Aug. 30, 2012
By Stephen Trembley & Stephanie Juncker
FRESNO, Calif. --- While Thursday was less of a dirty day at boot camp, the conditioning exercises developed by the university's Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) challenged the lower bodies, core and wills of the Fresno State men's basketball team all morning long.
"Today, there was more of a focus on conditioning and the lower body," Fresno State head men's basketball coach Rodney Terry said. "We are still working the mental over the physical. Our guys are being forced to fight through some adversity early. This was not just about trying to get through it, but to get better as you are working through it. I think for the most part, guys did. I like what I saw today."
To continue the full body week-long training, the Fresno State ROTC Cadets had the 'Dogs go on their daily mile run to start the day and added a series of lower body stretching.
With three stations around the track at Warmerdam Field, the Bulldogs broke off into smaller groups as the conditioning turned to sprints, push-ups, sit-ups, frog jumps, planks, power jumpers, flutter kicks, deep squats, and 45-pound water jug squats, lunges and holds.
The morning ended with a team unity session of communication-based push-up holds, overhead arm claps, arm circles, hip rotations, and deep core skyward and overhead arm pull stretches.
"I think our guys are seeing that there is another threshold that they can sustain and they are definitely trying to push through it," Terry said. "The young guys are fighting through it and have really improved over the week. I knew our older guys would be able to man some of it up, but I think they have gotten better at helping their teammates out as the week's gone on."
Junior guard Tyler Johnson, who is one of three returning starters for the Bulldogs as they prepare for their first season in the Mountain West, has enjoyed the experience of having the chance to get better by learning from the ROTC training.
"It's been an enjoyable experience so far just to see what the people in our armed forces do on a daily basis," said Johnson, whose mother Jennifer is in the United States Air Force. "The biggest thing they (the Cadets) are preaching is mental toughness. Most of these activities are hard, but they are very doable. You just have to get past that mental barrier of saying `I can't do it' or `I've got to quit.' I think that's the biggest part that we have to take onto the court with us."
Terry worked closely with the Master Sergeant and senior military instructor Donald Spock to make this special boot camp with the university's premier leadership program happen.
"I'm hoping by the end that we have gotten great team building and have great team chemistry in terms of a team understanding the importance of the mental aspect over the physical," Terry said.
Fresno State will wrap up the boot camp on Friday morning, but continues their individual and strength and conditioning workouts leading up until mid-September, when limited team activities are expanded. Official practice will begin in mid-October. The Bulldogs will play a single exhibition game on Nov. 2 against Fresno Pacific.
The 'Dogs will then turn their full focus to the Nov. 9 season opener at Texas, with the first regular season home game slated for the following Friday, Nov. 16 against Pacific.
Fans can secure their 2012-13 men's basketball season tickets for as little as $149 by contacting the Bulldog Foundation at 559-278-7160.
To view all pricing and priority seating locations, please visit: www.bulldogfoundation.org.
To learn more about the Fresno State Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion, please visit: http://www.fresnostate.edu/ROTC/home/index.html.
BULLDOGS/ROTC BOOT CAMP SERIES:
Monday (Aug. 27) - DAY 1: 'Dogs Start Week of Boot Camp with Army ROTC
Tuesday (Aug. 28) - DAY 2: Mind Over Matter Pushed
Wednesday (Aug. 29) - DAY 3: Ownership, Teamwork Key
Thursday (Aug. 30) - DAY 4: Lower Body, Core Worked
"Discover Fresno State Athletics!" - Remember to wear your Bulldog red on Aug. 31 for College Colors Day to support your Fresno State Bulldogs. Fans can participate in a photo contest for free tickets and parking passes to a home football game. To enter your business, send photos of your office space decked out in Bulldog red, which can easily be done with a Gameday in a Box available for $125 in person at The Bulldog Shop. Photos should be sent to Hank Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 p.m. on Aug. 31. The winner will be drawn that afternoon.
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