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Friday, March 19, 2010

Van Halanger Talks Strength & Conditioning

The S&C program at UGA has been a hot topic of discussion since last season, which isn't surprising given Georgia's performance on the field in 2009. But while strength coach Dave Van Halanger admits it was a down year last year, he said things are definitely headed back in the right direction this season.

On mat drills this year...
“The last day, we gave out 18 As. We’ve never done that before. They have six stations and they have to have a total A. That means they’re performing at a high, high level. We had a bunch of B-plusses, too. So guys did a great job. Richard Samuel’s had six As. Christian Robinson, Shaun Chapas, Dent, they came out fighting. We’ve got guys who are fighting.”

On the input he's gotten from Todd Grantham, Scott Lakatos and Warren Belin...
“The NFL is different in the way they go about it. They don’t want to get guys hurt. We’ve got to get guys better. Those guys that come to Dallas, they’re pretty good. So they just maintain their strength. I talk a lot to Scott, talked a lot to Warren, about what did you guys do? Because they’re college, and you’ve got to get college guys better. They’re 18 and they’re going to leave here at 22 or 23 and you need to get them better."

On what the feedback has been from the new coaches...
"We’ve talked to (Lakatos and Belin) a lot, and there’s just a lot of similarities. It was the first time those guys saw our mat drills and they were like, ‘Wow, that’s really unique.’ Because a lot of people don’t do that – getting in early in the morning, but it’s mentality. You win football games because you’re mentally, physically and spiritually tough, and you can get it done when you’re on the field. It’s chemistry and morale, and you’ve got to create that. You’ve got to get the guys believing they can do that, and if you do, you’re going to win football games. We get our kids believing and going in the right direction. Last year, that was a pretty bad blip. But this year, I think it’s going to be pretty good. I’m excited about this year.”

And here's some video -- courtesy of Brandon Spoon -- of Van Halanger talking about the current state of affairs in the UGA S&C program...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

He may seem calm in the video, but I can only imagine what he's like in the weight room. Woooo! I'm sore from just thinking about it

Anonymous said...

So they gave out 18 A's but Richard Samuel had 1/3 of them?

Robert K. Burnham said...

Another great article, David. I hope they will emphasize the S&C part of the program more and show the payoff. Jeff Owens rocked the combine with his 45 bench press reps.So feeling good about the strength part, but on the conditioning side, still way too many of our players got their hands on their hips by the end of the first quarter, a sign of fatigue. I think we got worn down in some games last year and the lack of conditioning actually cost us. Also I hope UGA will work better with these guys on what they eat and get em coached up there , no more Waffle House or Burger King!

Greg said...

David-

Does anyone ever point out the fact that getting an "A" in mat drills is a completely subjective achievement (or is it not? I'd love to be wrong here).

Much of the criticism of the S&C program is in the way it is run. For Coach Van to sit here and say "Oh, we're giving out this many more A's in mat drills this year" doesn't mean anything to me because its all relative. Is it possible that the standards for receiving an A have become less challenging or is an A achieved by reaching certain numbers and times?

Last year DVH talked about how we were benching more and doing more weight than ever before. That doesnt mean jack to me either if it doesnt translate on the football field.

Are they doing anything differently for this season to ensure that the conditioning ON THE FIELD is better? To me everything sounds the exact same as it did this time last year.

Thanks,

Anonymous said...

rick does not like Van Halanger

The Real Texas Dawg said...

Greg...nail on head and good point!

Same applies to speed. We had guys in the defensive backfield with 4.4 speed (as indicated during "pro-day") but did not translate on-field.

However, hoping new coaches will make a difference in due time.

UGA69Dawg said...

I agree with the majority on here. It like we are running a Gold's Gym. Our guys are ripped and they are strong (see combine) and they are fast but they play 4 or 5 downs and are out of the game. I'll bet if you made them run two miles they would all fall out. Many times in close games you look at who's on the field and you see 2nd and even third teamers out there on critical downs or drives. The conditioning part of the program has to be more than mat drills in February. Not to beat a died horse but look at the practice videos and we are always going half speed and thump, well the SEC backs don't go down with thumps.

Furban8 said...

S&C is probably second only to "play calling" as the thing fans obsess over when their team isn't performing well.

We have plenty of problems other than S&C that have been our problem and fortunately most have been or are being corrected.

snakebeantator said...

Well did you ever think that It could be the players that are Not doin there Best on the field? Because when coach Van was at FSU they did AWESOME!!! It cant all be put on the coach's!!