- Jul 28, 2015
- Reaction score
"I think the best thing we can do is adapt and adjust to it the best we can."
The novel coronavirus pandemic ended Alabama’s spring football practice schedule before it even started. Hours before the first of 15 practices were set to begin on March 13, the Crimson Tide suspended its 2020 spring football season until further notice due to the virus.
This would have been Nick Saban’s 14th spring in Tuscaloosa, Ala. While he is still in town and at the helms of the storied football program, he was the only member of his coaching staff at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility on Thursday. Holding a media teleconference, and later more public service announcements, Saban shared how his daily schedule has changed.
“I think the whole world’s turned upside down, so it’s really different for everybody,” Saban told reporters. “But I think the best thing we can do is adapt and adjust to it the best we can.
“Basically, there’s really three areas that we’re trying to focus on. Every morning I have a Zoom staff meeting at 7:30 just like we always do. It’s now on Zoom, so there’s no personal contact with anybody. And we discuss basically what we’re going to do with our team and our players that particular day. We usually use the morning to sort of work on next year’s opponents, which is not something we’d typically be doing at this time of year with spring practices going on.
“On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, right now, we’re doing sessions with our players. I do video conferences and phone calls with recruits then in the afternoon. That’s pretty much what a day is like, and we’re doing the best we can and we’ll continue to do that.”
With his team scattered across the country, Saban said the additions of David Ballou and Dr. Matt Rhea have been “a huge positive” in keeping track of the players’ training routines.
“Dr. Rhea has actually got a PhD, so his knowledge and experience in a lot of technical-type testing and stuff that you can do with players and the new training programs that we’re doing, the players really liked,” Saban said. “Hopefully, this will help us with some injury prevention and help us be able to perform better when the time comes. They were very instrumental in setting up this whole program of what we’re doing with the players, in terms of Apple Watches for their workouts, apps on their phones for weight training programs.
“We had issues with some players not having a place to work out because high schools are closed, so we put them on band workout programs. They’ve done a really, really good job of managing this to this point, and the players have done a good job responding to it.”
Saban said “nobody knows” what the future holds when it comes to the coronavirus, but he did lay out how his coaching staff is utilizing the time they’re allotted to teach the players.
“We’re not in any real hurry with whatever installation we’re doing with the players,” Saban said. “I think basically there’s three parts to teaching -- what to do, how to do it, why it’s important to do it that way. So, if we just take a single concept, like for example, if we’re on offense and we’re teaching inside zone, aight. Well, we could take 30 minutes on teaching the techniques, the aiming points, the footwork and then actually show the players video of doing it correctly or actually let them evaluate whether the guy that we’re looking at is doing it correctly or incorrectly.
“I think conceptually, there’s a lot of benefit to it because we don’t have to hurry through it because (before) we’re going through this install and then we’re going to go practice in a half hour so we’ve got 30 minutes to meet then we’ve got to go on the field and we’ve got to be able to go do this today.
“I do think it gives the players the opportunity to be engaged, No. 1. But No. 2, I do think it’s a slow process of learning that can be beneficial to them having a better understanding of concepts. So, we’re not in any hurry. We’re kind of taking it slow, and so far, it’s worked out really, really well.”