on the lions......to what extent I can't say........certainly the extra training will help, but don't be surprised if the leos are draggin a bit o' a$$ going into the fourth 1/4...........

Hey Football 16 I agree with you that running should not be used for punishment purposes. However, sometimes it can be used in the form of friendly competition on a team. Like you, I was a part of the era in which water was withheld from players. I always felt I played better with my tongue swollen and my body dehydrated....just kidding!

Certainly I believe that physical fitness plays an important role in winning. Not only for the endurance it provides to players as the game goes on but players who are better conditioned make less mental mistakes in the fourth quarter....a tired body makes a tired mind!!

I know that the football team I'm on is very high on physical fitness, taking about half an hour at the end of each 2 hour practice that is just devoted to cardiovascular conditioning. But, like it has been said sometimes the running we do is punishment. After a Friday game we go back to practice on Monday and we run for penalties we took, we also run if football players get kicked out of class or get a late slip to a class.

I agree that physical conditioning is a very integral part of football and I do think that making people run for their mistakes may help to correct them but it could just also make them so paranoid about making that mistake again they will. Of course this is just High School football and it's nothing like the pro's but I think conditioning is a steer in the right direction for a championship.

Without beating a dead horse, I am just against running as a punishment as that is old line coaching thinking that no longer works with athletes today.

If I recall correctly my minor coaches did allow water but then again they were way ahead of the times and we always had a championship sides or were contenders.

It is really focusing on what is important to get the wins. The ONLY time I ever threatened a guy about taking a penalty again was deliberate as I wanted to toss this fat out of shape bozo off the team. He had caused a loss in the first game of the year by running a guy down in the penalty box (men's soccer). I was the new coach that year and was shocked at some of the fat butts these guys had and I knew some had to go but that they had been together for some four years and pre-season cuts weren't in the cards. I later brought in my own guys. As I subbed the guy into the next game, I told him in front of the bench players that if he took another penalty in our box again he was gone from the team. Guess what... he did chop a guy in our box and I got to boot his butt out of there. I misused the "principle of expectation". That is, I expected the guy to fail based on his undisciplined play and I then created the conditions for him to meet my low expectations and he did and was gone forever. That was a one off thing that happened and not repeated.

My football story is former D lineman for the BC Lions, Doug Seymour and Coach Vic Rapp - I admired him as a fan but his style needed some work to stay at the pro head coach level. Seymour who I think passed away a few months ago was a true character in lots of ways. He borrowed a cab in Edmonton to go to their hotel down the street and there are apparently lots of other great stories that didnt' make the papers. But back to the punishment issue and how coaches misuse it in front of teams. Seymour would get caught for def. holding at times and Rapp once was going over film with the team and said while he kept repeating the play...'This is Doug Seymour holding and if he does it again, he won't be a part of the BC Lions' or words to that effect. If you want a guy to fail you say that to him so it justifies cutting him but that is no way to create a motivating, performance oriented environment for players at any level.

The high school team working on fitness is likely fine as long as there is enough time on the drills and skills and O and D work that will make the team better on the field as that is where the game is played. I worked as an assistant to one coach (former pro player and pro coach in soccer) who ran the shortest training sessions I have ever seen yet he got good results. When he wanted to work on free kicks or bringing the ball out from the back he'd tell me what guys were to go and who was to stay and the rest would leave. I used to be a bit surprised at how fast he got done but we were successful in games which was what it was about and we put 6 players into starting roles on the varsity team the next year which wasn't bad at all.

This guy had a major impact on the players. After a poor performance, he told me to tell one guy that what he was about to say didn't apply to him but just listen. The whole team got his quiet soft spoken wrath and we started for the locker room with the playes walking quietly behind us. The coach turns to me and says, "Can you imagine what would have happened to us if we coaching a pro team today?" I replied, "Yes. We'd both be fired!. Him: Yes. Those players still tell that story and that was 11 years ago! Great impact from a great coach who may have been too nice for his last pro coaching gig before this one.


Pierce-I learned a lot about perseverance. Things aren’t always going to go your way. I’ve become so much more aware of the realities of the game and life…Things can be taken away from you. You can either sit back…or overcome it and fight through it....